Student in New York
As a child, I was affectionately called a “walking United Nations.” With a Lebanese father who was raised in the Philippines, now settled in England, and a Belgian-Italian mother, who lived in Colombia, I have never considered just one place “home.” Coming to New York-the world’s melting pot-for my university studies and majoring in a program-Media, Culture and Communications-with a global emphasis, were therefore easy choices. New York University claims the motto “in and of the world,” with nine campuses around the world.
But there also is a quiet, introspective side to me. An only child, I learnt from a young age to entertain myself and kept busy for hours with arts and crafts. Out of this necessity probably grew my interest in design and passion for decorative arts. I recently took a course at NYU called “The Science of Happiness.” In a class personality quiz, I discovered that my top strength is “Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence.” That skill, honed after many years of art and design classes, has given me an eye for the innovative and the impressive. It is sometimes hard to find moments of stillness in Manhattan, but in seeking out quiet spots, I have discovered wonderful small art galleries and hidden museums.
Relationships are of vital importance to the only child; friends have become my missing sibling. Cultivating friendships requires knowing how to listen, a skill that has served me well over the years. This is what I want to be known for, a reliable listener who knows how to look at both sides of an argument. Many people ask my advice-whether about New York restaurants or more personal issues. As Jon Steel explains in his book, 'Perfect Pitch' , one of the most important aspects about working in the advertising world is not just expressing yourself, but also an ability to listen, to empathize with both sides of a discussion, even if you do not always agree.