Queen Mary Alumni

Alumni profile - Hussain Khan

This is one of the most hectic and exciting times to be in politics. You have the Covid-19 Pandemic, the US presidential elections, global human rights violations, and a huge international shift in how people work and conduct business. It is a crazy time to be in politics, but that’s what keeps me going.

(International Business and Politics MSc, 2020)

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Could you tell us about your journey to Queen Mary? Why did you choose to study the MSc in International Business and Politics? 

I completed my undergraduate studies at Swansea University and felt very comfortable with the academic and cultural scene in the UK. After graduating, I decided that I wanted to complete my MSc at Queen Mary as I deemed it to be a reputable university that was close to the City of London, my friends and many convivial events in London. 

What aspects of your degree did you enjoy and what were your most memorable moments at university? 

Although I only got to experience half of my degree in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my time at Queen Mary was made most memorable by playing American Football with the QMBL Vipers.Photo of alumnus, Hussain Khan, playing American Football with the QMBL Vipers I loved that I was able to take part in American sporting games in the UK and had an awesome experience representing my university. I was also able to make some lifelong friends from my course, which is irreplaceable. 

You recently began working as a Congressional Panelist for the United States Senate. Could you tell us about your work and provide some insights into any projects you are currently working on? 

After I completed my MSc in September 2020, I was fortunate enough to obtain three separate internships at the US Congress. The first internship was for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, the second one was for Congressman Brad Schneider, and the last and current one is for IL Senator Adriane Johnson.

If you want to pursue a career in political advocacy, it is important that you instil honesty, transparency and truth in your daily work and conduct.

Some of the duties I was tasked with included researching legislation passing in the US Senate, tracking COVID-19 vaccine numbers, and also attending congressional committee hearings and briefings. I am very grateful for these opportunities, particularly because they all coincided back-to-back, meaning there were no gaps in my CV, and I was constantly occupied with mostly exciting work. 

I currently have an internship at the United Nations for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), and my department focuses on humanitarian efforts whenever there is a global disaster. So right now, there is huge attention on Afghanistan and the people of the country. We send aid and supplies to the ones affected, and we also coordinate intergovernmental policy negotiations for the fundamental principle of human rights. 

What made you enter this field? What opportunities did you see? 

This interest was formed through my experiences interning at various embassies and government organisations prior. I became fascinated with observing how the relationship between the two changed and transformed over the course of time and felt a strong desire to continue working in this field. 

What is something about you that people might find surprising? 

Probably my love for travel. I have lived in 6 different countries, 3 different US States, and traveled to over 25 countries in my lifetime. 

Who has been your biggest influence and why? 

I am really into music: listening to music is a great way to imagine new realities and one of my main artistic influences is Metallica who are currently celebrating their 40th anniversary together as a band this year. They embrace the exhortation of “Carpe Noctem” which roughly translates to being your true authentic self in spite of what others may think – well that’s how I interpret it anyway. They also put amazingly creative lyrics into their music which is an added plus. 

In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of? 

Probably securing an internship at the US Congress straight out of university. What a way to start your career!

Would you say this is an exciting time to be in politics? 

Absolutely. This is one of the most hectic and exciting times to be in politics. You have the Covid-19 Pandemic, the US presidential elections, global human rights violations, and a huge international shift in how people work and conduct business. It is a crazy time to be in politics, but that’s what keeps me going. 

What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing careers in political advocacy? 

I’d like to answer this question by referring to one of my favourite quotes from the Metallica song To Live is to Die: “When a man lies, he murders some part of the world”. In essence, it is important for one to be honest with oneself; for dishonesty destroys the trust that exists between the people and their representatives. 

If you want to pursue a career in political advocacy, it is important that you instil honesty, transparency and truth in your daily work and conduct. 

I’d also like to add that, in this sector, you should expect that people will have different opinions and sometimes people will get things wrong. Nevertheless, it is important that you remain focused on doing your job and making sure that you are not getting caught up in office politics. 

Where do you see yourself in 2030? 

I honestly don’t know where I see myself in the next few years, but I am mostly optimistic for the future. I am certain that I’ll probably remain immersed within the world of politics and look forward to a future opportunity to work at a senior level in government.

If you would like to get in touch with Hussain or engage him in your work, please contact Nathalie at n.grey@qmul.ac.uk.