Musa Hakim is a junior Materials Science and Engineering major whose academic and athletic chops have made him a standout on campus. Hear how he describes campus and his journey as a Cleveland native, California high schooler and Case Western Reserve University student.
Tell us about your decision to come home to Cleveland for college, after four years in California for high school.
"I want to be able to have an impact on the city that raised me. Through CWRU, I knew I would be able to find ways to reach back to my community."
How have you surprised yourself during your time here?
"My biggest surprise at Case Western Reserve came outside the classroom. During the winter of my sophomore year, I was able to make it to the conference finals in the 60-meter despite running on an injured hamstring all season. It helped me come to terms with the importance of self-belief and how it will lead you to success."
Describe the classroom environment.
"There is a great deal of collaboration as well as a space where students are encouraged to make mistakes and learn from them. There is also a sense of togetherness among the students as we all want each other to do well."
How invested are faculty in student success?
"I experienced this just this past year. Two of my classmates and I were working on a coding project and needed a high score to get the desired grade for the class. The project itself was extremely challenging, and without the help of our professor, we would not have gotten over a large obstacle in our code. Although it was extremely late—on a Saturday—he continued to help us by looking over our code to provide feedback."
What are your career ambitions?
"My ambition is to become a nuclear engineer. Through the Materials Science Department at CWRU, I have been exposed to a great deal of applications for materials science in the world of engineering. Whether in a lab, or through conversations with professors, my path to my career has definitely become clearer."
How have your skills and talents have grown here?
"At Case Western Reserve, I have seen both my academic and my athletic skills grow immensely. One of the biggest realizations that I had at the end of my first year was that it was important for me to fully take control of my success. Through the help of my peers, coaches and professors, I have been able to find learning methods that suit me and ensure that I understand the information beyond just the exams."