Waqas Jawaid '10, alumnus

Architecture major Waqas Jawaid ’10, now enrolled in the Master of Architecture program at the Harvard Design School, found the enthusiasm of his professors remarkable and inspiring as an undergraduate. “The energy they exude when talking about subjects such as the art and science of the Eiffel Tower, or the vibrant history of the Bauhaus, is contagious,” Jawaid says. “Their support helped me to find my own inspiration and have faith in my own abilities.”

In the summer of 2009, Jawaid traveled to Europe as part of an architectural drawing project funded by the School of Architecture. “I followed the itinerary of 20th-century modernist architect Le Corbusier and visited six architectural masterpieces in six European cities,” he recalls. During the trip, he also completed a two-month internship at an architecture office in Paris.

Apart from his studies, Jawaid took advantage of many of the extracurricular opportunities at Princeton, including serving as an Orange Key tour guide and as an Executive Board member of the Student Volunteers Council, the largest student-led organization on campus. He also worked with the Student Design Agency, a student-run graphic design business on campus.

A resident of Forbes College, Jawaid found it to be a comfortable and welcoming home away from home. “The residential college forms an integral support system, especially early on,” he explains. “It is a smaller community within the larger University. The dining staff all knew us and greeted us by our names, and we often ate our meals with deans and faculty fellows.”

As a residential college adviser at Forbes, Jawaid helped organize community-building programs and study breaks, and constantly met new people and broadened his horizons. At Harvard, he serves a similar role as a proctor, or residential adviser, to college freshmen.

“At Princeton I met some of my best friends, took some of the most intellectually stimulating courses, and had some of the best ice cream,” Jawaid says. He found himself pushing his own boundaries and accomplishing more than he ever dreamed possible.

“I became more confident of my abilities but also more humble," he says. "Nowhere else do people who are so different from one another interact so much. Nowhere else do undergraduates feel so important. There was nowhere else I would rather have been.”