Resident Spotlight: Farah Otero-Amad (USA)
This March, we’re thrilled to kick off Women’s History Month at International House with a spotlight on Farah Otero-Amad, an I-House resident from California who is at the start of an exciting career in journalism. We asked Farah to talk about her goals and I-House experience.
Tell us about your work. What are you studying?
I graduated with a Master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University. Upon graduating, I wrote articles, shot videos, and produced short documentaries for NBC News. I’m currently working as an associate producer for “The Problem With Jon Stewart” on Apple TV+.
Where are you from, and what inspired you to apply to live at I-House?
I was born and raised in Berkeley, California. I grew up speaking Spanish and Arabic, as my mom is from the Middle East and my dad is from South America. My parents met at the International House at UC Berkeley and raved about the I-House experience. I have known I wanted to study journalism at Columbia since I was 14 years old. When I received my acceptance letter seven years later, there was no place else I’d rather live than at I-House.
What are your favorite things about living here?
My favorite part about living here is the people. I have a group of friends from around the world and we eat dinner together every night. The staff at International House is so warm and welcoming, from the chefs in the Dining Hall to the security guards that always greet you. Aside from the people that make I-House so great, I love that I can play soccer three days a week in the I-House gym and attend speaker events with the nation’s top leaders. My favorite event of all is Sunday Supper.
What’s next for you? What do you want to accomplish in your career?
My goal is to become a foreign correspondent. I am looking forward to reporting on international news to invoke long-lasting, tangible change for those who do not have a voice themselves.
Has being a part of this community helped you progress toward your goals?
I-House is really a second home. It has given me a community that is incredibly special. Personally, I have met some lifelong friends who come from India, Greece, Brazil, Spain, Germany, the UK, and across the US. I love that I can constantly meet new, intellectual people because I thrive off that energy. Professionally, I am a Media Tech and Digital Media Fellow for I-House. I edit videos and manage photos for the monthly events produced by the Programs Office. This has helped me in my career, as I use new cameras and manage tech/audio equipment which is useful in my field.
Do you have any advice for people who are considering whether they should apply to live at I-House?
Apply! It is a great opportunity to make friends from around the world to explore all that New York City has to offer together.
Thank you, Farah! We are so glad to have you as part of this community!