HookedIn Spotlight Series: Zaina Sarwar

Zaina Sarwar
Second-year economics major
Engagement intern, Texas Exes

It’s time for another edition of our HookedIn Spotlight Series! More than 20,000 Longhorns are connecting on the world’s biggest burnt-orange social network, and these Longhorns deserve to be recognized. Zaina Sarwar is a second-year economics major at UT. She recently used HookedIn to find her current internship. The Alcalde asked Zaina to answer some questions about her time at UT and more. 

How did you find your internship, and what attracted you to it? 

I knew I wanted to find an on-campus job. Student organizations are great to join, but I wanted something more. I didn’t know much about HookedIn, so when I was looking through the feed, it was totally a coincidence that I came upon [a job posting from] the Texas Exes. It really piqued my interest because of the variety of things I could see and do here. And it was also a way for me to get more involved with the University. I didn’t know much when I started, but working here has shown me things that I didn’t even know we did. Here we are, almost a year later, and I love coming to work. 

Why did you decide to look on HookedIn? 

LinkedIn is a great platform, but it is so huge. It’s almost overwhelming because it’s for everyone. Everything you could ever think of is on there. But the resources at UT are also endless. I love HookedIn because it’s catered to UT students, so while it’s still a huge platform, it’s smaller than most others. I also love that a lot of the jobs are posted by alumni, so you can see what they’re doing. 

What is your best interview tip? 

I feel like you really have to want to get to know the person who’s interviewing you. They’re human, just like the rest of us. Obviously, you’re there to get a job, but being engaged and really asking questions back, getting to know the person—I feel like when people talk to me and want to get to know me, it makes our conversation more memorable. Find commonalities. It shows that you care and that your intentions are more than just to get something in return. 

What other organizations are you involved in on campus? 

I do public relations for United Mission for Relief and Development. It’s kind of like a nonprofit organization, so we do a lot of charity work. We’ll hold events to put together care kits based on the season for the homeless community. I’m an economics major, so I don’t do a lot of PR or advertising [in my coursework], but it’s super interesting and gives me an opportunity to be more creative outside of school. 

Do you think there’s any overlap between your responsibilities with United Mission and your job at the Alumni Association? 

The importance of building relationships is something that I feel like I’ve learned here. And we’ll do outreach to different homeless shelters to see what their needs are, so I think I use the same communication skills. 

How did you decide on economics as your major? 

I think you can just do so much with the major. I know people who want to go into law, consulting, entrepreneurship … Right now, I’m probably most interested in consulting, but I think economics really provides you with a foundation to work any kind of job. 

What are the essential items in your backpack or work bag? 

My friends know that I always carry perfume. I just got a new one from the brand KAYALI—and I’m still a Sol de Janeiro girl. I also always have gum and lip balm in my bag. 

What is your favorite way to treat yourself after a long week of work and school? 

I’m such a foodie, so my roommate and I—we just got through exam week—so yesterday we went out to sushi.  

What’s the best class you’ve taken at UT? 

I recently took “Business Law & Ethics.” Law is something I’ve always been interested in, so I had so much fun with it. It’s so important, too. Once you get a job, you need to know employment law and stuff like that. It was such a good class. 

What is something you could teach a class on right now? 

I’m a pop culture fiend, so I could definitely teach a class on it. I’ve had to educate my roommate. The drama distracts me from my own problems. 

What is your favorite study spot in Austin? 

Mozart’s is always so pretty, especially in the winter with all the lights! 

Where do you see yourself personally and professionally in thirty years? 

I’m the kind of person who likes consistency, so I want an office job, some hobbies, and good friends. I think I’m a creative person, so I’d love to find a job that allows me to use my creative side, too. I also want to be well-traveled, and that’s something I want—if I have a family, I want to be able to give them that. So I’m trying to work hard now to be able to do fun stuff in the future. 

Get connected with Zaina and other Longhorns on HookedIn, the official networking platform of The University of Texas.


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