Q&A with Aliya Mohamed, Forty Under 40 Winner 2020; Director of public affairs, Translink, Age 36
Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?
My immigrant parents, who worked every day on their independent business while raising a family and giving to their community.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Spicy food – especially whole, red chillies. Fact: I can eat several in one sitting.
What is the best book you would recommend?
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. It’s helped me unpack how I think about thinking.
Now that you’re entering your 40s, what goals have you set for yourself?
As I approach my late 30s, I’m going to focus on building my career and continuing to give back to our community.
Choose one of these five childhood career dreams: Rock star, star athlete, prime minister, astronaut, detective.
Toss-up between rock star and prime minister. My singing in the shower got me to youth choir, but nowhere beyond that.
Name your happiest place.
Exploring the world beneath us while scuba diving in warm waters.
What was your toughest business or professional decision?
Moving from politics to the “real world.”
Advice you would give your 20-year-old self?
Be more forgiving to yourself. Everyone will make mistakes, but if you keep going with the right attitude you will bounce back quickly and achieve your goals.
What is your best habit?
Checking in on friends and family. Making the first move to stay in touch and keep the flame of the friendship alive.
Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.
I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2017. It’s not as easy as it looks and it’s colder than you think at the summit.
Best piece of advice ever received?
Keep your head down, work hard and don’t boast about your successes. The rest will follow.
What career highlight are you most proud of?
To have worked for a prime minister who left a strong legacy for moving this country in the right direction and opened the door to so much progress for Canada’s Ismaili Muslim community.