Meant to Be
Lifelong Learning - A Spark That Became a Flame
When Amna Khaliq first moved to Canada from Pakistan, she would walk to Tim Hortons at 3:00 a.m. for her shift. Her brother would walk her to keep her safe then would return home to sleep. After her long shift would end, she’d go to her second job and wouldn’t get home until close to 10:00 p.m.
When she arrived home, she wouldn’t crawl into bed, instead she’d start to study so she could complete her undergraduate degree." Getting more than four hours of sleep was a luxury in those days. We used to have only one desktop at home, so my sister and I would take turns working on the computer," Amna recalls. She would strive to follow in the footsteps of her sister, Aysha.
Aysha had moved to Cape Breton to take the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Community Economic Development program at Cape Breton University’s School of Business and was thriving. Aysha was the first Asian Valedictorian at CBU and was the first valedictorian from the MBA-CED program. Amna was incredibly proud of her sister and wanted to have a similar opportunity.
In January 2014, Amna moved to Cape Breton to pursue the MBA-CED and focused on how to help others through community economic development. The program and the faculty greatly exceeded her expectations, and she quickly felt like she was part of the community. The small class sizes in CBU starkly contrasted her previous classes while doing her undergrad. She completed an MBA degree, that would have taken 2.5 years to finish, in under a year, where she also found mentors and gained lifelong friends.
Upon graduation, Amna knew that she had made the right choice. CBU had become home to her, and she had finally understood why her sister had enjoyed her time in Cape Breton so much. One of Amna’s most significant accomplishments was being the only Canadian selected to present their MBA research in Hiroshima, Japan, on the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing. The crowd was enthralled with her presentation, and she felt very proud to represent CBU.
When Amna graduated, she felt compelled to pursue a dream of becoming a doctor. However, after only a few months of medical school, she knew it was not her destiny. Talking to her mentors at CBU, she was encouraged to pursue academics.
Today, Amna teaches in British Columbia, helping others understand the value of higher education. She firmly believes that a teacher can change a student's life and that if one dream does not work out, make another one.
Amna has travelled to over thirty-five countries worldwide and has been to five continents. She is a regional newspaper columnist and volunteers as a board member for two NGOs, and is a Board director with the Cape Breton University Alumni Association. Currently, she is completing her doctoral degree in strategic leadership in the USA. She is a proud CBU Alumni, who recently was selected for a CBU Alumni Association Leadership Excellence Award – the Darryl Flynn Alumni Award and with her sister, has encouraged her brother to pursue the MBA-CED at CBU.
We’re proud of Amna Khaliq, her family and the life that they have made for themselves as CBU Alumni.
To find out more on supporting Cape Breton University, visit www.cbu.ca/alumni