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U of T alumna lands job at Google by prioritizing herself

Iyad angry Believe in putting yourself first.

The graduate of the University of Toronto Scarborough Management Program is now a technical account manager at Google.

She says the opportunity came after she left her previous full-time job at Microsoft to take some time off to travel. But before she could leave for South America, she received a call from the search engine giant. After two months of studying new technical skills and six interviews afterward, she landed her dream job — and was able to travel to Ecuador to volunteer as a hiking guide.

“If I stay [put] Like everyone told me, I would never have been able to prepare for my job at Google,” says Ayyad. “Listen to your body, mind, and heart, and if you have a dream, go for it.”

Ayyad graduated from the first batch of the Management and International Business Cooperation (MIB) program in 2017. The program provides students with essential management skills, along with local and international work and study opportunities to network and learn the industry through a global lens.

She previously studied Economics at University College London before taking an internship at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. I also completed two collaborations at Microsoft Canada, where I gained valuable work experience with both non-cloud and cloud technologies.

As a communications facilitator in Kenya, Ayyad worked in the hospital agent’s office to solicit donations from private companies to help families with the cost of healthcare. She credits the experience with preparing her to work in her current industry.

“When I was 19, I learned a lot about how to communicate and get people to hear you. Being a girl who can speak out loud and have her own voice is very beneficial, especially in technology and business, which is still a male-dominated industry.”

During her years as a student, Ayyad has pursued extracurricular approaches that prioritize connecting communities and facilitating insightful conversations. This is what led her to TEDxUTSC – first as Director of Speaker Relations and later as Chair. Under this role, Ayyad organized their 2015 conference, Unleash Your Imagination.

Despite his passion for public speaking, Iyad was not always comfortable with the idea. She credits the management communication course taught by James Howard, a course lecture in strategy, as a starting base that equipped her with presentation and leadership skills.

“It changed everything for me. The whole class was about being good at standing up in front of a group and speaking loud and clear to deliver meaningful points,” says Ayad, who was a teaching assistant for Howard for two semesters. “It helped us discover a side of ourselves that we’ve always wanted to show.”

Now in a position to help others, Ayyad strongly believes in the value of servant leadership, which focuses on supporting the professional and personal goals of employees in order to nurture an inclusive and upscale work environment.

“Servant leadership is key to having a diverse workplace—it allows someone to climb the ladder, for a new parent to enjoy stability, and for a 22-year-old to have a chance to travel. It is a non-negotiable thing for the future of the workforce,” Ayyad says.

Ayyad encourages students pursuing any field to obtain a degree in basic knowledge of the cloud ecosystem, coding languages, and data science – all platforms that increasingly drive our daily lives and decision-making.

She also likes to share her experiences and mentor business students who are considering the tech industry – particularly recent immigrants, women and LGBT professionals.

“I would never question whether it was OK to take time off. I would never have doubts about my employability with a gap in my resume. We need to let go of that mindset,” she says.

“If you invest time and effort and really believe in yourself, you can achieve anything.”

Ayyad will join the IT Career Path Committee on February 8th to share her career story and advise students on breaking into the technology industry.

“There has been a growing demand for talent and growth in the technology industry for students of collaborative management from the BBA program,” Sisha MaharajAssistant Director of External Relations and Communications in the Administration Department.

“It’s great to have such supportive alumni as Fun ready to help current students break into emerging technology careers.”


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