Employee spotlight: Goodbye to Aisha Ismail

At UBC IT, we have the unique opportunity of being able to employ Co-op and Work Learn students who support our daily work activities while learning on-the-job skills. These students become integral to our daily operations by contributing fresh perspectives and injecting positive energy into our teams. When their short stay with us quickly approaches, it's important to celebrate the work they’ve accomplished, reminisce over the funny jokes told around the office, and wish them well on their new adventures. This week we are saying goodbye to Aisha Ismail, our UBC IT Communications and Marketing Work Learn student. 

Accomplishments unique to UBC IT

Aisha joined the UBC IT Communications team in May 2023 as a full-time Co-op student and transitioned to a part-time Work Learn student the following September. In such a short time, she’s been able to participate in various projects including an audit of UBC IT communications channels and helping develop a storytelling cadence for UBC IT News and The Weekly Post newsletter. When asked about her accomplishments during her time with UBC IT, she immediately jumped into discussing the unique opportunity of learning how to communicate with varying levels of colleagues and leadership. It’s not common in many workplaces to get the opportunity to work closely with such a wide range of people: from fellow Co-op students one day, to institutional leaders the next.  

During her time writing articles about her UBC IT colleagues and the work they do, her interviewing skills rapidly evolved. She learned how to ask the right questions at the right time, and about the need to be flexible during the interview sessions. “You can have a bank of questions already prepared, but it’s not always going to apply,” she said about the ever-changing nature of an interview, “...expectations change, and you need be able to adapt on the fly”. 

Not your everyday Co-op experience 

When asked about her favourite part about working at UBC IT, Aisha mentioned that it was a constant learning experience. UBC IT is such a large, diverse team and she had never expected to learn so much about the IT side of the university operations. For instance, when interviewing Matthew Ellis (Manager, Cybersecurity Incident Response at UBC) about his BCNET presentation entitled Demystifying Cybersecurity Risk in Projects, she learned a lot about Cybersecurity and the actual risks posed to UBC business operations, staff, faculty and students. “I never truly knew the risks,” she said.  

Egg jokes aside 

When she discussed her experience working with the UBC IT Communications team she said, "I thought I understood teamwork before I started, but this team has changed my perspective”. She mentioned that everyone at UBC IT was very warm and welcoming, and that she especially enjoyed the funny banter that went on in their MS Teams channel. Recently a colleague posted their outrage about a boiled egg costing $1.99 at an on-campus vendor, and the following egg jokes that persisted made her laugh. “We should start a boiled egg food truck,” a colleague joked, “we’d make a killing”. Egg jokes aside, she talked about how the team culture was so understanding. She said that in her past if she was struggling, the attitude was often “oh well, figure it out”, but this team encouraged her to ask for help when needed. She found the work enviroment to be extremely trusting and supportive. What is she going to miss the most about her job at UBC IT? “The team of course,” she said.  

We’re going to miss you too, Aisha! 

Check out some of the articles written by Aisha on UBC IT News.


Article by Yvonne Hopkins, Content Strategist at UBC IT.