Student: Yakira Muhammad

Yakira Muhammad planned a career in medicine when she enrolled at East Carolina University, but a longtime interest in writing steered her in a new direction.

A double major in biology and communication, Muhammad is set to graduate in December.

Muhammad initially wanted to be a brain surgeon, inspired after reading pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson’s autobiography. She said it led her to ECU, because of the university’s excellent biology department and medical school. “However, I always had a passion for writing and television. My dream job was always to have my own talk show,” she said.

She added communication as a major her junior year. “I found out my real passion was talking, writing and being in front of a camera,” she said. “I plan to find a job in broadcasting after I graduate and then later use my biology degree.”

Yakira Muhammad, who is majoring in biology and communication, studies at Joyner Library

At ECU, Muhammad joined the National Society of Leadership and Success, which has fostered leadership skills and volunteerism. Her first outreach was tutoring elementary school children at a local church. “I cherish the times I volunteered, because I love children and teaching them was a fun experience,” she said.

The 22-year-old from Winston-Salem also worked as a marketing intern with ECU’s Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement (REDE), where she developed marketing strategies for Glean, a local food company that produces flours, powders and pet treats from fruits and vegetables.

“After that experience, the director for REDE knew my aspirations for TV broadcasting and offered me another internship interviewing current ECU research students,” Muhammad said. “This internship was an eye-opener, because I learned that students at ECU are making differences and impacts in all types of fields. I was happy to be a part of such an empowering project.”

The internship reinforced that communication should be her major, Muhammad said.

While she dreams of having her own talk show, Muhammad said she knows she will have to work her way up to that goal.

“I have always desired to be an inspiration to other young Black women to pursue their dreams, which would be a main goal of my talk show,” she said. “There are only a handful of talk shows with young adults as hosts.”

As a first step, she hopes to work as a TV news reporter after graduation.

What advice do you have for other students? Life’s too short to be doing something that isn’t your passion. Finding your passion will lead you to your purpose.

What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year? The professors at ECU are actually nice. Most of them have been very encouraging, especially in the communication department.

This Pirate wants to inspire other young Black women to pursue their dreams.



Name: Yakira Muhammad

College: College of Fine Arts and Communication, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Major: Communication and biology

Age: 22

Classification/Year: Senior

Hometown: Winston-Salem

Hobbies/interests: Writing, acting and shopping

Clubs and Organizations: Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, the National Society of Leadership and Success.


Favorite hangout: My sister’s house

Favorite place on campus: Canes

Favorite place to eat: Razzoo’s (in Charlotte)

Favorite class: Producing the News

Professor who influenced you the most: Dr. Mary Tucker-McLaughlin

Favorite TV show: “Insecure”

Favorite band/musician: Wale

Favorite movie: “B.A.P.S”

Favorite website: YouTube


Dream job: A talk show host or TV show writer

Role model: My mom and my older sister

Your words to live by: God is within her, she will not fall.” — Psalms 46:5