The Shia Muslim Council held its first annual Professional Networking and Career Fair event on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at Yorba Linda Community Center. Over 45 professionals from various fields including health sciences, government and law, education, business and entrepreneurship, engineering and the arts attended to share their respective fields with prospects. The event attracted more than 200 participants, from high school and college students to those looking to make a mid-career move.
The attendees were treated with a keynote address from Salam Al-Marayati, President of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Salam present on how he got started in promoting and strengthening the American Muslim identity. His story was inspiring on how he started at the Islamic Center of Southern California (ICSC) and put Muslims in Los Angeles on the map with Reverend Jesse Jackson’s visit to ICSC during his 1988 campaign run for the US Presidency. Yorba Linda Mayor Gene Hernandez visited the event to welcome the Muslim community to Yorba Linda, the land of gracious living and spoke briefly about civic engagement.
Participants also choose to attend one of three workshops, which included Leadership & Entrepreneurship presented by Shabnam Dewji and Adil Karamaly; Interviewing and Creating an Elevator Pitch by Jamil Jaffer and MehdiReza Hirji; and Real Estate and Finance by Hasnain Khaku and Salman Vakil. Guidance Residential also attended to share with young professionals how to buy their first home interest free. The presentations were engaging and provided attendees with key take aways to put into practice immediately. Fatema, do you want to add a piece here about the other vendors?
The final part of the day of included networking, exchanging ideas and meeting new people. Students and Professionals alike found the event enriching by meeting so many Muslims. Sister Hina Asad, noted that she didn’t realize all the talent we had in the community as we rarely talk about our professions in the masjid. Resumes and business cards were exchanged throughout the afternoon as employers found candidates and networkers expanded their contact list.
The event was a huge success. SMC leadership had envisioned youth engagement at a different level by allowing the youth to chart their own course. Youth proposed, youth planned, and youth executed. Congratulations to the planning team Sumaiya Dewji, Fatema Kermalli, Irfan Kermalli, Murtaza Razavi, Sana Vakil, and Zahra Zaidi. Special thanks to the photography by Ayaz Kermalli.