At our interview desk, we have today our Employability Manager at Social Hackers Academy. Zainab is a beautiful person & dedicated professional, helping our students with their soft skills and their employability development. To get to know her better, we decided to invite her to our interview and see what motivates her, what her goals are, and her understanding in general related to her career.
SHA: Hello Zainab, we would like you to explain a little about your professional career until you end up coming to SHA?
Zainab: Hello, and thank you for having me for this interview! My professional journey began in 2012, and since then, I’ve had the opportunity to gain diverse experience in various fields, including marketing, sales, shop management, and a rewarding four-year tenure as a Human Resources Manager.
In 2020, I embarked on a new journey as an Admission Lead at a coding school in Jordan, where I enhanced my skills to match with the development field. And now, I’m here at SHA for almost one year and a half as an employability manager.
SHA: Tell us more about yourself. Where do you come from? How was your educational journey through the years?
Zainab: Sure! I am Syrian, but I had to move to Jordan 11 years ago due to the war in my country.
My educational journey has been challenging! Back in Syria, before completing high school, I had big dreams of pursuing a university education and achieving my goals. However, the war disrupted everything, forcing us to leave our homes and country.
Upon settling in Jordan, life was expensive, and I had to support my family. So, I found a job for 12 hours per day in a shop, which made it impossible for me to join the university for two years. But, after that, thankfully, I was fortunate to receive a scholarship that allowed me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
I was immensely grateful for this opportunity, and I devoted all my efforts to succeed.
Despite the long working hours, the family responsibilities, and the study duties, I excelled academically, consistently ranking first in my class throughout my university years.
But I didn’t stop there. I made a promise to myself to keep going, and I fulfilled it by completing my master’s degree in business administration.
SHA: As a young woman, what are your aspirations towards your future?
Zainab: In difficult situations and facing numerous challenges, one’s willpower grows, and ambition becomes a constant driving force. During the toughest times, particularly when I couldn’t continue my studies and faced refugee challenges, I made a promise to myself to support others in completing their education. It’s a commitment I’m currently fulfilling, and it’s what I aspire to do in the future.
I am passionate about being part of a community that contributes to achieving sustainable development goals, providing assistance to those in need and making a positive impact on education and people’s lives.
SHA: As an employability manager, what do you think someone who is applying for a job must have in order to pass an interview that you are conducting?
Zainab: Passion is the key, believe me. When you are genuinely passionate about something and possess determination and ambition, you can achieve your desired goals. The same principle applies to interviews. It’s crucial to effectively communicate your skills, demonstrate your enthusiasm for joining, and showcase your soft skills.
We at SHA take pride in assisting students in honing these essential interview skills. Our mission is to help students unleash their potential, enabling them to express their passion and capabilities confidently, ultimately empowering them to succeed.
SHA: How do you feel being a part of the Social Hackers Academy mission?
Zainab: It’s truly an incredible experience, and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this amazing community. As I mentioned earlier, one of my primary professional goals in life is to assist individuals in completing their education. At SHA, I have the opportunity to go beyond just education and also help individuals enhance their skills and embark on their career journeys. Nothing motivates me more than the alignment with this mission. Being a part of it has become an integral part of who I am.
SHA: How do you keep up learning and developing professionally?
Zainab: I am committed to continuous self-development and skill enhancement. I’m trying to achieve that in many ways, such as, by reading books, articles, and research papers related to my field, which allows me to stay up-to-date and deepen my knowledge. Also, by networking! and having meaningful conversations with individuals who possess a great mindset. These interactions serve as valuable learning opportunities for me.
Moreover, my interactions with students and colleagues further contribute to my growth. I strive to learn something special from each person, allowing me to continually develop my skills and broaden my perspective. In addition to attending conferences and events and taking courses that can help me with my professional development. Last but not least, seeking feedback from colleagues, mentors, or supervisors can help me identify areas for improvement, expand my knowledge about my strengths, and work on my weaknesses.
SHA: What is Leadership for you?
Zainab: There are many definitions of leadership, but for me, it’s about influence and inspiration! This means empowering individuals to discover their full potential, helping them develop their skills, aligning them with a common mission, and inspiring them to believe in themselves and seek the leader’s support when needed.
SHA: How do you manage your work-life balance?
Zainab: It has been quite challenging, especially working remotely, but I’ve found effective strategies to overcome it. I designated a dedicated workspace in my room, which has significantly improved my focus and productivity. Additionally, I learned to manage my time efficiently by setting clear daily goals and priorities. This way, I can stay organized and ensure that I accomplish what I need each day without feeling overwhelmed. By creating this structure, I strike a balance between work and personal life, giving myself the opportunity to unwind and enjoy other aspects of my day outside of work.
SHA: How do you prioritise and manage your workload as an Employability Manager?
Zainab: Managing multiple tasks can be overwhelming, but I’m fortunate to have a supportive team that enables me to concentrate on essential matters. By effectively delegating tasks to capable team members, I can prioritize and focus on critical responsibilities. This collaborative approach ensures that all aspects of the work are efficiently handled, and it also fosters a sense of teamwork and synergy within the group.
SHA: What have you learned about yourself while keeping communication with SHA
Zainab: Communication with others, especially in a diverse environment, is truly incredible. I find great joy in engaging in deep conversations with students. These interactions helped me discover my personal values. Additionally, they aid in identifying my strengths and weaknesses. SHA students may provide feedback or insights that help me better understand these aspects of myself.
Furthermore, an important aspect of these interactions is developing empathy. Communicating with SHA students helps me cultivate empathy and compassion for others. By hearing about their experiences and perspectives, I gain a greater appreciation for their challenges and struggles, as well as a deeper understanding of their needs and goals.
SHA: What excites you most and fills your energy batteries?
Zainab: In my personal life, I find excitement in many things. Like achieving my goals, helping others, and discovering new things. However, in my professional life at SHA, nothing fills me with more excitement than witnessing my students secure a job. Every time I receive such news, my adrenaline surges, and it fuels my determination to work even harder to achieve more remarkable outcomes.
SHA: As humans, we have our values. Which is yours?
Zainab: Honesty, Compassion, Determination.
SHA: How do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Zainab: It’s a difficult question. I hope that I can learn more about myself, develop my skills more, and maybe have a company to help people to achieve their educational goals.
SHA: What is success for you? Is success something that can be achieved through teamwork or individualism?
Zainab: Success is the deep satisfaction you feel about your achievements. However, it’s essential to recognize that significant accomplishments often stem from the support and collaboration of others. Teamwork plays a pivotal role in achieving greater heights and making remarkable strides toward success.
SHA: Since we are a coding school, if you only had three words for motivation to share with those who want to start a coding journey or change careers, what would they be?
Zainab: Start, Code, Succeed.
SHA: What’s your favourite quote that you always come back to?
Zainab: There is a quote in the Arabic language that I love very much, which means “You will achieve what you desire as much as you strive”