As a first-generation college student, Ibraheim’s start at WPI looked very different from what it is now. “When I first arrived at WPI, I was definitely intimidated,” he says. “I was afraid of falling behind. I’m happy to say that WPI did a great job in providing students with constant opportunities to have fun. Teachers are extremely accommodating and understanding with new students and help you with any problem.” The Iraqi-born student recalls a professor whose mentorship helped him thrive. “Professor Makarov helped me appreciate the beauty of engineering and how the things we learn about are found in everyday life,” Ibraheim says. “As a freshman, I had been intimidated by the upcoming challenges in such a rigorous major, but Professor Makarov boosted my confidence and showed me that I have more than enough to flourish in this field.”
Ibraheim prides himself not only on his academic achievements but also on the connections he has made at WPI. “Being placed on the Dean’s List has been the greatest achievement that I have accomplished thus far. This award serves as a reminder to myself that yes, I can succeed and be among the cream of the crop in college. This award crushes any doubt that I have ever had,” he says. “When I came to WPI, it was important for me to surround myself with people that push me in my goals, tell me when I am wrong, and have a flame in their hearts as big as mine. To my friends, I am eternally grateful.”
The vast support network is one of his favorite things at WPI. “From two advisors, to tutoring resources such as MASH and MTC, to the various teaching assistants available in every course, you will never be left alone at WPI,” he says.
WPI’s unique project-based curriculum has greatly enhanced Ibraheim’s learning as a STEM student. “WPI students experience a curriculum far different from their colleagues in the same major at other institutions. The project-focused academic plan translates to WPI graduates being far more versed in the necessary skills to succeed in a STEM career,” he says. “The IQP (Interactive Qualifying Project, completed in junior year) and the Humanities Seminar teach WPI students about life beyond the numbers. These two factors combined create a well-rounded intellectual who is ready to contribute to society in more ways than one.”
For those considering WPI, he advises high school students to think about the ways they grow and succeed in their learning. “If you thrive by surrounding yourself with students who are constantly searching for the next problem to solve, then WPI is the place for you,” says Ibraheim. “I personally have benefited greatly by surrounding myself with my classmates so we can help each other when we stumble upon difficulties.”
After graduation, Ibraheim has both professional and personal goals. “I hope to work in a company developing nanotech that will transform humanity's relationship with technology,” he says. “On a personal note, I would also like to find outlets that allow me to give back to my Worcester community, since it has already offered me so much as a young immigrant – like the opportunity to study at this prestigious university.”