Student: Yakira Muhammad | Beaufort County Now | Yakira Muhammad planned a career in medicine when she enrolled at East Carolina University, but a longtime interest in writing steered her in a new direction. | east carolina university, ECU, student profile, Yakira Muhammad, career in medicine, writing, september 29, 2020

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Student: Yakira Muhammad

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Crystal Baity.

    Yakira Muhammad planned a career in medicine when she enrolled at East Carolina University, but a longtime interest in writing steered her in a new direction.

    A double major in biology and communication, Muhammad is set to graduate in December.

    Muhammad initially wanted to be a brain surgeon, inspired after reading pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson's autobiography. She said it led her to ECU, because of the university's excellent biology department and medical school. "However, I always had a passion for writing and television. My dream job was always to have my own talk show," she said.

    She added communication as a major her junior year. "I found out my real passion was talking, writing and being in front of a camera," she said. "I plan to find a job in broadcasting after I graduate and then later use my biology degree."

Yakira Muhammad, who is majoring in biology and communication, studies at Joyner Library
    At ECU, Muhammad joined the National Society of Leadership and Success, which has fostered leadership skills and volunteerism. Her first outreach was tutoring elementary school children at a local church. "I cherish the times I volunteered, because I love children and teaching them was a fun experience," she said.

    The 22-year-old from Winston-Salem also worked as a marketing intern with ECU's Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement (REDE), where she developed marketing strategies for Glean, a local food company that produces flours, powders and pet treats from fruits and vegetables.

    "After that experience, the director for REDE knew my aspirations for TV broadcasting and offered me another internship interviewing current ECU research students," Muhammad said. "This internship was an eye-opener, because I learned that students at ECU are making differences and impacts in all types of fields. I was happy to be a part of such an empowering project."

    The internship reinforced that communication should be her major, Muhammad said.

    While she dreams of having her own talk show, Muhammad said she knows she will have to work her way up to that goal.

    "I have always desired to be an inspiration to other young Black women to pursue their dreams, which would be a main goal of my talk show," she said. "There are only a handful of talk shows with young adults as hosts."

    As a first step, she hopes to work as a TV news reporter after graduation.

    What advice do you have for other students? Life's too short to be doing something that isn't your passion. Finding your passion will lead you to your purpose.

    What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year? The professors at ECU are actually nice. Most of them have been very encouraging, especially in the communication department.

This Pirate wants to inspire other young Black women to pursue their dreams.


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