Connector Program – Connectee Q&A with Hatem Zubaidi

Connector June 22, 2021

Hatem Zubaidi has lived in some of the largest cities in the world including Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Melbourne in Australia, but he decided to call Kelowna home after graduating from UBCO with a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology. That degree added to his Biomedical Science Degree from Monash University in Australia. Persistent on pursuing a career in Healthcare sales, his recent job change brings him one step closer.

Q: You recently resigned from being an Account Executive with Now Media to become a BC sales rep for a global company specialized in providing food for institutions like long term care facilities and healthcare services. How did the Connector Program help you?

Prior to the program, I knew that there were sales jobs in the Okanagan, but my vision of what sales included was quite limited. I was able to connect with people who broadened my horizon as to what jobs existed and the different kind of opportunities in the market.

I also received support on navigating through positions of interest. The program helped me in articulating my story and learning how to present myself well on paper and in virtual meetings. It was good practice for my job interviews.

The connections I met were supportive, an encouraging thing when you are starting a newIMG_2157.jpg career. Everyone was authentic and wanted to learn more about who I am and how they could help. Even when there were limits to what they could do, they referred me to others. It is like being part of a team where you’re taken care of. I was able to connect with passionate individuals who inspired me to pursue what I believe in and gave me the mentorship I needed.

Q: You’ve said your work experience has been a bit of a journey?

Since last year, I have been invited to dozens of interviews. Going though rejections is a challenge and you cannot take it personally. My journey has taught me a lot about perseverance and determination. Recruiters are dealing with hundreds of applicants for multiple roles so you need to always keep working on your story to be able to stand out.

The path to your career goal is not a straight path by any means.

Q: Great advice about going for it. Any other tips?

Learn about the hiring manager and your future colleagues before you connect. If you can, reach out to them saying that you applied and want to introduce yourself and learn more about them. In many circumstances the practice is welcomed by hiring managers. Your pitch should also fit your industry of interest. One size does not fit all when it comes to your resume. Know who your audience is and deliver to their expectations.

The week oSocial_media_web.pngr two after an interview, nurture your relationship with the hiring manager, or the team members you might be working with in the future. That could be through LinkedIn, or other social media platforms. Learn about them and about the company and think about what you can share that would be of a great value to the team in the future.

That is so true. It’s important to stay positive as well.

Sometimes when you apply for a job, and you see the same job being posted again just a couple of weeks later, you start to wonder was I rejected? Should I apply again?

If you value effective communication, you can always check in with the company to find the hiring manager and reach out to them to see why you were not a fit.  Generally, the team will be happy that you connected and followed up. It is like this phrase I’ve heard before, if you sit long enough in front of a barber shop, eventually you will get a haircut.

Q: For fun, I’m going to hypothetically give you $500 to spend in a day. What would you do, without Covid, of course?

I would head to Big White for starters. I am learning how to ski now and finding a lot of joy in the activity. The first time didn’t go well and neither did the second time, but practice makes perfect. I also like to go snowshoeing when I have an opportunity. On my way back to town, I might stop by a winery if it is a sunny day and enjoy some wine tasting with my friends. That evening, I would love to experience a fancy dinner by one of our local restaurants downtown.

Interview by Myrna Stark Leader

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