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APAHM committee hosts a panel led by Asian Pacific professionals

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Planning Committee hosted “Being AAPI in the Workforce” on April 24 for a panel discussion about the experiences of being an Asian Pacific professional in 2018.

Jessalin Lam from 4A’s – the American Association of Advertising Agencies – Shahed Islam from SJ Innovation LLC and Imtiaz R. Chowdhury from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shared their professional experiences in what happened to be an intimate discussion.

Both Lam and Chowdhury are Baruch College graduates and they were happy and honored to have the opportunity to share their experiences with current Baruch students.

Lam was a marketing major at Baruch and shared how she was torn between two internships during her time here at Baruch. She decided to go with the unpaid internship but did not regret it after learning so much from the

She encouraged everyone to follow their hearts if they ever face difficult decisions. Lam believes that at the end of the day, one should choose what makes them happy, since they will be the one doing the work.

Islam shared his story and told the audience to follow their dreams. He was a pre-med major in college, but he decided to switch his major to computer science although his parents were unsupportive of his decision. He said he was happy with where he was now said he and became successful by following his passion.

Some advice given by the professionals include having a morning routine, developing good habits, communicating properly and being proactive among other things.

Michelle Kim, vice president of Filipinos Uniting Students In Other Nations, or F.U.S.I.O.N, addressed the lack of Asian representation and hopes that through this event, students will find a role model that looks like them.

“We are very underrepresented in media, politics, workplaces and there is a stigma on us called the model minority,” Kim said. “There is already a disadvantage set up
for us.”

Islam said he experienced discrimination due to his skin color and background especially after 9/11, but he chose to ignore it and stay positive.

“I am a Muslim also and because of 9/11 and after that, I have seen it many, many times where because of race and cultural reasons, I’ve been treated unfairly,” Islam said. “But it doesn’t bother me anymore.”

Chowdhury emphasized the importance of diversity and how it is much needed in workplaces.

“Diversity can be in a lot of forms like race, religion, sex but the most important diversity to me is the diversity of thought,” Chowdhury said.

“The key impact of diversity and inclusion is the thought process. That is something college campuses should embrace more,” he said.

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