Meet Sarah Halwani


MEET SARAH HALWANI

 SARAH IS A FIRST GENERATION IMMIGRANT. SARAH LEFT HER HOME OF BEIRUT, LEBANON AT 18 TO PURSUE A HIGHER EDUCATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA. ALTHOUGH SHE WORKS IN THE FINANCE WORLD, SARAH HAS FOUND A PASSION IN HER BUSINESS BABES BREAKING BARRIERS. SHE IS USING HER EDUCATION AND GAINED SKILLS TO HELP PROVIDE CAREER COUNSELING SERVICES TO GEN Y WOMEN.

KEEP READING TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SARAH, WHY SHE CREATED BREAKS BREAKING BARRIERS, AND THE WOMEN WHO INSPIRE HER.

 

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?

I AM FROM BEIRUT LEBANON, MOVED TO THE STATES WHEN I WAS 18 TO PURSUE A HIGHER EDUCATION. I AM A FIRST-GENERATION IMMIGRANT.

DID YOU PURSE A HIGHER EDUCATION? WHY OR WHY NOT? IF SO, WHAT SCHOOL DID YOU ATTEND AND WHAT WAS YOUR DEGREE?

YES I DID, I HAVE MY BACHELORS OF SCIENCE IN FINANCE, AND MASTERS OF SCIENCE IN MANAGEMENT. BOTH FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA. EDUCATION WAS A HUGE DEAL TO MY FAMILY, ESPECIALLY MY DAD, WHO IS A CHEMICAL ENGINEER AND STRESSED UPON US THE IMPORTANCE OF GOING TO UNIVERSITY. I WAS A FULL TIME EMPLOYEE WHEN I DECIDED TO PURSUE GRADUATE SCHOOL FULL TIME AS WELL. FOR TWO YEARS I WOULD WORK 9-5 THEN ATTEND NIGHT CLASSES TWICE-THREE TIMES A WEEK FROM 6-10 PM, SO THAT MY FIRM CAN PAY FOR MY MASTERS. IT WAS NOT EASY, BUT IT WAS WORTH IT.

WHAT DO YOU FOR A LIVING? IS THIS WHAT YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE DOING 5-10 YEARS AGO?

I WORK AS A FINANCIAL AUDITOR AT A NOT-FOR-PROFIT REGULATOR CALLED FINRA IN THE FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY. ON THE SIDE I RECENTLY STARTED MY BUSINESS CALLED BABES BREAKING BARRIERS WHERE WE PROVIDE CAREER COUNSELING SERVICES TO GEN Y LADIES IN MARGINALIZED AND UNDERREPRESENTED DEMOGRAPHICS!

HAVE YOU FOUND YOUR PASSION IN LIFE? IF SO, WHAT IS IT?

YES I HAVE, MY PASSION IS TO ELEVATE WOMEN, LIFT THEM UP, AND HELP THEM SUCCEED. I GET TO DO THAT WITH BABES BREAKING BARRIERS.

WHAT EVENT OR MOMENT OCCURRED THAT LED YOU TOWARDS YOUR PASSION?

WHEN I REALIZED HOW DEEP MY PASSION TO HELP WOMEN SUCCEED RAN, PARTICULARLY WHEN I PARTICIPATED IN A WOMENS MARCH PROTEST, THE ENERGY AROUND ME WAS JUST RIVETING. IT WAS THEN I REALIZED I WAS PUT ON THIS EARTH TO SERVE AND HELP OTHER WOMEN.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE TRYING TO PURSUE A SIMILAR CAREER PATH?

KNOW YOUR NICHE, KNOW YOUR BRAND, AND HONE IN ON IT. BELIEVE IN YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE, OR WORK ETHIC; BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T, NO ONE ELSE WILL.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS ONE KEY ELEMENT, ACTION, ETC., THAT HELPED TO GET YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?

DISCIPLINE AND PERSEVERANCE. YOU ONLY NEED TO GET IT RIGHT ONCE, EVEN IF YOU FAIL 10 TIMES.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED FROM A PAST EXPERIENCE THAT YOU CARRY WITH YOU?

NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO LIKE YOU, NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO HAVE THE SAME HEART AS YOU, KNOW WHEN TO GIVE, AND KNOW WHEN TO PROTECT YOUR BOUNDARIES.

WHAT WOMEN (OR MEN) INSPIRE YOU? WHY?

AMAL CLOONEY, BECAUSE OF THE WORK SHE DOES IN THE HUMAN RIGHTS SPACE. (ALSO, A FELLOW LEBANESE!) ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF WHY REPRESENTATION MATTERS. SALLIE KRAWCHECK AS WELL.

WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE TO YOU? IS YOUR IDEA OF SUCCESS DIFFERENT FROM A PREVIOUS VERSION?

SUCCESS TO ME IS FOLLOWING YOUR PURPOSE, FULFILLING THAT PART OF YOU THAT WANTS TO SERVE OTHERS. THAT’S WHY WE WERE PUT ON THIS EARTH. SUCCESS PREVIOUSLY USED TO MEAN A STABLE JOB, STABLE INCOME, AND PEACE OF MIND. BUT NONE OF THOSE THINGS MATTER IF YOU AREN’T BEING FULFILLED AND CHALLENGED.

WHAT HOPE DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FUTURE?

I HOPE FOR A FUTURE WHERE WOMEN AND MEN ARE TREATED AS EQUALS IN EVERY ASPECT; SOCIOECONOMICALLY, CAREER WISE, HOME WISE, PAY WISE, AND GIVEN THE RESPECT THAT WE DESERVE.

IF YOU COULD GIVE ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER, THIRTEEN YEAR OLD SELF, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

OWN YOUR VOICE, YOUR VOICE HAS VALUE. DO NOT MAKE YOURSELF SMALLER SO THAT OTHER COULD FEEL BIGGER. ALSO, YOU CAN AND WILL GET THROUGH ANYTHING.

WHAT IS A QUOTE YOU LIVE BY?

THE QUESTION ISN'T WHO IS GOING TO LET ME; IT'S WHO IS GOING TO STOP ME- AYN RAND

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