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A Salute to the Benefits of Military LifeNovember 9, 2018

Meet Mujda Hakime, reservist with the Canadian Navy and electrical and biomedical engineering grad.

When it comes to job perks, a few months in Greece or Fiji are pretty decent ones. Not to mention tuition bursaries, flexible working stints and the opportunity to learn a range of skills and trades.

For Mujda Hakime, the benefits of a gig as a reservist with the Canadian Navy began when she joined up as a 16-year-old high school student, attracted by the opportunity for free training as a naval communicator.

Throughout her university years, the reserves provided interesting summer work and training across Canada. More recently, a couple of stints working with the Naval Security Team took her to exotic overseas destinations.

And while the 2015 Electrical and Biomedical Engineering grad is now headed to a Quebec City hospital for a full time civilian job as a clinical engineer, she intends to remain an active member of the reserves.

“A lot of reservists have full time civilian jobs,” says Hakime. “I can work at the hospital, then train once or twice a week with the Quebec city unit in the evenings.”

A naval communicator responsible for the computers, radio and satellite systems when aboard ship, she hopes to take part in deployments on her holidays or during authorized leaves.

For university students, Hakime says the reserves offer the best part-time job going. With some research, students can connect with a position related to their studies and gain valuable job experience while considering whether to pursue a full-time military career.

“It’s an amazing and flexible job that provides you with a lot of training and opportunities to meet people from all over the world,” she says.

Born in Afghanistan, Hakime immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of 8 and admits that she faced some resistance from her family when she wanted to join up. Both her father and uncle had been conscripted to combat.

“They wanted to get away from war and military and stuff like that,” she explains.

But her experience in the reserves has changed their perspective, and two of her younger siblings have now also opted to join.

Beyond the personal benefits of the job, Hakime says she has also enjoyed being a Canadian representative on the international front.

On her recent stint in Fiji, the Naval Security Team visited local hospitals, shelters and schools to do manual work and connect with people.

“It was really nice to represent Canada and help people as a military member wearing the uniform,” she says.