Day in the life: Karima Ramji


- Will Johnson

A day in the life of Karima Ramji involves helping UVic students find jobs outside Canada. As international coordinator with the Co-operative Education Program and Career Services, she spends her days helping students realize their dreams of working internationally.

“Students should feel comfortable coming to see me regarding any aspect of international work, be it through co-op or as part of their career plans,” says Karima, who has a warm and welcome smile. She knows that finding a job internationally is hard work, but she relishes the impact it has on students’ lives. “It is so gratifying to see the profound impact an international experience has on a student, both from a personal and professional development perspective,” she says.

Originally from Uganda, Karima was raised in a small town on the west coast of Kenya before coming to Canada to complete her education. She received a BSc from SFU and a master’s of health administration from UBC. Before starting her current job in 2008, she worked for several years as a co-operative education coordinator for the UVic Business Co-op and Career Centre.

Students approach Karima each year to pursue international opportunities with organizations as diverse as community-based NGOs like the Centre for Participatory Research in India, major corporations like the Tetley Group in the United Kingdom, and post-secondary institutions like Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. When she’s not liaising with students, Karima spends a lot of time establishing new relationships between UVic and international employers.

Karima is devoted to her family, which includes her husband Alnoor and her two children, eight-year-old Qaseem and five-year-old Qaeeza. Her children are a constant source of inspiration, as they seem to view the world in a different way. “They just make everything so much simpler than we do as adults. They show me that life doesn’t need to be complicated,” she says with a smile.

Life in Victoria is certainly different than her childhood in Bungoma, in the western province of Kenya. One of seven children, Karima lived with her six siblings, her parents, four cousins and her aunt and uncle. “I’ve retained those family values,” she says. “It was a fun way to grow up.”

Karima feels that working internationally and experiencing other cultures are very important experiences for students. “It helps them to realize that there’s a whole world out there, one that exists outside our lives here. I think it’s really beneficial for them to develop a global mindset,” she says.

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Keywords: Day in the Life, staff

People: Karima Ramji

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