At the time of this interview, Shafat worked as Program Coordinator at Ashoka's Youth Ventures.
I actually did not graduate with a degree in Economics, I graduated with a major in South Asian Cultures and Languages, and a minor in Entrepreneurship. However, my UVA education is mostly shaped through the Economics courses that I have taken, which has in turn shaped how I think about the world. In particular, Professor Lee Coppock's Public Choice class was my favorite, because it gave me the know-how of applying Economic theories to other markets such as Politics, For-Profit, etc.
My career path:
My goal coming out of college was to be a changemaker and work on projects which enables positive change in the world. I have worked at various startups every single summer in between my college years, as well as worked on my own social enterprise for 2 years which ultimately gave me the experience I needed to perform at my current role at one of the top non-profit organizations in the world, Ashoka. I work on our Youth Venture team which is focused on building a movement to make sure that every child in the world has the same opportunities to succeed regardless of how, or where you were born.
A typical day in the life?
I currently live in Washington, DC and have absolutely loved my time here so far. I wake up to a cup of coffee everyday, and absorb the beginning of the day. I then take the metro to our office in Rosslyn, VA and listen to an NPR podcast called How I Built This which is about the stories of innovators and entrepreneurs. After work, I like to come home and start cooking, which is my time to destress from the long day. Usually I play soccer right after work as well, which is not only my favorite sport, but a great way to meet people in the city. Overall the main purpose of a typical day is to learn at least one more thing.
What I look for in coworkers and teammates:
Passion for their beliefs, Empathy and Self-awareness.
Advice for current students
Being from a country such as Bangladesh which is miles away, and more importantly, having to leave friends and family was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make. However, I found my own family in Charlottesville, and am proud to call it one of my homes. Be adventurous, and seek discomfort so that you can grow as a student, and as a person. Whoever said, college is going to be the best 4 years of your life, was lying. It definitely will be 4 of the most memorable years, but make sure that you're striving everyday to have better years tomorrow as well.