Graduating Senior Spotlight: Q&A with Muna Mohamed

Muna Mohamed smiles at the camera wearing a patterned hijab with a yellow background

Hometown: San Diego, CA 

Major: Strategic Communication

Activities you are involved in: Golden Magazine, National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC), Multicultural Advertising Intern Program (MAIP), Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and Twin Cities PR BIPOC Career Explorer 

What is your favorite college memory?

One of my favorite college memories is the day I was inducted into the Tau Sigma Honor Society. This was a very exciting time for me, because I got to celebrate with my family and friends in addition to receiving recognition for my academic accomplishments. It was even more memorable seeing their proud and encouraging smiles in the crowd. It served as a motivation to keep pursuing greatness in all aspects of my life. It was a reminder of the effort and commitment it took to earn my fellowship in the honor society.

What is your favorite class that you took in CLA? Is there a professor that you particularly enjoyed working with? How did they prepare you for the next phase of your life?

Out of all the classes I've taken, COMM 3422 - Interviewing and Communications with Professor Diane Odash stands out as my favorite. I enjoyed her so much I enrolled in two of her classes, including a summer public speaking course. Professor Odash was an excellent motivator who gave me confidence and advice on how to prepare for interviews. I truly enjoyed learning from her. 

I also had the opportunity to take lectures with Professor Mark Jenson, including JOUR 3253 - Account Planning and JOUR 3241W - Advertising Strategy and Creative Development. I made enormous personal progress thanks to Professor Jenson, who encouraged me to gain an appreciation for the artistic elements of advertising. His passion for the area was inspiring, and his advice and knowledge equipped me with the skills I needed to be successful in the industry. I am very grateful for the chance to have learned from him.

What have you learned about yourself during your time in CLA?

I've learned a lot about myself and my capabilities during my time in CLA—I can say that with confidence. Education has the ability to unleash one's potential and foster personal development, which is among the most important lessons I have ever learned. 

I found new passions and interests that I had no idea I had, thanks to my professors' guidance and the knowledge I learned both inside and outside the classroom. I also discovered how to totally immerse yourself in every event and to be present in the current moment, understanding that even if something doesn't work out, it's all just a part of the journey. Finally, I learned to have confidence in my skills and abilities and to constantly work on my personal as well as academic growth during my time in school.

If you could go back and give your first-year self one piece of advice, what would it be?

If I could go back in time and give myself advice for the first year, I would encourage myself to keep moving forward in spite of my fears. It's normal to feel anxious when faced with new challenges or unfamiliar situations, but letting fear control your behavior can prevent you from realizing your full potential. Instead, you should face your fears and work through them, even if it involves going outside of your comfort zone. You'll find unique opportunities and valuable lessons that will help in your growth and success if you do this.

If you had the world's attention for 30 seconds, what would you say?

Small acts of kindness, such as holding a door open or sharing a smile, can greatly improve someone's day, especially if they are dealing with difficulties that we may not be aware of.

What's next for you? What are your post-graduation plans?

My post-graduation plans are still up in the air as graduation day draws closer. What I do know is that I am looking for a job that will allow me to positively impact the world while also having a meaningful impact on someone's life. 

I'm passionate about advertising, so I'm particularly interested in being a role model for others who want to pursue a career in the industry, and to help bring greater diversity to the table. As a Muslim Black American woman, I frequently notice a lack of representation in advertising when it comes to people with an identity similar to mine, especially wearing a hijab. It's important to me to challenge misconceptions and stereotypes and build a more diverse and inclusive industry.


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