Student Spotlight: Interview with Gabriel Lima C’20

Gabriel Lima C’20

  • Major: Psychology
  • Minors: Neuroscience and Statistics
  • Career Communities: International Opportunities, Exploratory, Social Impact, and STEM
  • Identity/Affinity Communities: International Student, Limited Resources, Gender Sexuality, First-Generation
  • Clubs: Volleyball
  • Founder and Lead Organizer of TEDxDrewUniversity

What attracted you to Drew and did you know what you wanted to major in your first year?

I’m from Cotijuba, Brazil, which is a tiny island in the middle of the Amazon, so I was attracted to the proximity to NYC. I was also drawn by the generous financial aid, and the incredibly caring Admissions and INTO staff. I actually started my first semester at Drew as a Computer Science major, but then soon found that I wanted to work with something a bit harder and a lot more complicated than computers: people.

What is it about psychology that draws you to it?

Its broadness–psychology is a field that studies people’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors and their relationship with the world around them. Because of that, you can apply principles of psychology to virtually any other field that involves humans–from music to aviation to urban design.

Do you work on or off campus and have you done any internships?

I’ve had quite a few jobs on campus, including conference assistant, tour guide, marketing analyst, summer college mentor, and research assistant. I’m currently interning at NYU Langone Health conducting clinical research within the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Department at the NYC H+H/Bellevue Hospital. Last summer I was a Research Intern at Kindness.org, a global nonprofit based in London that has made their mission to educate and inspire people to choose kindness. Through that opportunity, I was able to work closely with high executives from The Economist, NIVEA and the NBA, and help to build and test the world’s first measurement index for kindness. Also, every winter break, I intern at an international youth hostel chain as part of their international staff team, in Montreal (2017), Prague (2018), and Madrid (2019).

Have you done any NYC, Short or Long TRECs?

I did the London Semester. Even though it wasn’t academically related to my main area of study, I loved the experience of studying abroad. I got to meet incredible people, visit wonderful places in Europe, and learn so much about London’s culture, art scene, architecture and wonderful public transportation network. That semester was surely one of the highlights of my time at Drew.

Have you had any mentors here at Drew?

Dr. Patrick Dolan and Dr. Christopher Medvecky  in the Psychology Dept were both crucial in helping me with my research plans while at Drew, where I was able to conduct my independent research project through Drew Summer Science Institute (DSSI.)  Also, Heather Robinson, Director of Campus Experience, Dr. Placet-Kouassi in the French Dept, and the amazing staff members at the INTO Office all had a huge impact on my personal and professional journey.

What are some of your favorite memories of Drew over the last 4 years?

My favorite part of being at Drew was being able to found and organize TEDxDrewUniversity, a club on campus committed to sharing ideas worth spreading on campus. We have just such an incredible team of people working on the event organization, and we put up a campus wide conference every Spring. (2018, 2019, 2020)

Also, because I am an avid traveler, another favorite memory was the opportunity to volunteer in New Orleans rebuilding houses affected by Hurricane Katrina, and volunteering at an orphanage in Mérida, Mexico.

Do you have any hobbies?

In my free time, I run half-marathons (I’m addicted to medals)! I have run two in NYC, one in Copenhagen, and one in Brussels.

What are your career goals and where do you hope to be in 5 years?

I hope to continue researching in the field of cognitive psychology, but I’m flexible.  For me, more important than the work you do, is the people you work with.

If you could give your first-year self some advice, what would it be?

College is much more than tests and exams, and you are worth much more than a transcript on a piece of paper.

Take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way, do what you love, and do the things you will remember 5 years from now.

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