Quetta is a small city in the heart of Balochistan, the largest province in Pakistan. It is also the city I come from. Once known for its tall mountains and rich history, the city is now plagued by sectarian violence perpetuated by terrorist groups, religious and other. As the security situation worsened in the city, people decided to find safer places to live. I, among thousands of other students, applied for study abroad programs in the hopes of a safer place to further our education. In 2008, I received the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Scholarship, which brought me to the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawai’i, where I lived with a host family for one school year. With a new life in Hawai’i, I was also exposed to a multitude of cultures.
Living with an entirely new family gave me the opportunity to not only learn about their culture and history, but also allowed me to examine myself and my own culture. The state of Hawai’i is a great example of a melting pot of people with different backgrounds living together in harmony, a state of being unknown to many Pakistanis, myself included.
After graduating high school in Hawai’i, I moved to New York where I currently attend Manhattanville College. Among the various reasons for choosing Manhattanville was its mission statement: “To educate students to be ethical and socially-responsible leaders in a global community.” The college curriculum is designed to encourage students in all areas of life including their fields of study. It was through the college’s Career Development department that I learned about the position at the CBS Corporation where I currently intern. The internship has allowed me to learn about various aspects of the Entertainment Business. As a student of Communications, it is a wonderful opportunity for me to learn about the evolving field Public Relations in one of the biggest corporations in the United States. It is also a corporation that encourages diversity both in front of and behind the camera. During my internship, I worked closely with a few of members of the diversity council in developing the annual CBS Diversity Newsletter. Throughout the process I learned about the company’s efforts to support diversity both within and outside the company. It gives me a huge pleasure to be a part of a company where diversity, according to CBS President and CEO, Leslie Moonves, is a “vital, evolving process.”
Marshall McLuhan said, “We do not know who discovered water, but we do know it wasn’t the fish.” We are usually the last ones to discover or assumptions of reality around us. Therefore, it is necessary for us to take a step back and look into our world from the outside. Coming to the United States, meeting diverse group of people and working in places like CBS has challenged me to look at my own culture, where I hope to be a part of the change that not only respects people of different backgrounds, but also encourages them to live in harmony.