Making a Positive Social Impact - Ibn I Rushd Ilyas MSCS '14

NPU Northwestern Polytechnic University Spotlight October 2018 Ibn I Rushd Ilyas

Growing up, NPU alumnus Rushd wanted to pursue several career paths. First, he wanted to become a jet fighter pilot; then, a financial analyst. He also thought of pursuing a degree in medicine, like his father. However, his passion for technology guided him to an engineering career. He explains, "the current era of technology, particularly smartphones, has changed the whole approach to our daily lives."


Rushd is also an outdoor enthusiast; he is presently gearing himself up for a team sprint triathlon. Challenging himself in both work and free time is something Rushd embraces daily. He also enjoys video games and checking out the latest reviews of technology trends.


Rushd's cousin, an NPU alumnus, inspired him to pursue his graduate degree at NPU. Rushd became an active member of the IEEE and Toastmasters academic clubs. During his time in IEEE, he and his fellow IEEE club members worked on designing a robotic car that was controlled through a smartphone. He recalls fondly, "The robotic car project was a true team effort and was both enjoyable and informative."


During his studies at NPU as well as at the beginning of his professional career, he experienced cultural and career challenges. He connected with Dr. Mariam Ghazvini, NPU’s Director of Career Services and Counselling, to discuss his educational and career goals.


He found comfort in knowing that he was not alone in his cultural struggles. He shares, "Dr. Ghazvini’s advice was very helpful, and she continues to be a very positive influence as I move forward with my career goals."


He proudly recounts his job in a startup venture called VersaMe. Rushd and his team developed a wearable device called Starling, which tracks the verbal and cognitive development of an infant, and monitors motion, background noise and outdoor exposure. He says, "It felt great that my engineering work has had a positive impact. Starling received positive reviews from customers!"


You only live once, so make sure that you live happy and purposeful life.


Currently, Rushd is working as a Firmware Engineer at Apple. He recalls, “My first job interview with Apple was unsuccessful, but I did not give up. I double-checked my LinkedIn profile and updated all of my achievements, and, as a result, an Apple recruiter reached out to me through LinkedIn.” As a Firmware Engineer, he works on Apple's audio products, such as airpods.


He proudly states, "Apple makes the world's best consumer products. They have high-caliber engineers and designers, and I am delighted to be part of their team."


He believes that a true leader is committed to guiding team members to perform their roles in the very best way possible. “Through guidance, encouragement, and regular feedback, leaders help their team successfully achieve an organization’s goals,” he explains.


Rushd shares, "In the future, I would love to implement an idea which has a positive social impact on coming generations. And at the end of the day, I see myself coming home to spend quality time with my wife and kids." With his drive and determination, he is indeed not far from reaching his dream.


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