Alumni Spotlight: Hajar Mouchtahi ’19

Hajar Mouchtahi graduated in May of 2019 with a BA in Communications. Hajar was an international student from Morocco. Her passions and dreams led her to Berea College, where her American Dream began. When asked about her Berea experience, Hajar said, “At Berea, I felt free to express myself; I discovered that you don’t have to be oppressed, and you can embrace and be yourself.”

Like many young people, Hajar was unsure about what academic and career path she should choose – “I did not know what I wanted to do, and I had a lot of pressure on me, by me.” At Berea, Hajar had several labor positions, including Admin Assistant at the Center for International Education and Spanish Teaching Assistant. Still, she found working as an Admissions Ambassador the most suitable job – “It helped me because I realized I loved marketing and helped me build relationships and relevant professional experience.”

Berea allowed her the benefit of the doubt, so she changed her major and labor positions until she found what she was genuinely interested in –  “I focused on what I wanted to do, and Berea is such a great opportunity to discover that with so many resources available.” She encourages students to not be afraid to not know what they want to do and instead focus on things and classes that look interesting to them.

Currently, Hajar works as an Assistant to the Head of Management and Licensing departments at UTA Ventures – one of the world’s leading talent and entertainment companies. She says, “the greatest part of working here is the learning opportunities and the fact that I work with many people I used to watch as a kid in Morocco.” She found her passion for this field when she interned with a Fashion PR and Marketing Agency in Los Angeles – “that is when I knew that it’s what I want to do in life.” Her path to success was not easy, especially as an international student, Hajar encountered multiple hurdles until she succeeded after Berea, but she never gave up:

“Coming from a place where I did not have much, which I think most people from Berea come from the same background and wanting my life to be a certain way and not settling for anything less than that, it puts like a fire in you, and that’s what prepared me for anything in my life. It is so important to have that mentality where you know want you want, and you put the work in until you get it.”

When I asked her what she values the most about her job, she said working with some of the biggest names of the NBA, like James Labron or other famous actors, gives her a sense of self-fulfillment. She oversees schedules of people who handle marketing projects, product launches, or licensing and business development, which can be overwhelming. Still, it is very rewarding for her – “the most valuable experience for me is being able to get through very large deals and seeing how these deals are being made. Learning these things at my age is so valuable and important.”

She strongly encourages students to believe in themselves and their abilities to succeed – “There is a lot of lack of confidence in today’s youth, but you need to remember, if you dream it, you can do it. Everything is possible, even your wildest dreams!” When asked if she has any final advice for Berea students, she shared a few skills that she sees crucial in order to succeed in today’s society:

“Be very diligent, work well and right. Learn to multitask and not complain. Work hard and be smart about what you do; plan it out. Work on your soft skills, those are very important. And finally, don’t take no for an answer, never give up!”

I hope Hajar’s story inspired you as much as it inspired us! If you wat to chat with Hajar and learn more about her story, connect with her on LinkedIn.

By Eduard Ciobanu
Eduard Ciobanu Employer Relations Specialist