Alumnae Spotlight – February 2017

February’s Alumnae Spotlight highlights what our Soror, Aysha Qamar, from Omicron Chapter’s Delta Line, has been up to! Read about her passion for writing and women empowerment!

What are you doing today and how did joining Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc. prepare you for this?

Today I have a multitude of tasks I need to get done. Each day, I do a variety of things. Not a single day for me is the same. I like to think of myself as a freelancer. After receiving my BA in Journalism-Media Studies and Political Science- I decided to continue my education and am currently pursing my Masters in Political Science with a concentration in International Law and Policy specifically in issues pertaining to Gender Equality and Sustainable Development. Alongside this I serve as a member in three different organizations. I am the Brand Outreach Editor for Brown Girl Magazine, the Campus Liaison for Thaakat Foundation and the Communications and Programs Coordinator for the Muslim American Women Policy Forum. The commonality of these positions lies in my passion for writing and women empowerment.
The biggest way Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc. has prepared me for where I am today is by teaching me time management. Learning time management has allowed me to not only be able to hold two but three to five positions at a time. Through my involvement me in Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc. I have also been able to continue to grow as a stronger woman and speak my mind more confidently. This is an important trait in my work because as a writer and organizer I am proud to say I am confident and bold enough to be unapologetically honest.

What were your biggest challenges and struggles?

Ignoring people and not letting their opinions get to you is probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced. Going into non-profit related work all you hear is discouragement. I constantly get asked if I’m looking forward to being “broke” and “poor” for the rest of my life. Alongside that, being a writer always brings criticism. I cannot stress how many times people have assumed my work is about them, how many times people analyze or try to guess what the underlying meaning of a poem is, or how many times I’ve been told my work is too political or too controversial. It’s been hard being able to do and write exactly what I want, but it is a learning process I am working through. I still struggle sometimes with second guessing whether or not I should make something public but in the end when I do I have no regrets. I’ll never apologize for saying how I feel.

What is your favorite part of your position/career/field?

I struggled with first calling myself a writer because I wrote for myself, but as I began to share my work I took pride in calling myself what I was.The biggest reward I got from doing so was having people reach out to me to say my words helped them feel or heal. Alongside this, in non-profit work nothing can describe the smile coming from a life you have impacted. Whether you are able to see this person’s happiness from up close or afar the feeling is so raw and beautiful it resides with you. I remember once coming home to an envelop covered in Pakistani stamps- I’ll never forget the letter inside, the thankful words and the heartache behind it.

What is your work/life balance?

My life revolves around my planner, google calendar and phone. I mainly work remotely which allows me to balance my work well, but time management and self deadlines are key. I try my best to balance my social, personal, school and work life together by making sure I utilize every aspect of the day. There are days where I procrastinate and lose sleep but ultimately as long as I can get my work done on time and am happy I feel balanced.

What do you perceive are the benefits of joining Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc.?

I think one of the benefits of joining Kappa Phi Gamma Sorority, Inc. is the relationships and support system you create. I have met so many incredible women I would have otherwise never had the opportunity to meet. I’ve built relationships not only in my chapter but across the country- even with some sisters I have yet to meet! No one person is alike which makes each relationship inspiring and unique. I am thankful to have the opportunity to build and grow with a network of people that is so widespread and diverse.

What advice do you have for women that are attempting to follow your career path?

Never give up and do not let the opinions of others get to you. The only regrets I’ve had is being disheartened and discouraged to do what I love because the fears others create. If you want something, don’t give up; progress may be slow, it may not be linear, but it will come. It doesn’t matter what someone else says about it being a struggle, about finding a more realistic career. Do what you love because in the end it is you who has to live with your decisions and yourself.

How do you measure your success?

Personally I measure my own success with how much I have achieved or accomplished from my personal goals. I admit – I am often hard on myself but I try to remind myself that success isn’t measured by how much money I make or what I own, but how happy I make myself and others.