Humaira started Locelle a mentorship platform for working women in tech two and a half years ago. She has two young daughters and as an ambitious working mom herself, she has realized the importance of finding like-minded women to connect with and share valuable experiences and knowledge. Her mentorship platform is for any woman who is looking for a mentor in the workplace that can provide help and advice for women who are aspiring to one day become leaders themselves.

“There are currently many programs for women in leadership but there isn’t much out there for women who want to get there - and that is a major challenge for women in the workplace.”

While generously offering her time to participate in eProjects’ CEO Speed Dating Event , Humaira found that one question from students really stood out to her: “I’ve been told that my first startup will fail, so why even try?”. The statement that “your first startup will most probably fail” is a very true one. Even successful entrepreneurs such as Humaira have experienced this as she had previously run her own marketing agency before Locelle. But she also questions what failure even is? It looks different to different people but the one common thing arising from failure is learning.

“Even if you think you will fail just look at that as a learning opportunity. There is no school and no person that can teach you the valuable experience you will learn from running your own company and failing at it. It’s like MBA on steroids”.

When asked what her most valuable piece of advice was Humaira explains the importance of knowing how to sell. If she could redo her experience starting Locelle, she would have built a more basic prototype and seen how customers responded first before building a more complicated website. She explained that when you do your customer discovery first, it provides numerous valuable insights such as who you should target if there is a strong market for your product and how to best position yourself. However, it is also important to be wary when conducting customer research as she states “don’t just ask your friends and family - they won’t tell you the truth”. Reaching out to people who you don’t know well in the community will provide unbiased opinions.

“Before you spend a lot of time, energy and money on trying to build something, first get out there and try to sell your idea. If you can’t sell, it won’t work.”

And lastly, who best to give advice on networking and finding your own mentor than Humaira herself? She states that when looking for a mentor or to the network you must be really intentional. It is important to identify 3 key factors: why you are looking to network, what your goals are from it, and why they should give YOU their time. It is essential to be respectful of their time and ensure you follow up with a thank you!

“Remember, don't try to reach out to everybody. Be intentional and you will likely hear back if you are.”

  • UBC eProjects

Stephanie is a first-generation college student, born and raised in the Dominican Republic. Growing up, she was the youngest in all her classes graduating from high school at the early age of 14! Although this may seem like an advantage, it actually led to some of the hardest challenges she has faced in her life. Most of her high school classmates were 3-4 years older than her, which represented a mindset gap. She suffered from bullying for most of her high school experience. Despite the difficulties, these years taught her invaluable lessons on how to be confident in her own skin, how to be a strong woman, how to always believe in her abilities and to never let anyone destroy her dreams.

She came to the United States 5 years ago because she had an interest in accounting and wanted to attend a good college. She applied to 6 universities and got rejected from all of them. She believes the reason why she got rejected was because she didn't speak English at the time. She looked at this failure as an opportunity to put in the effort to learn English by going to public libraries daily to teach herself English. This paid off as the next year she got admitted to her dream school!

However, getting into school was just the beginning of her journey. As she went through university, she began taking the time to do research and apply to her dream companies only to once again face rejection. History repeated itself as she persevered and finally got admitted to an amazing job.

“If there is something that I learned about rejection, it’s that from 1,000 doors that close, there will be 1 that will open. You only need 1 yes to change your life.”

Once at her new job, she soon realized that this was not enough to fulfill her. She discovered that her true passion was helping others develop their potential. This is how Max Up was born: a startup built to maximize people’s potential. Starting her own company wasn’t always a smooth ride. In the early stages, she received a lot of negative comments from people who she thought were going to support her. She chose not to let those things become an obstacle.

“You are the owner of your destiny and you get to write your own story. Start today and don't give up. Things will get harder as you progress, but that will only help you develop into a better you.”

When asked for any advice she has for students who are hoping to get good internships in these unprecedented times she responded with “Check out Max Up!”. They’ve created a spreadsheet with more than 250 recruiters, 50+ job posting, recruiting timelines per industry and much more. There is a misconception with the pandemic: companies are still hiring. Yes, they are doing it on a smaller scale, but they are still hiring! So keep connecting with those individuals on LinkedIn, attend virtual career fairs and conferences, and develop your personal brand by educating yourself with the workshops being offered by organizations on LinkedIn!

“Don't let rejection or failures define you. What defines you is who you are and what you stand for. This will help you in any area of your career, whether it is when applying for a job, or connecting with others.”

Has quarantine been causing you to feel more restless, stressed, or anxious? Are you looking for tips to help with stress from school, work, and your personal life? Are you in a slump and looking for ways to climb out? UBC eProjects is having another virtual event where we ask professionals and CEOs about their struggles with mental health and striking a healthy work-life balance. It’s important to take care of ourselves even when we feel like all we want to do is push forward, so make sure to check out our event as well as the following tips for tips on how to be the healthiest you!

With this article, we do not intend to belittle or minimize the real battles with mental health that affect many people daily and are simply aiming to provide some tips to promote a healthier mindset for students during these difficult times. At the bottom of this blog post, we will provide links that may be helpful to those who are struggling with mental health as well as counseling services that are covered by the UBC Alma Mater Society.

1. Take a day off and spend time doing things you enjoy beyond social media

Everyone seems to display a perfect life on Instagram with their stories/posts, but we get it - real life isn’t nearly the same. It can get overwhelming sometimes, so get off your screens and go try something new! It could be anything from drawing, painting to playing board games! Always remember - your only friend is NOT your phone.

2. Focus on you instead of constantly painting a spitting image of yourself against others

It’s your race and YOUR life - not anyone else’s. Once you internalize the idea that it’s you against the version of you yesterday, you’ll feel a lot better doing the things you love. It’s easier said than done - but practice makes perfect right? Slow and steady beats the fast and restless ;)

3. Journalling

How many of you have experienced overthinking or spiraling? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A Lot of us have way too many thoughts every day and it’s completely normal. One way that could help you unload by yourself is journalling - a method where you unbottle all your thoughts onto paper. This is perfect because there’s no judgment here - no disapproval and no walking on eggshells. It’s all you!

4. Exercise

Yes, you’ve probably heard this one over and over again but it honestly works! Research shows that working out releases hormones that reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and more! So go work those glutes out at the gym (perhaps not at the moment!) or at home.

5. Reach out to your friends and family

You’re not in this alone - you’ve got a whole support system of your friends and family who will always be there for you! Make sure you reach out when you need to, especially when you feel extremely low. It’s important that you acknowledge that they’re there for you even when you don’t want to ask for help - it’s not petty, it’s crucial!

6. Meditate

This one is a cliche - and the number one excuse people use is “I don’t have time for it” - but sitting in silence while listening to some soothing music/music of your choice is also meditation. A few moments every day where you recollect and center yourself in the midst of all the chaos. Try it, then thank us later!

7. Make an effort to eat healthy

When you take out the time to really consider what you feed your body, you’ll come to realize that eating healthy is extremely vital to your functioning and mental health! Take the time to cook for yourself - even if it’s just a side dish to start with. You’ll become more conscious and it never hurts to experiment ;)

8. Indulge in nature walks

Research has shown that spending time in some greenery every day even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes can positively affect your mental wellbeing, so go take that walk you’ve been putting off and find yourself in awe of what nature has to offer you :)

Reminder that if you are struggling with mental health problems that are not so easily alleviated or solved, please check out the links below for resources on the topic:

UBC Counselling:



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