Meet hundo’s education partnerships manager: Shaheer Khan

Get to know Shaheer, and what he gets up to for hundo

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Hundo’s education and partnerships manager, Shaheer on navigating career changes, working in the education sector, and life outside of hundo. 

Tell us who you are!
My name is Shaheer Khan and I’m 25 years old. I was born in Germany but was brought up in East London and my family are from Pakistan. 

Tell everyone a little bit about what you do at hundo?
I’m the Education Partnerships Manager at hundo and work closely with educators, schools, colleges, and housing associations. I work with anyone who aims to support young people in various ways. 

What were you doing before hundo, and how did you found us?
After graduating, I was really interested in getting into teaching and was part of Outreach in Southampton and this sparked my love for helping young people. I took on the Cover Supervisor role in a secondary school in Southampton and found my momentum in teaching. After a year, I decided to move to Vietnam to teach, live and travel. This experience was absolutely incredible and took me out of my comfort zone. I experienced so much and met the most amazing people. The teaching experience was different from the UK, I taught from kindergarten all the way up to teens. My favourite class was kindergarten because I got to see them grow up and develop their confidence in speaking English. 

After two years of being in southeast Asia, I returned to the UK due to a pandemic and joined the DWP as a Work Coach. I was supporting and coaching customers towards financial independence. Being a Work Coach at the peak of a pandemic, and being surrounded by all sorts of struggles was definitely an experience. I saw and felt discovery, growth, passion, and drive-by myself and others. Shoutout to my gals Lyncia, Ulari, and Sharon for making my time at the DWP the absolute best! 

A year into the role I came to a standstill. I felt I was not being challenged nor was I growing in my work or individually. I found the environment did not correspond with my energy and vibe, therefore I was not very happy with my worklife, which was the reason for looking for a new role. I stumbled across hundo on LinkedIn and it was definitely love at first sight! The company, mission, role, and vibe definitely got me excited. I just saw myself working here and immediately went to shoot my shot. Here I am, living my best life!

Prior to hundo, you were working in the public sector, what has been the biggest change since working for a start-up?
The biggest change for me has been the way I work. It’s definitely more of a relaxed, but fast-moving environment. Having the flexibility in the way I work to achieve the best outcomes is one thing I appreciate. Working at a much smaller company has also been a big change. I think it is more intimate and able to actually get to know people on a personal level. The office in Vauxhall is a BIG VIBE TOO!

Do you have any highlights so far working at hundo and have you had any challenges?
Meeting and getting to know the team has been great! Everyone has their own thing going and really created something beautiful. I’ve been here for just over two months and I love waking up every morning knowing I'm part of something innovative. I truly believe in the product and love meeting with educators to scream about CareerCon22 and our learn-to-earn platform. 

On the other hand, it has also been challenging as I am learning and trying to understand so much new information and concepts. Definitely had moments of information overload, however the support is available and just got to remember challenging times are temporary and as we naturally gravitate towards resilience and solving problems. 

Can you give any advice or tips to anyone who might be interested in working for a start-up but not sure what to expect? 
The best advice I would say is to keep an open mind and be open to challenges. Things may seem daunting at first because it's a different work environment, but everything falls into place. It’s so important to know how you work best, the spotlight is on you baby! The focus is on outcomes, if you know how you work best and what you need to succeed, then you’ll be good to go. 

What do you like doing when you aren’t working? 
I love working out at the gym and walking - really helps clear the mind! I am a big advocate for self-care. I’m really big on music, festivals, and events. Can't beat a good rave with your mates or a bottomless brunch. I LOVE eating and going out just really enjoying what London has to offer. I’m always on the search for my next traveling plans too. 

You have done a lot of work in helping people by giving them access to opportunities and you have even traveled around the world to do so. Can you tell everyone more about the projects you have worked on in the UK and the work you did in Vietnam for 2 years?
I’m all about improving access opportunities regardless of background. I strongly believe that improving access at a young age helps to create better futures. It allows people to understand their full potential, which enables them to be the best version of themselves. Previously, I worked on a project improving literacy rates in primary schools in Southampton. I moved to England when I was 8 years old and only knew a few words of the English language. I understand the challenges young people face with literacy, especially those of migrant background and whose parents speak little or no English. Therefore, it is important to give young people extra support to push them into success. 

Whilst living in Vietnam, I worked at a language school that was mainly accessible to families with a high disposable income and attended private schools. I loved teaching in Vietnam! As I was able to interact with students from completely different cultures and backgrounds. Many children that attended public schools didn’t have access to lessons led by English-speaking teachers. Therefore, I decided to take up teaching public school classes regularly. Although it was more challenging; with larger class sizing and non-western classroom conditions. The experience was amazing! The students were happy, grateful, and loved conversing. Teaching English to students from disadvantaged backgrounds in Vietnam definitely helped contribute to access issues. 

What are you looking forward to over the next 6 months?
I’ve been at hundo for two months now and I’ve learned so much about the role, startup life, and how we are owning the web3 space. Being Education Partnerships Manager, I’ve been able to network with people from different areas of education and tech spaces and it’s been amazing learning and growing from each interaction. In the next 6 months, I’d love to really help build hundo’s network and really make an impact through CareerCon22, which I’m ABSOLUTELY BUZZING FOR!

What do you hope to achieve in 2022?
I am really big on self-realisation and reflection. As each day, week, month, and year goes by I am learning about myself and growing in every aspect, whether this is in my work, how I learn, communicate, build relations, and more. It’s so common to have nostalgia for past times and many may say a specific year was the best year of their life. In 2022, I want to be able to reflect on a deeper level and work on the things that I feel can be improved. Changing roles and finding hundo, has been a major part of this. I have been able to free myself from a toxic environment and really realise my self-worth and true abilities. My biggest goal for 2022, is to become the best version of myself, build great relationships, and strive for true happiness.

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