Today, we speak with Class 46, Zunaira Ali, on her reflections with the Atlas Corps Fellowship.
Zunaira is currently serving full-time at Making Cents International as their Youth Engagement Fellow where she will support activities for YouthLead.org, conduct outreach and polling of youth networks to identify in-demand topics, content, and resources for the platform and its related learning events. and coordinate with key youth networks including YouthLead Ambassadors and YP2LE Youth Advisory Group (YAG) to support outreach and peer-to-peer outreach on what issues, skills and resources are in-demand among young people.
Name: Zunaira Ali
Home Country: Pakistan
Fellowship Class: Class 46
Host Organization: Making Cents International
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership to me means taking everybody along with you. It’s the essence of collaboration and community engagement. You can be a very good manager but to be a leader, you need to maximize everyone’s collective effort and contribution for the greater good.
Can you tell us more about your position at Making Cents International and what you hope to get out of the experience?
My role at Making Cents International has allowed me to interact and work with such a dynamic and diverse pool of youth from around the world. It’s not only helped improve my community engagement and project management skills but also given me an insight into working with diverse communities.
How is the Atlas Corps Fellowship enhancing your expertise in Communications/Marketing and Project Management?
As part of my service with the Host Organization, I’ve had the opportunity to experiment and explore more with the youth-focused projects that we work on. I don’t believe that I am an expert in just one field so I’m always on the lookout for more skills to add to my portfolio. This has given me a chance to get hands-on experience in project management and a way to link all this together with my existing communication skills.
How do you plan to use your experience at Atlas Corps in your future career?
My current work with youth from across the world has given me a new perspective on navigating diverse communities. While I’m grateful for the upskilling opportunity, I think that my personal journey in figuring out the next steps has helped me a lot. I am always on the lookout for how to do what I’m currently doing so there’s always room for improvement and challenge. This Fellowship period has been a blessing in disguise in doing that and following a new path.
What advice would you give to those interested in applying to the Fellowship program?
In my opinion, having a clear idea of what you want in the next few years is extremely important. The Fellowship does offer a unique opportunity to work with the international development sector and to network but that’s not necessarily what you might be looking for. It’s a big commitment so look at your career path, connect with Alumni and analyze if this is the right opportunity for you. Only then will you be able to make the most out of it.
Thank you, Zunaira, for sharing your leadership journey with us. We are excited to see you continue to inspire positive change in the future!
Ready to take the next step in your social impact career? Join Zunaira and our other inspiring Atlas Corps leaders and apply to our Atlas Corps Fellowship!
Apply by July 30th to receive priority consideration: apply.atlascorps.org
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Photos from Zunaira’s personal archive.