You Can B Different — Arafat Rasheed (‘22)
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
“You Can be Different” — Arafat Rasheed (‘22, Major in Management)
Arafat was born in the United States but emigrated with his family to Islamabad, Pakistan shortly after, where he had been living until he came to Bentley. It was in high school where he nurtured his passion for leadership, his commitment to helping others, and his pledge to commit to himself — echoed through his mantra: be true to yourself.
“If you are passionate and loyal to what you are doing, you will experience some sort of happiness and success.”
Having spent the entirety of his formative years in a country with a different primary language and a culture that has little in common with contemporary American culture, uprooting and traveling 7,000 miles to attend Bentley is no small feat — especially with his first time on campus being orientation. As Arafat explains, “College tours are a concept that doesn’t exist for some international students.” After arriving at Bentley, he realized the influential role tours play in the decision prospective students make about attending college. He joined the Ambassador program to be a part of this important process for incoming freshmen and to show them Bentley on a more personal level — a level where they can find who they are and pursue their unique passions.
In addition to being a tour guide, he also serves as an orientation leader for similar reasons. With his first introduction to campus being his orientation, he knows the role it plays in transitioning to and becoming acclimated to college. Arafat greatly values the bonds he has built with his “Baby Falcs,” or freshmen whom he has guided through the orientation process and continues to develop the relationships he has with them. It is at this point that he preaches his personal beliefs, calling on those in his orientation group to “accept their differences” and “be true to themselves.”
“Keep going, things will change around you, don’t stop and dwell too much on what’s going on in the present.”
Much of his involvement on campus stems from his veritable passion for fostering mentor and mentee relationships. As a member of Delta Sigma Pi (DSP), one of Bentley’s business fraternities, and Alpha Psi Omega (APO), Bentley’s chapter of the National Theatre Honor Society, he has established meaningful and long-lasting “big/little” relationships. A “big” is an existing member who takes on a mentor role for the “little” or mentee who is a new member. Joining APO was a creative outlet for him, as he has a great interest in film and the arts, and he did not want to be confined to just business during his time at Bentley.
Arafat is most notably the current president of the South Asian Students Society (SASA) which he initially joined as an outlet to surround himself with those of similar South Asian heritage. While South Asian students do represent a small population of Bentley, Arafat believes that these ethnic differences can be highlighted through events such as SASA’s Diwali celebration, a South Asian festival of lights — which he had the privilege to plan last year, as he was the events coordinator at the time. He elaborated on last year’s Diwali celebration at Bentley calling it his “proudest” moment in the club thus far. He added, “it was a great way to be true to your culture while having all the people who weren’t South Asian enjoy it as well.”
“Don’t always think just with your heart or just with your mind, you must find a balance to succeed.”
At a time in most people’s lives when they conform to societal trends and do whatever they can to fit in — Arafat proudly does the opposite, embracing his differences and staying true to what he believes in. Being different is innate to our nature and integral to the diverse community that is constantly evolving at Bentley. Staying true to his heritage and his passions outside of business have been essential in striking a successful balance for him. His commitment to staying true to himself and to promote his message is what has landed him in numerous leadership roles in the organizations that he continues to excel in.