Meet Sheraz Iqbal, the new co-chair for the Career Development committee at the Asian Network at Yale (ANY)!
By Annie Lin
What do you do at Yale?
As the Assistant Director of the Asian American Cultural Center, my responsibility is to help with the development and execution of programming for the Center. In addition, I provide student leadership development and advising for our Center Staff and nearly 50 affiliated student organizations, provide resource development and outreach for collaborative partners, handle most of the Center’s administrative operations including budget and office oversight, and have a few special projects throughout the year.
What drew you to a career in student affairs?
I knew I always wanted to work with students and hoping I would become a teacher/professor because of my high school teachers who served as role models and mentors to me. I kind of fell into the career of Student Affairs because of my extracurricular involvement during my undergrad and realized I can go into this career and still work with students.
As someone who has spent time in different types of college environments, including small private colleges and a state university with over 50,000 students, how do you navigate Yale’s many resources?
Building relationships has been easier to do at smaller universities. This helps to create collaborative programming with various departments which overall helps to navigate Yale’s many resources.
How are you helping students make full use of the rich Yale resources, for career development, community, and/or personal wellness?
As a first-generation college student, I realized how important staff and faculty were to me and made sure to use them as best as I could for a resource. I want to make sure students know I can be of help to them, or at least minimally refer them to the best resource I know to get the information they are seeking.
This year I helped launch a new initiative at the AACC called the Career Closet. This program, which we are partnering with the First-Generation Low-Income Initiative, provides students the opportunity to have weekly rentals of professional attire for interviews and professional events free of charge. My hopes for this program is to minimize the stress of having to purchase professional clothes for events that happen a few times a year for first-generation, low-income students.
In addition to working at the AACC, I am involved with two of Yale’s affinity groups, Future Leaders of Yale (FLY) and Asian Network at Yale (ANY). These two groups helped me to better settle in at Yale and have provided many opportunities for me to be more involved at the university as I know serve on the steering committee for both groups.
I am also involved outside of Yale with the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) which is a national association for higher education/student affairs practitioners. It is through that organization I get to enhance my personal and professional development serving on the Lead Team for one of its committees, the Asian Pacific American Network (APAN).
What is your comfort food?