Yasmin Nooreddin (M.A., Organizational Psychology)
Published in Convocation
Life Before TC
Nooreddin was born in Amman, Jordan. Her father was a commercial pilot, but, as she said in her TC commencement speech, her mother, a former political science major, “always made sure we knew who the Captain really was!”
“Each summer, my parents exposed us to a new culture – Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America. We learned that the world is so much bigger than just the people around you, and we developed an appreciation for others’ experiences and points of view.”
Nooreddin earned her undergraduate degree at McGill University in Montreal, majoring in Management Information Systems.
“It was interesting and I was good at it, but I didn’t feel it was my calling. So after college, I went on a whirlwind tour of industries, working in Montreal and then Jordan, searching for something that would really resonate and feel as though it was second nature to me. And that was psychology.”
“I always knew that people interested me the most,” says Nooreddin, who came to TC via a Fulbright Scholarship. “I saw psychology playing out in the workplace –we can see it when the same person can produce one set of results for a very good manager and another set of results for a very bad manager -- I thought, there must be a field that investigates the relationship between psychology and organizational performance. And lo and behold, I found the org psych program at TC. It was one of the few available at the master’s degree level. And because both Columbia and TC have a presence in Jordan, I already knew the caliber of those institutions. ”
“Everyone has value to add. I learned early in my life, from traveling so much, but my professors at TC helped me see that, speaking organizationally, it’s really up to the manager to harness that kind of diversity and make the best out of it. TC also taught me that life is complex but not necessarily complicated. You have to factor in many things when looking at a situation; it’s almost never black and white.”
Nooreddin will soon return to work in the Middle East. Initially she expects to work in the private, for-profit sector because of the opportunities to learn about technical aspects of organizations, but longer term, “I’d like my contribution to extend beyond the for-profit sector to the community at large.”
Meanwhile, she wants to keep her options open and amass as much experience as she can – an idea she captured eloquently in her commencement speech, in which she quoted a ninth century mystic:
Travel! Seek new friendships and horizons.
And strive! The sweetness of life is in the to and fro.
I have seen water stagnate if it stops running,
The beauty of water is in its ebb and flow.