Syed Akib Hossain, a graduate in Biotechnology from BRAC University, an intern of one of the pioneer clinical genetics biotech company, Neurogen and a finalist of the Young Leader Program, in a conversation, shares about his potentials, talents, and his journey so far and how through exploring opportunities, he ended up becoming the President of a Business Communication based Club. Rifa Tamanna takes the interview for New Age Youth
New Age Youth: Could you tell us something about yourself that how being a student of Biotechnology, you ended up being a member of a business communication based club, and how did you link yourself up with both science and business at the same time?
Syed Akib Hossain: From my school life, I was ready to explore different opportunities that come across me, and from that time, my clubbing journey started. I gradually became passionate towards enhancing my communication and networking skills. I engaged myself with different kinds of extracurricular activities in school and college. When I started my university life and chose a science subject as my major, I still had that passion towards enhancing my networking and communication skills; in fact the passion became stronger. I wanted to create a separate identity of mine apart from my academic identity. Hence, I started to look for opportunities where I could develop, nourish and explore my capabilities. Soon, I found the right place where I always wanted to be, it was the only local chapter of an international business communication club in Bangladesh. Basically, to unveil my skills, I, alongside continuing my studies in natural science chose to become a member of a business communication based club.
New Age Youth: How did this club help you to develop yourself?
Syed Akib Hossain: When I joined International Association of Business Communicators IABC, BRAC University, the club was going through a wave of success. The existing club members and the module of the club motivated me to do better and excel in life. The active participation of several national and international conferences like Model United Nations simulations, help to developed the leadership, negotiation, public speaking skills. I came across people from different cultures, backgrounds and tried to create a strong bond with each of them to learn something new. Whatever learnings I got, I tried to imply them in my life and in my field.
New Age Youth: One common scenario in our country is that often family members and sometimes faculties impose restrictions upon an individual that he or she only needs to focus on his academic life and activities related to that. Did you face any such impediments?
Syed Akib Hossain: I should acknowledge that my family was always supportive towards me and always encouraged me to keep balance between the academic and extracurricular activities. They recognised that participating in those national and international conferences is a representation of the self, the university and also the country. Now, to talk about the academic department and the faculties, they were not really open to the activities in the beginning as the major and extracurricular activities were poles apart. So, I had difficulty initially to take their permission, to gain their trust. However, as I never let the extracurricular activities to hamper my studies in any way, I could finally convince my faculties to let me improve the skills.
New Age Youth: While participating in different national and international conferences, you did build a stronger network beside you. Could this network help you in any way in your academic or professional life?
Syed Akib Hossain: Every subject or discipline has certain and various aspects where one needs to focus on. So, being a natural science major student, to only focus on the major was never my target. I always put emphasis on building a stronger networking and communication skill and to imply them. What happened was, I got to meet and interact with a lot of people who were somehow related to my academic field through my extracurricular activities and got help and cooperation from them. I also meet some people who helped to make a concrete future plan of mine. Thus, the passion that I had to highlight my academics in my career life became stronger.
New Age Youth: You joined Young Leaders Program YLP at the end of your graduation life. How did YLP help you to develop and what did you learn from YLP? And since you joined YLP, does it imply that you have a passion to pursue your studies further after graduation and have a stronger focus on academics?
Syed Akib Hossain: The purpose of YLP is to find out young leaders and graduates from across the country from different educational institutes to come under one platform who could compete with each other to evaluate themselves and to find out whether they were actually ready or not to enter into the professional life. When I found out about YLP, I applied with great anticipation, and after three phases, from 800 participants, YLP started with top 40 participants. 40 young minds from different corners and fields of the country were groomed and trained and were given challenges and tasks at every stage. Through every challenge and task, we were evaluated based on our team chemistry, solution giving capability, how practical our propositions were. YLP actually connected us with real life professional scenarios and now we have a bit idea on how to tackle problems in professional sectors. YLP also taught to work with people from different backgrounds and to give value to everyone’s opinions.
New Age Youth: Being a young leader, overcoming many hurdles, what will be suggestion for the upcoming young minds?
Syed Akib Hossain: Having a decent knowledge about leadership, communication, networking skills, I know that being a leader one needs to go through a tough phase and journey. The leadership position might seem fancy, but the journey is not fancy, rather challenging. During tough or challenging times, a young mind needs to be focused and should not lose his temper, calm and remain patient and dedicated and take matured decisions and should try to give his/ her inputs.
New Age Youth: What is your near future plan?
Syed Akib Hossain: I am preparing myself to do my masters abroad. I believe that going at a place with broadened vision will help me to learn more. Thus, I will be able to imply my learnings in a nicer way. I want to dedicate myself to spread the implications of biotechnology amongst the mass people of the country and also want to develop the research and development sector of natural sciences in the country.
Rifa Tamanna is a third year law student of BRAC University.
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