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Volunteer spotlight: Mahbubur Rahman

Mahbubur Rahman (MASc’16, MPA’22), a project manager with the Government of Nova Scotia, values the connections he has made volunteering with Dal since 2013.

Posted: April 4, 2024

Rahman is standing and in conversation with a woman at the Champagne Social event.

After coming to Canada in 2013, Mahbubur Rahman (MASc’16, MPA’22) sought connection to the Dal and Halifax communities through volunteering.

Since then, he has volunteered in many capacities and continues to stay involved at Dal.

How long have you been a Dal volunteer and in what capacity?

I started volunteering at Dalhousie University as a student in 2013 with multiple student societies, eventually moving into leadership positions in many of them including the Dalhousie Student Union, Dalhousie Engineering Graduate Society, and Dalhousie Bangladesh Students Society.

After graduating from Dal in 2016, I continued volunteering as an alum at the Dalhousie water station at the Blue Nose Marathon and the International Student Holiday Dinner. I was also the Chair of the Dalhousie Alumni Association Halifax Chapter (2017-2019). Currently, I am one of the alumni Global Ambassadors for Halifax.

What inspired you to become a Dal volunteer?

One of my life mottos is to make the lives of people around me better and the best way for me to do that is by contributing my time as a volunteer. When I came to Canada in 2013 from Bangladesh, I wanted to be more connected with the Dalhousie and Halifax communities. I used the opportunity to get involved with as many student groups and community organizations as possible. I found a lot of passionate people in those groups and organizations who encouraged me to continue to get involved. I took on leadership positions within some organizations and never looked back. I continued volunteering at Dalhousie and in the Halifax community.

What have you learned or gained from your time as a volunteer?

I have really enjoyed my time as a volunteer. I have met many selfless people who became my friends. I made thousands of connections through volunteering which have enriched my personal and professional network.

I have received many formal recognitions for volunteering, such as the Dalhousie University Dal Connects Change Agent award 2014, International Spirit of the Year Award 2015,  Board of Governors Award 2015, Nova Scotia Provincial Volunteer Award 2017, HRM Volunteer Award 2017 and Top 25 Immigrants in the Maritimes 2018. The most rewarding of all has been seeing the appreciation from people whose lives were impacted positively because of my volunteering. 

What is the single best experience you’ve had as a Dal volunteer?

At one of the International Student Holiday Dinners, a student came to me and thanked me for organizing the event. Amidst tears, they shared how it was depressing away from home during the holidays and how special it felt to be part of this dinner. It was an emotional moment. They also mentioned how their parents back home were thankful when they heard about the holiday dinner — feeling reassured that there are people in Dalhousie who cared about their child’s wellbeing.

Rahman holds a sign along the path of the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax,

What advice would you give someone considering volunteering for Dal?

I highly recommend volunteering. To me, the university experience is not complete if you are not volunteering. Please find the group that interests you and start volunteering. I know it will not pay you back with money, but what you will get is much more than money can buy.

Beyond being an alum and Dal volunteer, do you have other connections to Dalhousie?

I have worked in multiple positions in Dalhousie. Most recently as a Project Manager in DeepSense with Research Services and as a Project Manager in Facilities Management.

One of my most memorable works at Dalhousie was taking a key role in Student Union Building Renovations in 2015-2016. It’s great to see the transformation of that building and how the result of our work at the time is still providing better student services now.