Northwestern Qatar Experience

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Drawing Inspiration

Student Neeha Rashid sharpens her artistic eye through work, passion, and mentorship

You’ve held several student jobs at Northwestern Qatar. Why did you choose to work while you studied?

“When I started working as a teaching assistant for Professor João Queiroga, it started off feeling like a regular job—it helped me handle my university expenses. By the end of it, Professor João had become a dear mentor and adviser. Now, I’m currently working as the research assistant for Professor Rana Kazkaz, helping her create storyboards and moodboards, as well as researching locations and actors for her film projects. Working with her has really helped me understand every step of the filmmaking process, and she has become another mentor that I turn to for advice and inspiration.”

What do you think is the most important thing you learned from those two experiences?

“As a first-generation college student studying abroad, I was initially confused about what I wanted to pursue as a degree. But the wonderful relationships I formed with my professors and mentors at NUQ encouraged me to dig deep into what I actually want to do rather than conforming to a more traditional idea of what life should be.”

So what’s next? What’s the dream?

“I have a passion for art, and my current goal is to illustrate and write a children’s book based on Pakistan, its culture, and its traditions. I am currently doing an independent study with Professor James Hodapp on children’s literature and hope the course will pave the way for this goal. Ultimately, I want to use illustrations and animations to create characters that resonate with children from all around the world.”


Students can work up to 20 hours a week.


Aiming High

After taking on multiple leadership roles and every student job available, Ebenezer Bekele sets his sights on success

Ebenezer Bekele kept himself busy during the two years he studied at Northwestern Qatar. “I have been fortunate enough to have had a number of important roles here at Northwestern Qatar. They have all played a part in informing my fields of interest, steering me towards the career that I want to pursue.”

Through his role as research assistant to Professor Susan Dun and his subsequent fellowship with the Institute for Advanced Study in the Global South, Ebenezer discovered a deep interest in studying the role of artificial intelligence within marketing. “I wanted to learn more about its influence on our everyday lives,” he says.

His social media internship at Memac Ogilvy took that interest even further. “As the social media intern, I assisted in creating marketing strategy plans for Qatar Foundation pre-University Schools. I conducted research, interviewed experts, edited videos, and created pitches that provided potential new solutions for our clients. Overall, my internship at Memac revolutionized my perception of marketing and allowed me to practice the knowledge and skills I had learned from my communication classes.”

What’s next? “With my data science and communications expertise, I think I will be a very competitive candidate for positions at prestigious tech companies,” Ebenezer says. “I see myself at someplace like Google or Meta.” With so much hands-on experience under his belt, Ebenezer isn’t afraid to aim high.



Opportunities with global media organizations beIN Media Group, CNN Arabic, and Memac Ogilvy.


A Good Life

Two alumni talk about the futures they built after Northwestern Qatar

How did studying at Northwestern Qatar help you grow as a person?

Farida Zahran: “For me, my time at Northwestern Qatar was a time to experiment and explore my interests and passions. I didn’t originally envision a career in film and television but learning alongside peers and mentors in the field gave me the confidence to see myself as a filmmaker and pursue it.”

Yazan Abughaida: “I agree. Northwestern Qatar was an environment that encouraged experimentation, and the variety of career paths that I’ve seen among my classmates is a testament to that. I walked out of Northwestern Qatar with a versatile skill set that allowed me to make a few career changes after graduating.”

What have you been up to since graduating from Northwestern Qatar?

Farida: “I got my master's at NYU in communications, and currently, I am a freelance creator and director. Most recently, I was part of the writing team for season 3 of the award-winning show Ramy, which will come out September 30th, 2022. Now, I am working on getting my first feature financed, and I hope to someday have a show of my own.”

Yazan: “I chose to pursue a master’s in business administration from Harvard. My hope is that I will be able to break into a career in product management, which will help me provide a good quality of life for my family while also maintaining a positive work-life balance that allows me to be a present father to my daughter.”

Do you have any advice for current students at Northwestern Qatar?

Farida: “I would tell students to take risks and figure out what really excites you. Don’t restrict yourself! Be present and open to all opportunities.”

Yazan: “Take as many weird classes as you can. Explore your interests through internships, and don’t be afraid to drift away from traditional media jobs if something else is calling to you. Be true to yourself.”