Let's talk: A Q&A with alumnus Hani Al-Dajane
UTM alumnus behind first Arab-Canadian symposium on campus
Currently pursuing a degree in law, Hani Al-Dajane is excited to make a positive impact in people's lives. We asked Hani to share his undergrad Management experience and why he continues to come back to UTM.
What is your favourite memory of being an undergrad?
Getting support from both the Department of Management and Student Housing and Residence Life to create an entrepreneurial conference called E-Venture ranks high. That was one of the highlights for me because it brought everything I loved about UTM together. It was a one-time event but it was cool to bring some of the things I loved about Management into residence life, and vice-versa.
Where did your interests lead you after you graduated?
I went on to do a Master of Industrial Relations and Human Resources at U of T, and I am currently completing my last year of law school at the University of Ottawa. I wanted to do something involving labour relations. That was an area I found myself gravitating towards since my last year of being an undergraduate. Working with people and advocating is something that I genuinely enjoy. I will be working at a labour and employment firm in Toronto after graduation.
Why labour and employment law?
It's an exciting field to be in and I enjoy this type of work. At the end of the day, everything revolves around people - the buildings, the jobs, the services - it all comes down to people actually providing them. You can create an environment where employees are encouraged to be more productive when their rights are protected and employers know how to manoeuvre within these rights. And that makes me feel good when I go to sleep at night.
What advice would you give your first-year self ?
Balance is key. Always try to find time to stay active, eat right, do the things you enjoy, and be around people that bring out the best in you. Your undergrad years are a time to find yourself, and you won't find that in a textbook.
What is Yalla! Let's Talk (YLT)?
YLT is an initiative that aims to enhance dialogue within the Arab community, and a platform where Arab-Canadians can share their stories. Our mission it to empower Arab millennials and address important topics that are often overlooked or stigmatized within the Arab community, topics such as the stigma associated with mental health, societal pressures, first-generation barriers, media representation, and the list goes on. The YLT team is made up of current UTM students, alumni, and young professionals. It really is amazing to see UTM students and alumni working side-by-side.
In partnership with the Canadian Arab Institute, our YLT launch event took place early May at UTM's Innovation Complex. It was filled with empowering conversations and speakers, and fantastic entertainment segments. More than 70 people came out!
What's next for you and YLT?
We will continue creating programs, videos and events that will provide avenues for people to share their experiences and lessons that otherwise go unheard.