Dream Matcher brings new networking experience to graduate students


Tian Yang

Unlike other networking events, Dream Matcher aims to connect people with their dream helpers. Participants made connections with each other to see if they can help achieve each other’s dream. This event, hosted by graduate student Bahaaeddine Takieddine, is part of the graduate student appreciation week.

On Friday, April 7, Case Western Reserve University Graduate School Council hosted Dream Matcher as part of their Graduate Student Appreciation Week events. With light music and snacks, participants were asked to write down their dreams and choose one match.

 “I attended many networking events, but found [it] cold and frustrating that people usually think it’s all about business cards and jobs.” said graduate student Bahaaeddine Takieddine, one of the event organizers.

Takieddine was not able to attend “Dream Matcher” in Lebanon, where it was started, so he reached out to event founder Ali Chehade and worked with graduate student Chetanya Kalra to bring it to CWRU.

At the beginning of the event, participants were asked to write down their answers to questions like “where they want to visit,” “who they want to meet,” “what they want to learn” and “other dreams” on sticky notes. Then they were asked to stick the notes on the wall under different categories. The hosts invited three participants to share their stories of achieving dreams regardless of big or small to give participants a sense of having a dream and achieving it. At the end, participants were asked to take a look at all the dreams on the wall and sign their names on the dreams that they think they can help the dreamers with. After everyone got their “dreams” back, they found their matches through name tags.

“At the end of the event, we had many matches and most exchanged their contact information which showed their willingness to continue talking after this event,” said Bahaa.

“[My dream is to] travel around the world” said Prapan Shewinvanakitkul, who is a computer engineering doctoral candidate. “Any time I find a good deal—whether it is a cheap plane ticket or perfect timing—I will start my journey right away.”

Shewinvanakitkul explained how he intended to achieve his dream: “I want to go to Tibet, and to do so I need to learn Chinese.”

He found his match—someone who could teach him the language—through the event.

“The whole purpose was that in every day, we feel that there are people who we want to connect to but can’t,” said Takieddine. “We have dreams to follow and are scared to say them out loud. This event is just to create this impulse and movement in our thoughts, that it can happen.”
Takieddine hopes that connecting people with their dream matches can help participants move one step closer to their dreams.