Reem Al-Haddad, Class of 2021, explores the interdisciplinary opportunities in information systems
As we approach the Class of 2021’s graduation, we are talking with a few members of the class about how they have grown and what they have learned during their time at CMU-Q. Today we speak to Reem Al-Haddad, who is completing her degree in information systems.
CMU-Q News: Tell us why you decided to study information systems.
Reem Al-Haddad: I’m a person with eclectic interests and I love learning new things. Information systems is interdisciplinary, and it has so many different aspects. I felt like it suited my personality.
CMU-Q News: How has your degree helped you to develop your eclectic interests?
Reem Al-Haddad: I’m in the design track in information systems, because I like being artistic and creative. I also decided to minor in psychology. I took a cognitive psychology course as a sophomore and it opened my eyes to the world of psychology. It’s an area I really love, enough that I want to continue with it.
CMU-Q News: Can you talk a little bit about the clubs you’ve been involved in?
Reem Al-Haddad: So when I first came to CMU, there were many clubs that interested me. At the Club Fair, I signed up for Photography Club, and the Qatari Student Association and many different others. After that year, I thought of of starting my own club and I immediately thought of Arabic calligraphy. The staff at CMU-Q guided me through the process, and then I found some of my peers who have the same interest. We called it the Carnigraphy Club and we found that many people in our community want to learn more about Arabic calligraphy.
CMU-Q News: You have also been very active in research—can you tell us about that?
Reem Al-Haddad: From the very start, I knew that I wanted to do research. I received the opportunity to work on a funded grant from Qatar National Research Fund with my psychology professors, Lauren Burakowski and Jennifer Bruder, and three of my peers. The research is to learn about the awareness of wildlife native to Qatar among the people who live here.
CMU-Q News: What have you learned from working on a research project like this?
It has taught me the power of teamwork. Each one of us on the research team has, let’s say, a different superpower, and each has a weakness. We complete each other in some way. Having our professors by our side is really helpful because they guide us and bring out the best in us.
CMU-Q News: What’s next for you?
Reem Al-Haddad: I have so many opportunities in front of me, I’m thinking of either continuing my studies in the fields of technology or psychology, as well as taking courses to practice my hobbies in photography and filming. I am also fortunate that I was exposed to so many creative opportunities that allowed me to engage in those hobbies. Last year I showcased my photography at a big exhibition, and I learned so much about the initiatives in Qatar to incorporate arts into our daily lives. I think when I graduate, I will have more time to expose myself to the many creative opportunities.
CMU-Q News: What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned while studying at Carnegie Mellon?
Reem Al-Haddad: I learned to appreciate what it means to be part of a diverse community. We have people from so many nationalities, I can better understand the perspectives of people from different backgrounds, with different ways of thinking. I have so much pride in this community.
CMU-Q News: And is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your CMU experience?
Reem Al-Haddad: I feel like my CMU-Q experience went very fast. When I first started at CMU, I was so shy. But then my confidence started going up, and it never went down. Every semester, I was provided with many opportunities that I always said yes to. It has been a very rich experience.
CMU-Q News: Thank you, Reem.
Reem Al-Haddad: Thank you.