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UofGH alumnus Kaleed Rasheed steps into politics

Kaleed Rasheed

Entering politics was not part of University of Guelph-Humber alumnus Kaleed Rasheed’s career game plan, at least during the time he was studying here.

However, Rasheed, a recently elected MPP (Mississauga East-Cooksville), says when the opportunity to be part of change presented itself, he jumped at the chance to make a difference.

The former UofGH student says the Business program at UofGH equipped him with the necessary skills needed to excel in the corporate world as well as the political arena.

“While at the University of Guelph-Humber, I enjoyed the benefits of the collaboration between the University of Guelph and Humber College,” Rasheed observed. “I particularly liked the fact that many of the professors that taught us had industry experience. I got both the theoretical as well as the practical aspects of the program. My education also helped me prepare for the real world.”

Following his graduation from UofGH in 2009, Rasheed headed to the U.K. where he earned his Master of Business Administration. After his return to Canada, he joined Waterloo-based BlackBerry as an enterprise account executive. His career also includes several years of experience in the banking and IT sectors.

Why politics?

As a card-carrying member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, Rasheed won the nomination to become the PC candidate of a Mississauga riding while working at BlackBerry. Soon after, he quit his job to focus on the task that lay ahead.

“Politics, for me, is not a career but a public service,” Rasheed said. “I was involved with politics in a grassroots level even while I was working in the private sector. I soon realized I could either sit on the couch and complain about how things were or do something about it.”

The idea of building a prosperous province with his fellow Conservative members for his children and others also factored into his decision, he said.

“We have to make sure the future generation is part of a thriving province because everybody deserves a prosperous future,” Rasheed said. “Having worked in the private sector, I know how to get the job done and that is how I plan to manage my responsibilities as an MPP.”

The cricket club

While studying at UofGH, Rasheed and a few others started a cricket team that competed with other schools.

The popular sport is typically played outdoors, but weather and other constraints meant the UofGH students had to opt for an indoor pitch at the Humber gymnasium.

Launching the initiative allowed Rasheed to practise teamwork both on the pitch and off it as well.

“I believe we all succeed as a team,” he said. “We also fail as a team, which is why I believe team work and collaboration are important skills.”