Meet Jasim Zoobi, a fourth-year Bachelor of Commerce Co-op student majoring in Marketing. Originally from Ghana, Kenya, and Lebanon, Jasim chose Dalhousie University to pursue his undergraduate degree. “To be able to complete a Commerce degree in four years with a year’s worth of work experience under my belt was an opportunity I simply could not pass up.”
As an international student, Jasim’s first exposure to the Canadian workforce was his first co-op as a Marketing Assistant at the Canada Games Centre. He used this opportunity to assess himself in a professional setting in a new country. His second co-op was at Dalhousie’s Management Career Services office as a Digital Marketing Assistant. In this position, he worked on several large marketing projects including promoting employer events and integrating Dalhousie’s new brand and design language into MCS’ marketing materials. He spent his final co-op this past summer at Job Junction/People Plus Consulting Ltd. as a Marketing and Communications Specialist and Workshop Facilitator. Jasim was able to take on many responsibilities with eight months of previous experience behind him, including marketing the company’s services, designing printouts for advertising spaces, managing the company’s social media platforms, and facilitating workshops.
“There are many skills I’ve learned during my co-ops, such as confidence. The organizations I’ve worked with placed trust in me and my ability. Knowing this gave me the confidence to trust in the work I deliver while knowing when to ask for assistance,” says Jasim. “Another skill I’ve built is process implementation. During my co-ops, I learned new techniques, design languages, calls-to-action, and more. I learned to suggest ways to implement these new things, and given the go-ahead, implement them into company processes.”
Throughout his time in the Commerce Co-op program so far, Jasim has attended many networking events and believes that it is one of the most important skills you can acquire as a business student and soon-to-be professional. “The networking opportunities I’ve attended have been invaluable to me. I was still quite new to networking when I attended Rowe Networking Night last year, so I was learning from conversations I was a part of, taking notes, and talking with as many people as I could to get out of my comfort zone.”
His networking opportunities even took him outside of Nova Scotia for MCS’ Toronto Corporate Tour this past winter. “Toronto Corporate Tour, I would say, was my best and most valuable networking experience. I formed so many new connections in a new city, learned of so many opportunities, received feedback from leaders in their field, and learned about the industry I aim to work in from people currently working there.”
For his student peers who are new to networking, Jasim has this advice to offer: “You are going to be nervous. You might not know what questions to ask. I sure didn’t at first, but you never really learn anything without stepping out of your comfort zone. One piece of advice that helped me was to think of networking as simply a conversation. It’s not an interview. Come with your personality, your smile, and your eagerness to learn about the person you’re talking to, the role they’re in, and the industry they’re part of. If you do that, you’ll walk out of every networking event in a better position than you walked in.”
Jasim also shares that networking has impacted his approach to job searching. “Networking made me realize that there’s much more to a job search than just reading job descriptions and looking at companies,” he says. “Dive into LinkedIn, search who works there, connect with people you have commonalities with, and have coffee chats with those who can. This will help you learn more about the job, the expectations, the culture, and other nuances to working there on top of what a job description can provide.”