‘How Wearing Hijab Cost Me Internship Opportunities, But Later Rewarded with Better Offer’ – Nigerian Lady Shares Her Story

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That’s not the first time, so I wasn’t surprised. The interview ended and I was told that there’s a project close to where I live, the following week all necessary information will be communicated. I was also told that volunteering is without pay.


As resilience and passion-driven traits are fundamental requirements for individuals to unlock potentials and achieve their set goals and objectives, particularly career wise, a quality health, safety and environment professional identified as Mariam Alawiye-Nurudeen has shared her career-entering story on veil rejection.

Sharing her career journey experience via her Facebook page, Mariam recounts how she went on LinkedIn after her postgraduate studies to search for people in the field, sent out her brief profile and seek for ways to navigate her career path.

“I went on Linked  In, searched for people in my field as I was determined to practice in my chosen career Health Safety Environment, sent them a brief profile about me and asked for ways to navigate the career path. Some responded, some didn’t.”

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According to Mariam, one of her senior colleagues shared with her a link to join a professional group for engineers which she did and began to learn the theoretical part of the group while also submitting CVs for HSE roles.

“I attended several interviews, but didn’t proceed further due to lack of field experience, so I decided to open to volunteering opportunities to acquire the required experience and I got connected by someone with an HSE Consulting firm.

While aiming to secure the role during an interview, several questions were asked as regards the role and others pointed to her dressing, a veiled lady on project sites becoming concerns for them.

“That’s not the first time, so I wasn’t surprised. The interview ended and I was told that there’s a project close to where I live and by the following week all necessary information will be communicated. I was also told that volunteering is without pay.”

Mariam’s determination to begin her career in the HSE profession made her less concerned about the financial condition as she intended to get her financial support from her fashion business. Unfortunately, the firm never reached out to her.

Meanwhile, during the time, Mariam had introduced a new friend to volunteer opportunities in an organization and was given the role while the firm she had interviewed are yet to send any information to her.

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“I decided to reach out to the organisation but it yielded no positive response. I cried my eyes out, it is still my most painful experience of job hunting. For weeks I was still in pain each time I remember. She noted.

“One day while making a client’s dress I felt the pain again, this time I felt my chest tightening and the rush of tears down my cheeks. In that state I supplicate to Allah to grant me an opportunity to learn if HSE is the path for me or He erases the love I have for it and help me focus on my fashion designing.

“This particular day, I received a call from a member in the group asking me to apply for my dream job with the interview the next day. I went for the interview and I was offered the job without any objection about my appearances and they are only concerned about results. At that moment I knew this was Allah.”

For Mariam, she didn’t only learn Health Safety Environment but with the best approach. “I grew, met people, worked with several multinationals I didn’t have access to. The best part is I never had to compromise my appearance or faith. She concluded.

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