One of the requirements of the Global Engagement Fellowship is taking IAS 2003, a class called “Understanding the Global Community.” Now, I’ll be honest, I am a chemical engineering major for a reason. Math and hard science are easy as pie, but social sciences and history are about as clear as mud for me. Fortunately, the professor, Dean Grillot, lets us students do as much extra credit as we want at approved events (thank you!). So I went to a lunch lecture with a man named Rami Khouri, who I had never heard of. But show me one college student who turns down a free lunch!

This is what I thought:

When I signed up for the lunch with Rami Khouri, I had no idea what I was getting in to. I had only the vaguest idea of what the talk would be about, and I was much more interested in gaining extra credit points than actually learning something. However, once everyone sat down with their lunches and Khouri started the discussion, I was surprised by how well I could relate to what he was saying. I thought that I was out of my element, going to a discussion lead by a journalist and editor. In all actuality, Khouri’s talk had nothing to do with a career; it was actually about becoming successful while remaining happy.

One of the main points that Khouri emphasized it that we, as students, need to put ourselves on a path that includes what we are passionate about, but that does not necessarily have to be our career. That resonated with me a lot because I am most passionate about music, but I am majoring in chemical engineering. He also said that one of the most important things a person can do to set themselves apart from others is to read for pleasure. I am so glad he thinks so because reading has always been a favorite hobby of mine, and I am glad it will continue to help me for years to come. One of the last pieces of advice he gave us was to recognize why specific people are successful: they are captivating. Khouri grabbed my attention and pulled me into a talk that I was not planning on enjoying. Rami Khouri is, by his own definition, a successful man and I hope to imitate him one day.

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