In case no one told you this yet, you don’t have to wait until you graduate to start your career. Nuha Siddiqui, University of Toronto – St. George Campus alumna, got a job at Alterna Savings while she was still a student. She worked there part-time as a Member Service Representative, and built up valuable work experience while she was still in her undergrad. We connected with Nuha to learn more about her role at Alterna Savings, and how her Enactus involvement landed her the job.

Enactus Canada: What do you enjoy most about your position at Alterna Savings?

Nuha: My favourite part about working for Alterna is the people, and the overall values that I’m part of building for the company. I’m able to meet a new face every day, and have learned so many valuable skills about client relationships. I am great friends with my coworkers and I continue to respect and admire them everyday! I also love working for a company that I can confidently say is making the world a better place. With a company like Alterna that is dedicated to giving back to the community, it’s hard not to be in love with your job!

Enactus Canada: What makes working at Alterna Savings different than working at any other organization?

Nuha: Alterna Savings is a financial institution that provides members with all the services that any other bank does, but they focus on community and are member owned. As a credit union, part of the profits go directly into many local community initiatives. They also offer niche programs to serve the under-served  such as microloans for new entrepreneurs and financial literacy workshops for women. Given that their core values and goals align closely with those of Enactus, working at Alterna really feels like home! I have never met so many accommodating and welcoming managers, who really give you the flexibility you need as a student. They are very understanding of my Enactus and academic responsibilities, and give me the flexibility to maintain all of my external commitments. In fact, they are so supportive of my Enactus UofT team, that my branch has become a sponsor of our team, and has allowed me to be a part of developing an outreach program designed specifically for Enactus students.

Enactus Canada: How did your participation in Enactus help prepare you for the requirements of this role?

Nuha: Being involved in Enactus, is what really landed me this job. It has not just contributed to helping me secure the job, but it has also equipped me with the skills needed to maintain the job. Leading up to being offered a position, Enactus is what set me apart from other candidates. My Enactus experience has directly contributed to the development of my time management skills, and ability to adapt and collaborate with new individuals. It has also given me the confidence to put myself in any situation and effectively problem solve under pressure, which is something you can’t learn in a classroom.

Enactus Canada: Do you have any advice for current Enactus students looking to start their careers?

Nuha: During the first three years of my undergrad, my involvement in activities outside of the classroom has been completely different from my degree in accounting. I personally feel like that has made me a more well-rounded individual, and has equipped me with a larger set of skills that I would never have developed if I narrowed down my options. I strongly encourage all Enactus students to go outside of your comfort zone and experience different roles, and different opportunities. When it comes down to it, it’s important to be passionate about the organization that you work for – regardless of the industry. Start by finding companies you truly feel connected to, and go from there!