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Community makes a home

Spring graduate credits getting involved for building friendships, securing full-time job

Campus and Community

By Courtenay Griffin

When Arman Hossain moved from his family home in Bangladesh to study at Memorial in May 2019, the only person he knew was a schoolmate from his high school. 

Arman Hossain stands with his arms crossed while smiling in a hallway that is out of focus. There is a gold sash with the text "special feature" in it in the top left-hand corner.
Arman Hossain will collect a bachelor of business administration degree on Wednesday, May 29, during spring convocation ceremonies.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

While the schoolmate from home had recommended that he choose Memorial and showed him the ropes after arriving on the St. John’s campus, Mr. Hossain was otherwise on his own. 

“I was missing that sense of belonging,” he said. 

Five years later, as he’s preparing to cross the stage to receive his bachelor of business administration degree on Wednesday, May 29, during spring convocation ceremonies at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, he has a wide network of past and present co-workers and friends. 

He also has a full-time job as the food services co-ordinator for the 2025 Canada Games on the St. John’s campus, and is responsible for feeding nearly 10,000 volunteers, coaches, athletes, VIPs, trainers and officials. 

Pushing his comfort zone

But Mr. Hossain admits the last five years haven’t been easy. 

“I have volunteered and worked so hard for this,” he said. “Not just my studies, but I have not missed a single networking event. Any opportunity presented to me where I could network or improve my public speaking skills, I took it and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to be the best version of myself — and I’m still working on it.” 

Mr. Hossain says he was never the brightest student, but when he first came to Memorial, he focused all his attention on his academics. 

“The more you’re involved with the community, the more sense of belonging you will have.” — Arman Hossain

He focused on studying, going to class and making sure he stayed on top of everything.

In Bangladesh, academics are treated differently and employers request people’s grades before making a hiring decision. 

By his second semester, Mr. Hossain realized that grades are only part of the picture. 

“I learned the importance of developing soft skills and getting experience, so when that realization hit me, I started to get more involved.” 

Mr. Hossain started by going to events at Memorial’s Internationalization Office, where he got his very first job as an airport greeter for incoming international students. He says he made some lifelong friends there.

“They became like family to me,” he said. 

Sage advice

Since then, Mr. Hossain has held multiple paid and volunteer positions with the Internationalization Office, MUNSU, Student Life and the Student Volunteer Bureau and has been involved in various clubs and societies. 

He says he is “so proud and fortunate” to have met the people he has at Memorial and in the community through his employment.

“I wouldn’t be here without their support,” he says. 

Mr. Hossain has built an impressive resumé during his undergraduate degree and has some advice for new and current students: get involved. 

“I know it’s a lot of information at the beginning, it can be overwhelming, and Memorial is a huge place with lots on the go, but get involved,” he said. “You also need to know your limits but get to know your community, because your community makes it home. The more you’re involved with the community, the more sense of belonging you will have.  

The text "class of 2024" is in gold against a claret background with gold bubbles and subtle circles. There is a gold sash with the text "special feature" on it in the upper left-hand corner.

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