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Lali Mohamed

Idil Omar

“If I hadn’t been so involved on campus, I never would have had the guts to knock down barriers in my life and get ahead.”
EducationArts and Contemporary Studies, '11, BA
Areas of ExpertiseChief of Staff, Next Canada

Arts propelled her success

As an Arts and Contemporary Studies student at Ryerson’s Faculty of Arts, Idil Omar gained the knowledge and experience to become an Arts student leader, a contributor to Arts alumni affairs and a rising human resources professional.

Omar recalls having access in her program to everything she needed to thrive, including experiential learning opportunities, a leading-edge computer lab and a student lounge. She says instructors were keen to support her success, recalling one who coached her on balancing extracurricular activities with class work.

“He taught me how to manage my commitments and concentrate on my grades. He genuinely wanted me to succeed,” Omar recalls.

Meanwhile, the tight-knit, inclusive community provided Omar with the confidence to pursue different leadership roles. She served for two years as an Arts representative on Ryerson Student Union’s board of directors. She also served on the Faculty of Arts Course Union, where she planned social and educational events for students and helped them secure research funding.

These rich, rewarding experiences drew Omar back to Ryerson after graduation – her first job was at the Digital Media Zone, where she was able to use subsequent HR management training to become a recruiter. In 2015, she started a business consultancy she still runs. The following year, she became an advisor to former Ryerson president Sheldon Levy when he was Ontario’s Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. Levy was so impressed with Omar’s talent and skills, when he went on to lead Next Canada, he invited her to be his Chief of Staff. She says a highlight of the job is collaborating on joint projects with the DMZ.

It’s not only through work that Omar stays connected to Ryerson. After graduating, she served on the Faculty of Arts Alumni Association board, and is now a Ryerson University Alumni Association board member. It’s how she gives back to a place that propelled her professional and personal growth.