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Ali Najaf

SFU Student
Beedie School of Business › Human Resource Management, Beedie School of Business › Accounting

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Ali and her team on the soccer field
Having done three co-op terms, I highly encourage my fellow peers to do least one co-op term if possible as it will give them an opportunity to be mentored and grow under professional guidance before entering the “real” world.

I still remember the time when I first attended a BC Lions game in 2015 and was left wondering how a magnificent event like this could be planned and executed on such a large scale. It was my first ever CFL game and to be honest, I didn’t have any clue as to what was happening on the field. Nevertheless, I had a great time just watching it.  Fast forward to August 2017, when I saw the job posting on SFU My Experience for a co-op term with the BC Lions: within seconds I had sent in my application and was fortunate enough to be accepted for the position.

Since day one, I have been welcomed into the BC Lions family and everyone has been very supportive. I had the opportunity to work with and get to know hardworking and passionate people who strive to give their 120% to deliver the best results on and off the field for their fans. Everyone is considered as part of the team and plays a pivotal role in making things happen.

Ali's gear and uniform for BC Lions team

I was fortunate to work with mentors who inspired me to take actions and helped me learn new things such as how to make corporate partnership proposals and gave me lessons on branding. I had the opportunity to see firsthand how a game day is planned and executed; for instance, I learnt how a detailed production plan is prepared where every minute of the game is planned in terms of activities and advertisements. I was amazed to see how much effort and dedication is involved when working behind the scenes.

Working with the Lions, I had the extraordinary opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and work on challenging projects such as creating partnership proposals from scratch and openly sharing ideas in meetings. I was supported in these endeavours by both my co-workers and supervisors. As part of such an energetic team, I was inspired to embody the spirit of sportsmanship in every aspect of my work. I learnt how to remain persistent in the face of challenges and to give my 100% wherever needed.

I made some great memories during my last few days with the Lions - my favourite one is perhaps from the last game day of the season, when, at the end of the game, the entire team came together and celebrated each other’s hard work. It was a special moment for me as I could see how much everyone appreciated their fellow colleagues and how proud they were of our mutual work and success throughout the season.

Some Key Lessons That I Learnt While Working With the BC Lions:

  • Watching the games, I learnt that you shouldn’t give up until the very last second of the game as things do turn around, even in the last few seconds. The idea is to stay positive and strive to give your best.

  • Be humble and curious; ask for help as it’s better to be clear from the start instead of constantly doubting yourself.

  • My team inspired me to give my best in everything I do – teamwork is worth the time and effort that it takes.

  • Get to know EVERYBODY in the workplace. It will give you an opportunity to learn things from a diverse set of people.

  • If you have ideas and suggestions, feel free to share them with the management or your co-workers as no idea is stupid or silly.

  • Get to know the INs and OUTs of the industry that you’re working in so that you can better understand how things work holistically.

  • Take initiatives, as it will help you learn more and gain confidence.

  • Finally, have fun and enjoy the experience! At the end of the day, it is these memories you will cherish forever.

Having done three co-op terms, I highly encourage my fellow peers to do least one co-op term if possible as it will give them an opportunity to be mentored and grow under professional guidance before entering the “real” world.

Beyond the Blog

  • Ali Najaf Mar 10, 2018
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About the Author

Author's front profile. He is wearing a black suit with black tie and white shirt.

Ali Najaf

SFU Student
Beedie School of Business › Human Resource Management, Beedie School of Business › Accounting
Connect with Ali on LinkedIn and Twitter

Ali is a 3rd year student, pursuing a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management and Accounting. Currently he is an elected Senator and working as a Community Advisor at Simon Fraser University Residence. He likes to assist others to overcome the challenges that they face because he believe that: “Life is not measured by the number of days you live, but the number of lives you inspired, so be someone's inspiration.” He has volunteered more than 2000 hours with 25+ organizations in Canada and Pakistan and have mentored 100 plus students at Simon Fraser University in different facets.

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