Faces of UMSI: Imaan Munir

Imaan Munir is listening. She’s listening to the complaints of her friends and peers. She’s listening to her professors. She’s listening to her own intuition regarding the shortcomings of social media. And she’s using design to do something about what she hears.

Imaan got her first taste of design work as a high school senior in Northville, Michigan when she edited the school year book. “I remember falling in love with this role, being able to create this journey for students to open the first page all the way to the end where they could get signatures,” Imaan said. 

Imaan’s sister told her she should look into UX design, and Imaan decided she would attend the University of Michigan because she saw that, if she was accepted into UMSI, she would be able to major in UX. Though she previously imagined herself using her passion for reading and writing by becoming an English teacher, her new path excited her.

Imaan continued to hone her design skills and as a result landed an internship at Fabletics, an athleisure company, as a sophomore. She moved to Los Angeles for the summer. At Fabletics, Imaan worked closely with the UX team to create new designs for the mobile Fabletics site as UX Design Intern.

Once Imaan got to UMSI for her junior year, she joined student government, and now is the president of the School of Information Bachelor’s Association as a senior. “It has been an amazing opportunity to lead a team of seven different officers,” Imaan said. “One of the biggest initiatives we have been working on this year is community building.”

Prior to the UMSI career fair in her junior year, representatives from Amazon reached out to Imaan. They had seen her portfolio through the Career Development Office and were interested in hiring her as an intern for the summer. After a combination of Skype and on-campus interviews, Imaan was offered a UX Design Internship at Amazon. 

At Amazon, Imaan worked to create “One Amazon Experience” for users by creating universal experiences that could be adopted by specific Amazon programs. She saw this project from its discovery and design phases to usability testing. During her time at Amazon, Imaan was able to apply what she learned in SI 422. “There are a variety of different users who bring different perspectives to the drawing board and to the screen; we need to design for all of them,” Imaan said.

In addition to her classes and internships, Imaan pursues a slew of personal projects. “People really inspire me,” Imaan said. “I have this running list of ideas that come up in everyday life whether it’s an overheard complaint in an airport or friends talking, I’m constantly trying to brainstorm different solutions that create better tools that can better life.” “Places” is the personal project she’s most excited about seeing to development.

Places will be an application that enables travelers to find unexpected places to take photos. “One of my biggest passions is photography, so that’s where Places stemmed from,” Imaan said. “I wanted to create a one-stop shop where users could search for a city and be offered a variety of photo opportunities where they could experience a city like a local rather than a tourist.”

Though Imaan is balancing her school government position, personal projects, and preparing for life in a new city, she’s still excited about her classes. “I think my classes have aided me in my personal projects,” Imaan said.

During her time at UMSI, Imaan has taken advantage of the Career Development Office, often meeting with Mike Williams to discuss her goals. By working closely with the Career Development Office and through her hard work, Imaan landed a job at her dream company, Airbnb. After graduation, Imaan will move to San Francisco and room with a fellow UMSI alumnus who will also work in the city.

Imaan appreciates how technology has facilitated connections between strangers who otherwise would not meet, and believes that this type of connection is increasingly necessary in an increasingly tense world. “I think technology has the power to bring the world closer together and I’m beyond excited to create experiences that connect people,” Imaan said.