Employer Relations Manager Has Traveled the World, Speaks Five Languages
Meet Baki Izzat, employer relations manager for the University’s Career Development Center, who discusses her own first job (removing rose bushes) and why she loves helping Chargers blossom in their own careers.
November 27, 2023
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
The lifeblood of the University of New Haven are the faculty and staff members who dedicate their lives to helping our students reach their goals. Periodically, we’ll introduce you to a member of the staff so you can learn more about them – beyond their day-to-day work.
Next up is Baki Izzat, employer relations manager for the University’s Career Development Center, a first-generation college student and former Miss Danbury CT who is passionate about helping students find careers they will love.
Renee Chmiel: What’s your favorite season? Baki Izzat: I LOVE late spring and early summer, and being outdoors makes me happy. I feel like that time of year is not too hot or too cold, and I get to enjoy the beautiful foliage outside. It's also a reminder that things are coming back to life and are ready to be in full swing for the rest of the year!
RC: Please tell us about your family. BI: I am one of five kids. Including my parents, that makes us a family of 7! And, I have more than 50 first-cousins...isn't that so cool?! But they all were in Pakistan while my family was here (which is a whole other story for another time).
RC: Please tell us about your first job! BI: Such a great question! My first job (under the table) was helping a woman remove rose bushes from her garden so she could plant new flowers there! My first "official" job was as a cashier at my local food market. From there, someone noticed my talent in communicating with people and recruited me to work for our town's popular ice cream shop. From there, I was moved to the central office for the franchise!
RC: If you could live in another place and time, when and where would that be? BI: Honestly, I feel like each era has its own beauty to it! I love learning about the music, fashion, hair styles, and different movements (political) from each era.
RC: What kind of music do you listen to? BI: I speak five languages, and my playlist is heavily Bollywood, Punjabi, or R&B soul music.
RC: What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done? BI: Existing is one of the most courageous things I have ever done. My life has been a rollercoaster, and each day is new. From traveling the world, helping 50,000+ students, being an intersectional first-generation-Pakistani-American-Brown-Muslim individual, life is BUSY! I would say leaving the U.S. for three months after graduating (in the top 10% of my class) was probably one of the most courageous things I have done. I explored so much during that time period and learned a lot about myself.
RC: What do you enjoy the most about your role at the University? BI: As a whole, I specialize in college and career development. For my 9-5, I get to work with really cool employers to help feed their student-talent pipeline. This enables me to work with students to help them build their talents and key skills.
During my 5-9 (after work), I was Miss Danbury CT '22-'23 and worked with local politicians, businesses, nonprofits, and more to provide educational resources to K-12 students and college students. I also create content for social media and have more than one million engagements. I strive to provide resources and tools to students to help leverage their college and career journey.
With that being said, what I love MOST about my 9-5 is my ability to give back. I feel like I am fulfilling my purpose, and if I can help even one student at the University find what THEY want to do in their career trajectory, that is a success for me. Plus, I have an AMAZING team of professional and student staff who make going into the office even more memorable.