“The support from UOWD professors and the constant encouragement that everything is achievable with hard work is what kept us going” – Kainaat Hashmi
Management professional, accomplished scholar, and young entrepreneur, Kainaat has demonstrated that the dedication and resilience she learnt at university has become her biggest strength.
Since graduating from UOWD top of her class with a Bachelor of Commerce in Management, Kainaat Hashmi has travelled an inspiring professional and academic journey. Now working between Dubai and Germany as Operations Manager for leading energy production firm, R Schmitt Enertec, Kainaat has learnt from all her successes and setbacks to build the foundations for a highly impressive career.
Following her studies at UOWD, Kainaat went on to graduate with distinction in a double Masters degree, combining a Masters in International Business and an M. Com (Strategic Management and Marketing) from the University of Sydney, Australia. By the age of 26 she had set up her own business, and while things did not go to plan, Kainaat says the lessons she learnt have made her the person she is today.
Kainaat explains, “I started my business dreaming that it would grow and exceed all my goals. However, things didn’t go as I had planned and logically the only solution at that time was to close down. It was definitely a low point of my career, but I had to dust myself off and move on to the next chapter. Now, looking back, I feel it was the most pivotal moment of my life, because what I gained and learned from running my own business surpasses everything that I have done at any point in my life to date.”
Since then, Kainaat has achieved certifications in TQM (lean six sigma) and gone on to an impressive career in the energy sector. She says, “I don’t think I chose this career, rather the career chose me. I never thought I would end up working in the oil and gas industry, but everything I did during my career as it progressed got me to the direction I am in today. My job is extremely rewarding and challenges me every single day; no two days are the same and I am never bored!”
Reflecting on her early career, Kainaat reveals, “Trying to find an overlap between what I studied and how to actually apply that to my job was a challenge. The reality is that not all you learn at university is applied in real life, however, the discipline, the dedication, and tenacity to get any job done is a skill set, which if you can master at the university level, will be your biggest strength in any career.”
She continues, “I do regret not ‘waiting-out’ the job-hunting process. I started work within 2 months of graduating and took whatever job offer came my way. That’s why I tell people to wait out for the job of their choosing. If you have the luxury of time, take it, maybe relax after you graduate, explore all horizons. Yet all that being said, I am still extremely grateful for where I am in my career and all the wonderful opportunities that have come my way.”
Looking back on her time at UOWD, Kainaat says, “The diversity of courses offered were aligned with how practical working life functions. I loved how we were offered courses like cross cultural communications, integrated marketing, and business law, whilst still keeping focus on our majors. More importantly, the presentation aspect that was linked to every course work was not only a great learning experience, but also a confidence-building tool.”
She continues, “Tertiary education is so important because it’s the pathway to an enriching career. UOWD equipped me with skill sets that are interchangeable and multifaceted, hence undertaking any role, wherever it may be, with whatever limitations, is not a challenge for a UOWD graduate. The global focus during our course work is what prepared us for the global market.”
Kainaat says that it’s her parents that are the driving force behind her achievements and she takes her inspiration from successful female business leaders. She reveals, “My ideal boss would either be Arianna Huffington (author/ cofounder of Huffington post) or Indra Nooyi (former CEO of Pepsi Co). Both these women strived to get on top of their respective industries and, in the face of adversity, never gave up. They have made way for women everywhere to reach out and realise their goals, hence making us believe that anything is doable.”
Looking to the future in her own career, Kainaat says, “Firstly, I would like to undertake a senior decision making role within my existing company, which would be ideally more strategy focussed. If not, then maybe acquire a PHD, which has been a dream of mine for years. Alternatively, I would like to change industries and completely get out of my comfort zone and get a job in an unrelated field. I think my career could go in a multitude of directions.”