Meet Farzad Sunavala, a first-year student in the Cornell Engineering Management Online Learning program. Farzad works as a Software Engineering Lead for Chevron Corporation in Houston, TX. Like most... Read more about Together is better: Thriving through connection and cooperation
Engage, Connect, and Smile Often
- Hometown: Kigali, Rwanda
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Grace Imanariyo, and I was born and raised in Rwanda (East Africa). I am the last born in my family. Growing up, I always enjoyed learning new things especially anything related to technology. My background is in Computer Science from Muhlenberg College where I also double Minored in Mathematics and Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
After graduation, I worked in Bloomberg LP in their Enterprise Data Department. After a year, I came to Cornell to pursue my Engineering Master’s Degree in Engineering Management. I absolutely love meeting people and learning about their passions. When I interact and work with people from different backgrounds, it helps me to learn about their interests, cultures, traditions, and foods. I am also able to share details about mine. On campus, I am a Graduate Peer Advisor at the Engineering Career Center where I help students with resume and cover letter reviews and also help them prepare for interviews.
Why did you choose the Cornell Engineering Management program?
I have always loved leadership and working in teams. To be honest, I always find myself appointed to lead something for which I am very grateful. I wanted to pursue this program because it really compliments my technology passion and my leadership personality. I chose this program because I wanted to gain skills on how I can be an empowering and well-equipped Manager. I am constantly learning that it’s not always about what you know, but how you impact others with what you know. I look forward to continuing to learn as much as possible and soon embark in a career that will make it possible for me to improve my technical knowledge and positively impact those around me.
What are you reading?
Currently, I am very much enjoying Anthony Mersino’s ‘Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers’ book that we are reading in my Project Management class. I am learning a lot about Emotional Intelligence and how that’s crucial in leading any project or be an effective and motivating leader or manager. It is such a good book.
What's one thing about you that would surprise people?
This is a great question, it surprises so many people that I am a graduate student in a tech related field but also a Christian recording artist. I love singing worship music a lot, playing instruments, and writing songs. Many of my friends here at Cornell always joke and say "Are you sure you aren’t in the Music Program?" In addition to being passionate about technology and leadership, I also love writing, recording, and releasing songs that will encourage others and give them hope. So, my interest in music and instruments often surprises people.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
My advice for prospective students would be ‘Don’t worry, your time will come’. I believe this is important for me to say because we are in a time where so many people are constantly seeing others having it figured out and they become sad or depressed that they are not qualified. If it’s a position you want, apply for it. If it’s a campus organization/club you want to join, join it. If one door closes, there is another one for you that will open for you at the right time. I encourage you, be open-minded, learn as much as possible, and build positive relationships. Smile often.
What is next for you?
I am very grateful for the time I have had a Cornell University so far. I am currently seeking for a full-time job after I graduate in May. I am interested in jobs that make it possible for me to work and interact with multiple people on technical or consulting related projects.