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Reflections: Alessandra El Chanti from NU-Q

It’s graduation season! To honor our #Classof2019, we asked them to reflect on the last four years and the impact their experiences have had on them. Check out Alessandra’s story below.

Four years ago, when I was filling in my university application, I was asked, “Why NU-Q?”

I thought I had an answer to that question then, but I now realize that what I expected was only a fraction of what this place had to offer me. There’s more to this university than what I had in mind, and if I could go back in time to when I was a senior in high school trying to decide on which university to attend, I would still choose NU-Q all over again.

The experiences and opportunities I have gained at NU-Q are like no other: world-class education and facilities, trips and internship experiences, and so much more! I have grown intellectually and personally during the last four year - and while it was certainly a challenge, it was one worth taking.

NU-Q taught me to be a critical thinker and gave me the space to explore my creativity, whether that was through my hands-on filmmaking classes, in-depth communications research courses, or the holistic liberal arts programs. They all came together to help me shape my degree to complement my own interests within the field of media. I also pursued a minor in Media and Politics with Georgetown University in Qatar, an opportunity that supplemented my unique learning experience. If I had been at Northwestern’s home campus in Illinois, it would have been impossible to also pursue a degree at Georgetown University, located in Washington D.C. This, in itself, is a representation of the exceptional opportunities offered here at Qatar Foundation.

Alessandra - NUQ 2

My growth did not just end with my classes, though. I explored myself as a leader and an active member of the community. In my last year, I served as President of NU-Q’s Student Union. I was elected to, and entrusted in, a role that demanded I led by example, worked in and coordinated large teams, and liaised between the administration and the student body. As students, it can feel challenging to have our concerns raised and solved, but this year we succeeded in addressing more of them than ever before.

Everything came together to prepare me to take on challenges outside my university. I got to intern with some leasing organizations: Al Jazeera Arabic, Qatar Foundation, Vogue Arabia, and The Film House. The great thing about NU-Q is that everything you learn inside the classroom will be of great use in the ‘real world’. At my internships, I worked with some of the best filmmakers, fashion editors, journalists, and documentarians in the field - and they gave me the opportunity to demonstrate my own skills.

My journey here at NU-Q has concluded with receiving the Dean’s Award, the highest form of recognition a graduating student can receive at NU-Q. I am eternally grateful for all the experiences and knowledge that I have gained these past four years, because they are what have shaped me into the person I am today.