When Arame Sow transferred to NYU Tandon School of Engineering, she was overwhelmed by all the possibilities. Hands-on research, student clubs, sports, studying away, and faculty mentorship—there was something for everyone. Despite COVID-19 (and being limited to 24 hours in a day), Arame’s managed to do it all, and then some. In addition to the aforementioned activities, she’s getting her pilot’s license and doing an internship with Boeing next year. “NYU has so much to offer. You have new opportunities every week. That’s why I knew it was the place to be!” she shares.
Life Above the Clouds
Growing up in Dakar, Senegal, Arame loved to travel. Early on, she decided the best way to see the world was to become a pilot. At the same time, she wanted to understand the science behind her beloved aircraft. Today, Arame is getting her pilot’s license while keeping two feet firmly on the ground at Tandon. Here, the first-generation college student majors in Mechanical Engineering and minors in Aerospace Engineering.
Her favorite spot on campus is the NYU Tandon MakerSpace, a lab space where students and staff alike can brainstorm, prototype, and test products. “It gives me the opportunity to just go and create new things on my own,” she explains. She’s also a member of NYU’s entrepreneurial team with the National Society of Black Engineers. There, Arame has found “a community within the Black population at NYU.” Together, the team works to make educational materials more accessible for minority students.
A Tale of Three VIPs
In addition to her regular coursework, Arame is involved in three Vertically Integrated Projects (VIPs). These multi-year, multidisciplinary research projects give students the opportunity to develop their real-world skills while earning academic credit. At present, Arame is working on Rogue Aerospace, Tandon Motorsports, and Hyperloop. An expert faculty member supervises each VIP, and students spend one to three years on a project. While Arame loves all three VIPs, her favorite is Rogue Aerospace, in which students design, build, and launch reusable rockets.
Naturally, her involvement in VIPs inspired Arame to start her own in the year ahead. While she hasn’t yet finalized the project, it will explore aviation safety and the overall traveler experience. In partnership with the NYU aviation club, Arame has reached out to FAA Safety employees, aviation specialists, and flight instructors. “There are so many incredible people with an incredible level of knowledge,” she says. “I get to apply the knowledge I’ve gained in the classroom, learn from my peers, and prepare to enter the workforce.”
The Final Frontier
Next summer, Arame will be working as a liaison engineering intern for Boeing, her dream employer. “Everything came together so quickly!” she exclaims. “I know that my involvement in NYU VIPs helped a lot, as did my passion for becoming an airline pilot.” While she found the application process challenging, it moved quickly, with Arame receiving an offer just a week after the interview. Once she completes her internship in August 2021, she anticipates a busy senior year at NYU. She’ll be wrapping up her research, working as a flight instructor, and building 1500 hours of flight time. “I’m a Black African woman from a community college background,” she concludes. “I hope my story encourages future students to set their goals higher and believe they can achieve everything.”