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Profiles in Leadership: Tajrean Kassam May 14, 2012

Posted by Crystal in Leadership.

Tajrean Kassam,  South Asian Alliance (Scarborough)

Tajrean got her feet wet in her first year, when she walked into a general meeting wanting to learn more about the South Asian Alliance and walked out as an executive member. The third year Political Science, Economics and Public Policy student has since taken part and organized many projects on UTSC campus. It all comes down to planning, organizing and – most importantly- taking the initiative to lead. Even when the going gets tough, Tajrean makes a list, takes a deep breath, and just keeps going.


What is your definition of leadership?

A leader is someone who leads in a positive manner without feeling superior towards others, someone who takes initiative and can manage a variety of different components successfully.

How did you get involved at U of T? Why?

I needed to spend my time on something besides studying, I walked into the Annual General Meeting of SAA without knowing anyone but walked out as a first year representative in the 3rd week of September.  It’s been a pleasure being part of this organization past three years. There are many things I wouldn’t have learned in my courses but was capable to do so through SAA.

What are your favourite campus events?

My favourite campus events would definitely be the Charity events SCSU & other Campus Clubs coordinate. We’ve had events such as Think Pink, Think Japan, Step Up for the Kids and our latest one, Arabian Night.

How do you maintain the balance of your club, school and other responsibilities, especially at busy times of the year?

I maintain the balance of my clubs, school and other responsibilities by having a ‘to do list’ and agenda. They allow me to stay organized on a daily basis and stay on task. By having a To Do list, I can check off the most important tasks first and work my way down the list. By having an agenda I’m always aware of all my due dates whether it’s for assignments, exams, tests or funding proposals, table bookings and meetings for my clubs.

What do you feel you’ve gained from taking a leadership role in your group?

I gained a lot by taking a leadership role in both SAA and JAAGO. I’ve gained the ability to multi-task and take initiative, delegate tasks, stay organized, manage time wisely and a lot of patience.

When you graduate, what do you think you will miss the most about university life?

After I graduate, what I think I might miss the most about university life is meeting my friends on a regular basis, having meetings with my executive members for both of my clubs and coordinating events.

Any advice for students who feel they want to get involved, but don’t know where to start?

Don’t know where to start? Just walk into an Annual General Meeting of your desired club with confidence and you may just walk out as an executive member like I did back in my first year. Students should also check their Campus Union’s website regularly as there are always numerous volunteer opportunities listed.

Do you have a favourite quote?

‘When you know better, you do better.’ – Maya Angelou

Interview by Redon Hoxhaj, 2011-2012 Communications Assistant, Office of Student Life


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