Tell us about yourself.
My name is Sabeeh Masud and I am a Government Relations and Public Affairs Intern. I am currently completing my final term of my Bachelors degree at McMaster University, majoring in Honours Political Science with a minor in Justice, Law and Order. Off the clock, I run a non-profit charity that I founded, I am a self-proclaimed professional cook and I enjoy learning about the perplexities of the mind through modern psychology and political philosophy books.
I was raised playing competitive sports my whole life, so physical activity is like soul food for me. I enjoy working out regularly – going on 5km runs during my lunch breaks and competing in soccer and basketball leagues throughout the week. A fun fact about me is that I completed my interview for Interac at 3:00 am in Qatar while watching a World Cup game. Coincidentally, I received my offer letter after watching the quarterfinals!
What is some of the work you do on a day-to-day basis?
Every day brings new opportunities for learning and hands-on experiences at Interac. On a typical day, I monitor emerging developments in the financial ecosystem and the political arena, prepare written materials like briefs and summaries, participate in strategic meetings with our agencies and allocate time to learn more about how our business is growing.
One of the benefits of being a part of an integrated Marketing and Communications team is that my role oftentimes requires me to be flexible and provides me with the opportunity to contribute to various interdepartmental workstreams.
Do you have any advice for young professionals or other interns who are looking to enter the FinTech industry?
From my experience, part of being an intern is to be inquisitive, openly ask questions about ongoing projects and lend a helping hand to others whenever it is needed. The pace at which the FinTech industry is growing may be overwhelming at first, so finding a daily routine that works best for you is critical at the beginning of your tenure. Understanding the preconditions for your success will allow you to make better use of your time and help you take on new challenges at work.
I hold a firm belief that growth and comfort can coexist – so invest in yourself by ensuring that you are keeping an appropriate balance between your work and personal life!
How has Interac supported your growth early in your career?
Interac has inspired growth by giving me the opportunity to work alongside highly qualified and seasoned industry professionals. Establishing myself in the FinTech industry is extremely rewarding as it has allowed me to leverage my existing skill set in a fulfilling work environment. I was especially grateful for the opportunity to work on innovative projects and enhance my expertise by participating in numerous industry events. These experiences helped me refine my aptitudes and develop a strong sense of direction for my future career.
How do you embrace your faith both at Interac and outside of the workplace?
I am proud to be Muslim, and I am grateful that my workplace fosters an inclusive and diverse culture that allows me to practice my faith openly and honestly. At work, my Muslim colleagues and I are encouraged to use Interac’s wellness room to complete our daily prayers, a space where we can exercise the obligations of our faith and rekindle our spirituality throughout the day. During Ramadan, all my colleagues have been extremely compassionate by helping me gauge my tasks and permitting me to take short breaks throughout the day.
Outside of the workplace, I lead a non-profit organization called Ramadan Raffle Group that facilitates interactive charity events for both Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Charity is a core pillar of the Islamic faith, and I am delighted that my colleagues at Interac share the same beliefs about giving back to the community and appreciate the work that my group does.
Why is fostering a workplace culture of inclusion and diversity so important?
Diversifying your workforce brings positive sentiment to the overall culture whilst enabling your business to take on new perspectives. If your workplace is open to onboarding people from all different walks of life, it can contribute significantly to a healthy working environment and provide a morale boost for ethnic employees and religious minorities. At the end of the day, it is the individual experiences that really shape the success of a company.