As a way to promote the incredible work our Host Organizations are doing and to spread the word of the substantial impact Atlas Corps Fellows has on their teams, we are sharing a short feature on Worldreader and their experience with Atlas Corps, and our Fellow, Ejaz Hussain (Pakistan, Class 35).

Host Organization: Worldreader

Worldreader works supporting education and readers across the globe in 47 countries and in 52 languages. They have a multilayered approach in supplying books, technology, and programs to children and societies in need.

Fellow: Ejaz Hussain (Class 35, Pakistan)

At Atlas Corps, we have a tradition of stating our “Five Facts” when introducing ourselves to new people. What are your five facts?

Name: Ejaz Hussain

Hometown: Chitral, Pakistan

Role at Organization: Impact and Evaluation Fellow

Social Issue/Interest Area: Economic Development and Women Empowerment

Fun fact: It took me 21 years to reach the United States

What is your role at your Host Organization?

I am serving as an impact and evaluation fellow, assisting the I&E department in building and streamlining measurement and evaluation processes. I am developing M&E tools, developing and managing the high-level metrics dashboards, conducting data analysis, writing donor reports and ensuring proper maintenance of data storage systems.

How has your experience with your Host Organization impacted your perspective? What has the organization taught you?

My host organization is a fast-growing literacy organization which combines books with the latest technology to promote reading around the globe. Working in the headquarters of Worldreader with a dynamic and fast-growing team has been an incredible journey in my professional life. I learned from this team how important it is to have a strong work ethic, how to gain confidence speaking in front of important people, how to use many digital tools (Salesforce, Confluence, Jira, Tableau for instance). In the past, I have been doing traditional M&E with more focus on the monitoring aspects without involving technology. This role at Worldreader comes with an active learning component, integrating the latest technology with M&E process.

How has your experience with your supervisor impacted your perspective? What has your supervisor taught you?

I can confidently say that Rachel is the best mentor and supervisor I have ever had the chance to work within my professional career so far. Her cool, humble and polite personality has always impressed me as a great human. She has done her level best to make me comfortable with the work culture of Worldreader. She always encourages me to take part in organizing high-level meetings and engaged me in every task related M&E, impact studies, data analysis and visualizations. She also provided me with an opportunity to train myself on Tableau for data visualizations twice for basic and intermediate level data visualization at Microtech San Francisco. Moreover, I have also learned from my supervisor how to multitask without getting panicked, using the latest technology to organize your work and proper data management for knowledge management of the organization’s literature. She is always free to talk and always ready to review my work and to give feedback in a friendly way. Besides professional supervision, she also acts as a local ambassador for me to socialize myself to the local fast culture of San Francisco by identifying local Pakistan foods, cheap grocery shops, hairdressers, etc. She is amazing!

How will you build upon the skills and knowledge gained during your Fellowship once you return to your home country? How will your experience in the United States help you pursue your goals in the future?
This fellowship has given me the exposure that I lacked previously. I had traveled around and worked with an international organization back in Pakistan, but never really worked in such a dynamic environment at the international level. I have met some amazing people from different parts of the world, learned about new cultures, and grown both my skill set and my knowledge. I will go back a much stronger, more learned person than I was when I got here. I have some goals in my head which I am eager to take on once I go back. Working at Worldreader has taught me to be humble even though you know you are doing great things, to be strong and bold, and to actually love what you do.

Fellow Supervisor: Rachel Heavner

At Atlas Corps, we have a tradition of stating our “Five Facts” when introducing ourselves to new people. What are your five facts?

Name: Rachel Heavner

Hometown: Berkeley, California

Role at Organization: Associate Director of Insights

Social Issue/Interest Area: Education Equity

Fun fact: I play harmonica.

Why did you decide to host an Atlas Corps Fellow?

As a global reading organization, we are always looking for new and diverse perspectives to bring onto the team and value cross-national dialogue and collaboration. Working with Atlas Corps has both allowed us the benefit of much needed support for our Monitoring and Evaluation team from an established professional, and the opportunity to learn from the unique perspective that Atlas Corps fellows have brought to the San Francisco office.

Why did you choose your Fellow?

Ejaz stood out to us from the beginning as a positive and passionate individual with a great deal of experience with data analysis and an open willingness and desire to learn. A certain amount of flexibility is needed to work at a fast-paced and growing non-profit like Worldreader, and Ejaz demonstrated that he would bring solid M&E expertise to the team, but would also be willing to be flexible in his role and learn as needed on the job.

How has your Fellow contributed to your team? How has his presence had an impact on your team’s dynamic?

Ejaz has been a complete joy to work with and have in the Worldreader SF office. He has brought much-needed positivity and enthusiasm for our work to our office environment and culture. He is always willing to provide critical and insightful feedback and is constantly expressing curiosity and a thirst for learning that is infectious. He has been a true advocate for our mission of helping the world to read.

How will your Fellow’s contributions and insights impact your organization in the long run?

Ejaz has helped us to build out and streamline a suite of monitoring tools that we plan to use across our projects and programs in years to come. He has supported us through a challenging KPI automation process and helped us to document data processes for implementation across the organization.

What has your Fellow taught you? Have you learned anything special about their culture?

Ejaz has taught us a great deal about Pakistan. I can confidently say that everyone in the San Francisco office would love to go visit him in his home town. We were blown away by the beautiful pictures he has shown us from all over the country. San Francisco is a unique city, and I have been really impressed and grateful for Ejaz’ willingness to explore and understand ways of life that are quite different from what he has known. We will greatly miss the delicious food he has cooked for us during his time here and very much hope to share more meals with him and his family in the future.

Hosting an Atlas Corps fellow has been a wonderful experience and we are so grateful to Ejaz for all the work he has done and the light and joy he has brought to our working environment. He will be terribly missed!

More about Atlas Corps

Atlas Corps partners with mission-driven organizations (nonprofit, private, and government) to facilitate a professional exchange program for the world’s best emerging social change leaders to live and serve in the United States for a 12-month Fellowship. The Atlas Corps network currently includes more than 750 professionals from 95 countries who have served at 300 organizations.

Interested in becoming a Host Organization for an Atlas Corps Fellow? Fill out Host Interest Form.