Spotlight – Yusra Hussain

Spotlight - Yusra Hussain

This week, we took one of Muslamic Makers members and put her under our spotlight. 

Brothers & Sisters, meet Yusra Hussain.

Tell us a little about what you do?

Technology consultant – Renewable energies. (At Shell)

How did you get to where you are today?

I graduated with an MEng in Electronic engineering and joined Shell on the graduate scheme. I’ve held various roles at shell through the value chain (traditional oil & gas in Aberdeen through to trading).

I didn’t really have a goal in mind of where I wanted to go or how I planned on getting there, but once Shell began shifting heavily into the renewable space, I recognised this as an area that aligned with my values and one in which I’d like to be a part of.

Luckily my time in trading was very close to the electricity markets, so I was able to do background research in that, and now I’m in the part of the company I’m most passionate about, I’m looking at finding ways to cement my knowledge of renewable energy.

How do you balance your work schedule with your faith?

Working at such a large, international company has meant that there are great provisions already in the workplace – prayer rooms, Wudhu facilities (for both men & women), halal options in the canteen. This has been the case in all of the offices I’ve worked in, globally.

That said, it can be difficult to balance the work schedule when you have many meetings with prayers, especially in the winter. I think it’s taken a few years for me to adjust, and to get comfortable with telling my meetings (if it’s one other person) that I might be running late.

What is your daily quarantine routine?

My quarantine routine changed a little as I have moved home across the Atlantic, halfway through the quarantine.

Since moving; I wake up just before 6, pray fajr, and start work at 6. I then work to around 2/3pm, taking a break for lunch but largely staying at my desk. This I want to adjust, sitting for 8 hours is not fun!

After work I give myself a bit of a break before starting my evening projects. Some of these involve learning – I’m trying to re-teach myself mobile app development for an idea I have. After a couple of hours of this, I’d read or watch TV with my family, call friends and spend inordinate amounts of time on my phone.

I’m hoping to spend more time on my projects and self development. With Ramadan around the corner, I expect this will change as well.

Any new projects you've started in quarantine?

I have a couple! – I’m working on teaching myself mobile app development for an idea I had a few months ago but did not have time for! 

I’m also working with Robogals (robogals.org) to collate videos of women in STEM that are doing cool things in response to the COVID crisis. (Always looking for more women to send in videos!).

I have an ongoing project where I’m trying to collate stories of people’s experiences of colonialism, to help create understanding and preserve history.

With quarantine, a lot of people are away from their grandparents, I thought it would be a good way of engaging with them through live or recorded interviews and sharing these globally.

You can check my website here – theirstories.co You can also contribute. Sitting in quarantine I find myself coming up with many ideas, not all of them are any good though!

Top tip for finding a job that is suitable for your faith

Finding a workplace that values individuality and allows you to be authentic in the workplace. If you do not feel othered for who you are (religious minority or otherwise), its much easier to bring your full self to the workplace.

Top tips for someone starting out in their career

There’s no harm in trying things, don’t be afraid to ask questions, speak up in meetings even if you think what you’re going to say is obvious – it may not be to everyone.

What's the biggest career highlight?

Working in renewables! I always find it rewarding when I’m able to connect people and bring them together to solve problems, the more comfortable I’ve been in my job and with myself, the more I can make it happen

& finally please leave us with your favourite quote?

Be the change you wish to see.

If you would like to get in touch with Yusra , here are her details: