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BComm Spotlight

Catch up with HR/marketing major Zahara Husain

February 14, 2024 — 


“I can be myself doing that.”

When Asper BComm student Zahara Husain chose her majors, she thought as much about her career goals as she did her personal ones. With aspirations to pursue the Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation after graduation, she is now completing a double major in human resource management and marketing.

What do you enjoy about your chosen majors?

ZH: “I’m an extrovert, and I love meeting new people—talking to them and getting to understand them. We all have our circles of friends or family, but to go out and meet someone new is so exciting for me. When I was researching majors, I read what an HR professional was, and I realized: I can be myself doing that.

“When I started at Asper, I took a marketing course with Dr. Kivalina Grove. She’s a lovely professor, and the way she taught helped me understand every concept, and I developed a real love of marketing after that course.

“Now I have the best of both worlds: I get to be creative with my marketing major and engage my extroverted personality with HR.”

Husain has her eye on career success, taking opportunities to expand her professional skillset and gain corporate experience since joining the Asper BComm out of the International College of Manitoba (ICM). She brings her outgoing personality to her role as a student ambassador at UM, welcoming new students and offering tours of the university.

Having recently joined the Asper co-op program, Husain is excited—and a little nervous—to dive into the job market.

What motivated you to apply for the co-op program, and how are you feeling about the job search?

ZH: “I enrolled in the co-op program because I heard about the support they offer. Maybe I could have applied for work externally, but they have been so helpful with my resume, cover letters, job strategies and interview prep. It’s been a great experience so far.

“I’m excited to gain experience in the corporate world, but the applications can be nerve wracking. So much relies on the resume and cover letter once you send those in. I feel ready to face these fears thanks to co-op, and I am excited about the interview phase, where my personality can really come out and I can engage with employers.”

Fortunately for Husain, beyond the support of the Asper Career Development Centre, she has a surefire technique for facing her fears. An avid horror movie fan, she describes how the company of loved ones makes it hard to feel afraid, and most movie nights at home are full of laughter.

She talks about how her friends and roommate keep her grounded when she faces doubt, and how close connections with her family inspire her.

Who are the people in your life that you look up to?

ZH: “My grandfather, may he rest in peace. I look up to him because he was a very well-respected lawyer back in India, and he always believed that learning has no age, and he embodied that himself. He has a master’s in many languages like Hindi and Sanskrit. I always found him with a book in his hands, forever learning something new.

“I also saw my mom and dad building their own business in Dubai and that was very inspiring. My brother, as well—he has a passion for accounting, and it has been amazing to watch him pursue something he is passionate about.”

Husain shares that, along with HR and marketing, she has a side passion for fragrances, describing her ideal scent as one that blends florals and fruit (“natural aromas, not artificial,” she clarifies) and oud, a warm and luxurious base note.

With close connections and a strong support network to anchor her and a diverse array of authentic learning opportunities to add complexity, excitement and fun, Husain’s Asper experience is not entirely unlike this recipe.

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