Recently, Kirk Baumann, vice president of career services for Enactus, had the opportunity to spend some time with Enactus USA alumna Khadijah Nuriddin. Khadijah shared her Enactus perspective, both as a student and alumna now working for Enactus partner company Nice-Pak Products, Inc. You may not recognize the company name, but you’re probably familiar with their brands like The Original Wet-Nap®, Grime Boss® and Nice ′N Clean®.
Khadijah now serves as a Associate Marketing Manager for Private Label consumer household wipes. Following is a recap of the conversation.
How did you learn about Enactus?
I joined Enactus spring semester of my freshman year at Albany State University. I was attracted to the bold colors shirt member wore, that read “It’s a Big Deal”. So, I attended a community service event the organization hosted, just to see what the “Big Deal” was all about. After that one event, I was sold. The team had over 150 members and everyone was passionate about the enhancement of student education, professionalism, and community engagement.
What was your role on the Enactus team?
Shortly after joining Enactus, I became a Project Leader. After proving my leadership skills, I was elected Vice President of Communications (2011-2012). Enactus encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and try out for the Presentation Team. Spring 2011, I served as a member of the presentation team, traveling to regional and national alongside 8 colleagues. In 2013, I graduated from VP of Communication to Executive Assistant, working under our Sam Walton Fellow and Co-Advisor, and served as Presentation Coach during the spring of 2012 and 2013. For my final semester of undergraduate, I served as Senior Consultant to the Leadership team- passing along all my knowledge and best practices to the team before graduating.
Wow! It sounds like you had a wide variety of leadership roles on the team. So, what led you to your current position with Nice Pak?
In 2012, my team and I had the privilege of attending the Fall Leadership Conference and World Cup in Washington D.C. During the conference, I spoke to several recruiters and passed out my resume and business cards to over a dozen professionals. A few months after the conference I was contacted by the Human Resources department at Nice Pak Products Inc. and PDI for a summer internship. I never met with any recruiters from the company, but my resume was passed along to a recruiter. At that very point, I understood just how important networking and making a good impression really is.
You’re absolutely right! Networking and positive first impressions can have a powerful impact. So, did you take the internship?
Yes! I accepted a Marketing Operations internship with PDI’s healthcare department, working on project such as Social Media Implementation, Website testing of Content and Functionality, and Name Conventions for the Digital Asset Management system. Throughout my graduating semester, I stayed connected with Nice-Pak Products, Inc. and PDI, when I graduated, they offered me a position as an Associate Marketing Manager for Private Label consumer household wipes.
That’s fantastic. How do you think your Enactus experience prepared you to enter the workforce?
Enactus prepared me for the corporate lifestyle of being a professional, especially the team aspect. Having to work with a team can be difficult for some, but I learned how to handle pressure very well as a member of the Enactus team. Once I entered the workforce, it was easy for me to adapt to the environment, which is very team-focused at PDI. Today, I support the effort of product claims support, new product launches, and category market research. I work in collaboration with sales and marketing representatives from Costco, Walmart, Staples, Safeway, Target, BJ’s and AAFES. I contribute monthly insights of research, identifying market trends for national household brands vs private label products.
I am the first Enactus student that Nice-Pak Products, Inc. and PDI has hired as an intern or full-time employees. As the company seeks growth in its summer internship program, I would highly encourage Enactus students to take full advantage of this real world experience.
What is your best advice for today’s Enactus students?
Know what you want, where you want to be and go after it. Always begin with the end in mind, practicing good communication and organization skills. But most of all, use every opportunity as a learning experience to grow, prosper and flourish.
I’d also recommend that you stay connected to your team and others as a member of the Enactus alumni network. It’s a great way to give back, provide mentorship and remain engaged with the team’s development, both in respect to their projects and the development of young professionals.
Connect with Khadijah on LinkedIn.