Apr 03 2023

Embracing culture to empower creators around the world

By Meta Careers
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Arafat M., a machine learning engineer, doesn’t just adapt to new cultures, cities and countries — he embraces them with his whole heart.
Raised in Ghana, Arafat learned what it meant to go outside his comfort zone when he moved to the U.S. to attend Stanford University. “The food, the people, almost everything was different,” he remembers. “It was a huge culture shock compared to home, but I got used to it. Then I fell in love with it.”
After six years of living in the Bay Area in California, Arafat moved to New York City where his love for culture took center stage. “I’m really interested in fashion, music and lifestyle, and I love how New York brings all those things together,” he shares. “The city is always alive.”
This enthusiasm for trying new things and conquering the unknown has empowered Arafat to find a sense of belonging wherever he goes. Before joining Meta full time, he completed three internships while still in school. He describes balancing the “totally different culture” at Meta with the university setting he was used to.
“Imagine taking classes one moment and building something that billions of people use the next,” he shares. “It was intimidating at first, but the culture made me feel like I matter. I’m encouraged to contribute, make decisions and have a say in what happens.”
"Arafat standing outside smiling with a black and white jacket on"
Today, Arafat is a machine learning engineer on the Instagram Stories ranking team, which focuses on making sure people see the Stories they’ll find most interesting. He feels right at home in this role, as it aligns closely with a personal passion: being a content creator.
“I love making Reels, and some of mine have reached almost one million people, which is exciting,” he smiles. “I think the process of turning ideas into content is beautiful. It has taught me a lot about bringing inspiration into reality — a skill that I now apply in all the work I do at Meta.”
As a content creator and engineer, Arafat understands Instagram from a unique perspective. “I’m focused on building things that empower more creators, which I know about first hand,” he explains. Arafat enjoys being able to share his experience with his team, as he believes diversity of thought is essential for building inclusive products. “The kind of problems we’re solving impact so many people around the world. It’s not enough for a solution to work, it needs to work for everyone.”
Whether thinking about Ghana, New York City, Meta or digital communities, Arafat sees diversity as the future. “It’s important to me to be surrounded by people who are open minded,” he says. “Diversity is essential in fields like machine learning, and I’m excited to see more people like me, people of color, grow a community and culture that everyone can be a part of.”

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