HomeOverachieversThe Creativity Issue

Interview with Shaina Zafar

By March 15, 2019 March 23rd, 2019 76 Comments

The third in a series of interviews in partnership with JUV Consulting, Overachiever Magazine got the chance to sit down and talk with JUV Consulting’s CPO, Shaina Zafar.

1. What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?
I have always been someone that focuses on the question of “what’s next?” when it comes to accomplishing anything in my life. However, recently, I have made a conscious effort to just live in the moment and the present. This has been through a higher state of mindfulness and spirituality. Taking note of gratitude rather than awards or accolades has been a massive perspective shift for me that has made me simply feel fulfilled and that within itself is a truly good feeling.

2. What does a CPO do?
As the Chief Product Officer at JUV, I get to oversee and manage our entire consultancy and the Vine network. The value proposition of JUV is that our product is our people. When clients work with us, they have the opportunity to get see, hear, and feel Generation Z’s perspective with complete authenticity. Through the Vine—a network of over 1,000 Gen Zers from across the world—Gen Zers complete surveys, engage in interviews and get exclusive access to professional opportunities through JUV. Being CPO, it is up to me to personally know and understand the needs of our consultants and our clients. From there, our team strategizes how to address these collective needs. I have reviewed hundreds of applications, done numerous interviews, and on-boarded over 100 people within our consultancy but the most exciting part of all this is getting to meet people and not only know their names but know their stories.

3. If you could ask yourself any question, what would it be, and what is the answer?
The question would be “what is the only constant in life?” The answer would be “change.”

4. Have you ever personally experienced discrimination?
Being an American-Pakistani Muslim woman means that the reality of my lived experiences includes discrimination. Whether these are microaggressions or subtle cues rooted in misogyny and racism, my identity is not something I shy away from. It is instead a force of power. If I walk into a board room and do not see someone that looks like me, it becomes my duty to change the societal norms and standards we have previously set in place, pushing back against the status quo.

5. Who do you look up to?
The person I admire and appreciate the most is my mother. Her resilience and sacrifices have made me the person I am today and without her guidance, grit, and love I would not be where I am today.

6. What are some of your day-to-day duties at JUV Consulting?
My day-to-day schedule includes calls with clients and answering email chains to drafting and analyzing surveys for our Vine network. We are launching our first ever newsletter for the Vine and recently, I have been working to create the content and aesthetic for the newsletter launch!

7. What are you studying?
I am studying International Relations and Consumer Psychology!

8. What is your dream career?
My dream career would be the combination of Amal Clooney, a human rights lawyer, and Grant Achatz, a three-star Michelin chef. It would be a balance of the writ, charisma, and intelligence of Clooney that allows her to advocate and empower people along with the creative risk that Achatz takes when it comes to culinary gastronomy.

9. What is your go-to coffee order?
I am guilty of being a gold star member at Starbucks but I actually do not drink coffee on its own. I only drink flavored, sugary lattes and always try something new on the Starbucks menu. My favorite drink at Starbucks includes an Iced Caramel Macchiato.

10. What do you consider the biggest problem facing Asian women today to be?
The biggest misconception when it comes to Asian women is that we are submissive, passive, and quiet. We have the ability to express our thoughts and do not need others to speak on our behalf. There is a conversation shift that happens when we talk about “reclaiming our narrative” and in order to do this, people have to give Asian women the platform and agency to take control over their stories and lived experiences.

Shaina Zafar is the Chief Product Officer at JUV Consulting and a current sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. She’s a first-generation, low-income college student majoring in International Relations and Consumer Psychology. At Penn, she’s involved in Turner Society for Social Impact and Pan-Asian American Community House, PAACH.
Being cognizant of her voice and the power of Generation Z, she now helps manage JUV’s consultancy practice of over 100 consultants and the Vine—a global network of 1,200+ Gen Zers—along with the firm’s research methodology and consulting services strategy. Previously, she’s worked with the Born This Way Foundation and AOL’s #BUILTBYGIRLS Program to increase awareness about emotional intelligence and empower young girls to pursue their passions in STEM. Every year on her birthday, she makes a Spotify playlist with only 365 songs. If she isn’t exploring new music, you can find her cooking at odd hours of the night or tweeting online @ShainaZafar!

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