Educator by day and Dance Fitness Trainer and Choreographer by night- Zahra Ahmad is a passionate human who believes in the power of empathetic connections in bringing about a change. She designs activity-based programs and is obsessed with dancing!
Did you stumble upon your career or was it something that you always wanted?
I fortunately and luckily stumbled upon my career. When I enrolled in my undergrad at LUMS, I intended to pursue a career in Economics but, in my freshmen year ,an internship in an education organisation , helped me realise my true passion- Education and Training.
Being brought up in a traditional, mechanical education system where beating your child is the way to successful education, experiencing a system based on empathy and a two-way learning process, sparked my interest for this field and since then, Education has become my passion.
What was your “aha!” moment?
This was is hard to choose but if I really have to pick; I once taught Public speaking in a government school of Lahore. During that month-long camp, there was a girl who never spoke and always kept to herself. However, by fostering empathy in my classroom culture, I was able to connect with her and towards the end of the camp, she gave a speech in front of a crowd of 400 people in Alhamra. The moment I saw her on stage, fiercely expressing her ideas, I realised how academic achievement and relationship building are interdependent.
Did you ever consider or experience a career change?
Never. I am fully in love with my work and still in awe of the impact it creates.
When was the time you felt completely discouraged and how did you push through it?
Being a “high-achiever” with stellar grades throughput her life, I stepped in to LUMS with the same aim of acing my grades. To my surprise, in the very first semester, I ended up being on probation and a warning letter was delivered to my house. This was one of the lowest moments of my life as I had never experienced “failure” before and had no idea how to deal with it. I lost all my interest in studies and my grades tanked further. It was during this time, I volunteered at an education organisation and the experience transformed my views on education and motivated me to look at my studies from a new perspective. From thereon, I stopped running after grades an only opted for subjects to maximise my learning and exposure. This new lens of not viewing success in terms of grades only allowed me to grow and perform better.
What are the top 3 things you cherish in your life?
My pet cat, Oro, My support system and partnership Dancing
What is the #1 thing that is yet to be ticked off your bucket list?
Have my own space. The concept of “gear” is something I haven’t truly experienced and having my own safe space is something I really want.
What does nobody tell you about being the boss?
I honestly don’t consider myself any one’s boss. It is ALWAYS a team’s effort.
Complete this sentence, ‘To me a #BossLady is…’
To me, a boss lady is someone who takes failure and mistakes as an opportunity to grow and is empathetic and kind towards everyone.
Describe a day in your life..
My days are long and exhausting; it starts off at 6:30am and at 8am, I hit my work place. Till 4pm, I do everything that I love i.e. design new programs, connect and engage with amazing human beings and get inspired. Then I do my ultimate favourite in the world- dancing! I run evening dance fitness classes at Aimfit. Amidst these two jobs, I play with my cat, spend time with friends and families and workout!
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
Failure is critical for growth.
What advice would you give to young girls who look upto you and have goals and dreams like you?
Please invest in yourself; step out of your comfort zones and do something for yourself to be the best version of yourself! do what you love always!