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Make Every Day Career Day

Why Razeena Khan volunteers with the Speakers Bureau

April 19, 2021

Razeena Khan is a pharmacist but it took her awhile to figure out that was her career path. That's an important reason why she now shares her story to inspire youth making career choices.

My name is Razeena Khan. I grew up in Toronto but lived many years in South Africa.

When I graduated from high school, I was not sure about what I wanted to study. I attempted 2 years at university, taking all sorts of courses, trying to see which avenue would pique my interest. After 2 years, I was still unsure. I decided to visit family in South Africa, and ended up staying there. After talking to a cousin and having had physiotherapy myself, I decided that I wanted to become a physiotherapist.

At the time, The University of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, did not accept foreign students into their Health Science courses without studying at least for one year in a South African institution. So, I applied to Oral hygiene and my intention was to study for one year and then apply for physiotherapy. It was a 2-year program, and after a year, my classmates convinced me to complete the course so that I would have something to fall back on, if I did not get into physiotherapy.

After graduating as a dental hygienist, life happened and I was unable to continue studying. I came back to Canada and after a few years, ended up back in South Africa. Now 10 years later, I decided that I wanted to go back to university and study physiotherapy. A requirement to apply, was to observe physiotherapy. I realized that it was a very physical profession and felt that 10 years later, I needed physio and could not be administering it. I wasn’t interested anymore, but did not want to work as a hygienist. With concerns about HIV at the time, I didn’t want to work with bodily fluids and looked into pharmacy.

After researching the profession, I decided that I would apply and was accepted as a mature student. We decided to move back to Canada and so I had to pass the exams here. I now work as a full-time staff pharmacist at Shoppers Drug Mart.

I joined the Speakers Bureau as a way to give back to the community. I also joined because I never had the opportunity to learn about all the different professions, hence why I was so lost. I hoped that others didn’t have to waste their time and money trying to find their way. If they are exposed to different occupations and ways to make a living, they may make better choices, sooner. As a volunteer with the Speakers Bureau, I get to tell my story while hoping that the students are inspired and informed.

As university and college is costly and admissions are so competitive, I encourage others to join as a volunteer with the Speakers Bureau to share their career journey stories and to offer co-op positions to high school students, so they may make educated decisions about pursuing their own careers. The students can also learn about other avenues they can take, other than college and university.

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