Recent NYU Tandon School of Engineering graduate Beamlak Hailemariam took advantage of every opportunity the University afforded him during his time here. He found welcoming communities everywhere he turned—from classes and clubs to his work-study job. Originally from Ethiopia, Beamlak moved to the United States as a child and discovered a love for robotic engineering and computer science during high school. He was able to combine those passions as a Computer Engineering major at Tandon. Ultimately, Beamlak cultivated both the technical and soft skills needed to succeed at Dell EMC, where he currently works as a software engineer.
Making Friends at the MakerSpace
Beamlak cites his job at the NYU Tandon MakerSpace as one of the highlights of his NYU experience. “I started working at the MakerSpace when it opened in 2016. It is still the best job I’ve ever had,” he says. “I was able to broaden my technical skills, grow my customer service abilities, and I even found my first love there.”
The space, which includes all the resources one could need for a major project, is open to all NYU students. Therefore, it offered Beamlak the opportunity to connect with people he may not have met in class. “I was fortunate to build some amazing friendships throughout my time as a MakerSpace teacher’s assistant. Two of my coworkers eventually became the team members who helped me work on my first hackathon,” he says. “And my wonderful manager, Victoria Bill, encouraged me to try different things, which gave me the opportunity to meet new people I wouldn’t have ever met on my own.”
MakerSpace also allowed Beamlak to explore his academic passions and outside intellectual pursuits. “Beyond having a space to be creative academically,” he says, “I worked with people at the MakerSpace who helped inspire my personal projects and guided me in exploring different fields.”
Developing His Own Identity
Beamlak was also an active member of NYU’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). As their former treasurer and programs chair, he says he’s proud to have been “part of such an amazing organization that helped increase and support the black students at NYU Tandon.” The community he formed with NSBE quickly became a supportive and integral part of his life at NYU, both personally and professionally.
“The NSBE members at NYU Tandon were essentially my family away from home,” he says. “Being among a group of black engineers who shared my goals and aspirations positively impacted how I developed my own identity as a black engineer.” The society also helped him network professionally, giving him the opportunity to attend events at NYU and across the country that connected him with other students and leaders from a range of industries. “Though I initially joined with hopes of improving my leadership skills, I was fortunate to find a community that truly felt like family. The friends I made through NYU NSBE are still a major part of my life today.”