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Unconventional Foodie, Reader, Misguided Explorer & TV Extraordinaire

A headshot of Manal Khan

If I were to introduce myself, I'd tell you that my name is Manal Khan, and I'm an... acquired taste. I'd say that my desire to travel the entire world evidences my ambitious nature. Then, I would mention how my Pinterest board of vacation spots keeps my travel goals organized -- in reality, it is a way to procrastinate doing the work that will help me achieve said goals. I'd also refer to myself as a huge (but unconventional) food lover and describe my search for new cuisines, knowing that I indefinitely abandon my culinary explorations the second I find something I like.

I should also mention that I'm an English Literature major at the University of Houston (because who doesn't love figuring out what Shakespeare wrote about in his plays), with a minor in Public Relations. I'm new to the U.S. (sort of), having moved in 2019 after being born and raised in Dubai. For years, I was certain I wanted to be a surgeon (thank you, Grey's Anatomy), but I always loved reading and writing; studying literature helped me realize I wanted a career where I could centralize my passion for language and literary imagination.

Growing up, I would always have my head buried in a book -- it's probably why I've always liked fictional worlds better than the real one. As a self-certified introvert, reading has always been my haven. However, I also have a knack for adventure, with bungee jumping and skydiving being the top things I want to try next (I may bail at the last minute). I am also a self-certified (but undefeated) TV show expert. Particularly, my love for Turkish dramas (some may call it an obsession) has resulted in me learning some of the language.

Preparing for the Future

Thinking about what career to pursue after graduation, I was consistently (and sometimes, frustratingly) undecided. Becoming a writer, journalist, publisher, or professor seemed amazing, but I could never choose just one. However, working on a social media campaign for this year's Comicpalooza event in one of my PR classes was seemingly the right mix of creativity and corporate to inspire me. It made me think of pursuing a career in marketing/communications, where I could experiment with language in a business-like setting. That realization is what led me to an internship at W.I.N.

As my first official college internship, I wanted an educational and challenging experience. Learning about the mentorship aspect of W.I.N.'s internship program, I was undoubtedly excited to expand my previous marketing and communication knowledge. However, there are two more prominent reasons why I wanted to be a part of W.I.N.-

  1. In a world of uneven power dynamics, I wanted to be surrounded by and learn from women who had braved the often one-sided obstacles of the professional world.

  2. I was drawn to the intimacy and personal connection of working in a community, where I could foster meaningful relationships to guide my career.

Let's Talk!

I hope you have made it this far without falling asleep, as I would enjoy hearing any stories/experiences, advice, and career tips. Whether it's words of wisdom or an introduction, I would love to get involved and interact with everyone. If you're just getting started like me, or have been in the game for years, I am excited to learn from you! Please feel free to reach out, whether it's through my Instagram or LinkedIn.

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