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Alumni Network: WWIL Cofounder Iman Bashir

Alumni Network: WWIL Cofounder Iman Bashir

Cofounder of Western’s Women in Leadership ‘15. Iman Bashir is now a Software Developer & UX/UI designer with a strong passion for marketing and crafting visual identities. Founder @ Scriber Services – Founder @ ItsNu

What was your experience at WWIL like?

In my first year at Western University, after acclimatizing to the infinite opportunities to join clubs, organizations, and social groups, I noticed a void. Connections with some of the most inspiring women I’d ever met were made outside of school and leadership positions were predominantly filled with males. Never feeling like I belonged anywhere, I wanted to be a part of something bigger -like a sorority but of like-minded boss woman. WWIL was born. 

As the CoFounder and President for a year, WWIL was my life. Us founders had zero experience in management, fundraising or event organizing. Staying up till 3AM to design sponsorship packages with no photoshop experience, designing templates & training on how to ask for sponsorships, navigating through university guidelines and protocols, or forgetting people need lunch during the first conference and having my mom make 3 runs to Costco (Thanks mom!). It wasn’t easy, and there were a million things I wish I could tell my younger self -But above all it was an important growing and learning opportunity. Some of the relationships and lessons I have gotten out of it stay with me to this day.

What were your favourite parts about UWO? Any favourite classes?

WWIL. The community gave me a voice, an outlet and a family during a time where I was only starting to discover myself and potential. If I felt strongly about a worldly event or stance, I was able to discuss it in our forums. Get educated. Gain perspective. Be aware. If we felt like our Resume could use some work, with our collective energy we were able to have someone from Linkedin come train us and the photography club to do headshots. If I didn’t have a date for valentines day, I had the ability to create an event and be amongst others who didn’t either. Most importantly, I discovered I wasn’t alone in some of the obstacles I was facing as a young adult and could find ways to combat them together.

Other than WWIL, I spent a lot of time at Propel Entrepreneurship. An incubator to help young entrepreneurs through every start of their journey. Local access to mentors, connections, startup coaching and people doing really cool things. 

My favourite class – Personal Finance by Barry Hawn. Professor Barry Hawn taught life lessons that couldn’t be found in a textbook: hacks on savings accounts, investments, mortgages, bonds, credit and the importance of building wealth. 

Journey after WWIL?

After my third year of school, I made the difficult decision to drop out of school and was the first brought on board to execute a three day festival in 120 days for 15K+ people. With over 50 global partners, we hosted 200+ speakers in 20 venues around Toronto. 200 conference attendees at WWIL to 15,000 at Elevate Toronto.

It was the biggest “pinch me, is this real” moment. Pulled it off with the most amazing team, but made a dozen mistakes. Left to start a company with Audiobooks & 500 Startups founder where I also had a bunch of learning opportunities. 

Venturing out on my own, I built Scriber Services – An autonomous transcription company where I architected & developed a software solution to streamline transcription flow. You say it, we type it. Notable Clients: SickKids Hospital, University of Toronto, Renison University, Western University

After Scriber was mostly automated, I “built” over 20 websites (via outsourcing) where I discovered my love for design, but had no language to express it. That’s when I realized I need to stop outsourcing and learn to code myself. Initially launched as a solution for my own startup and network, I created a full-service interactive agency based out of Toronto. Bridging the gap between design, the code, the business, and the user -my approach is simple but bold. Core competencies include: UX/UI design, search engine optimization, web & application development. 

Years later, here I am. Working from the cloud and loving what I do. 

What is one piece of advice you would give yourself?

A leader is only as good as his/her team.

Bleed, cry. Do things the long & hard way. It is the only way you will learn.

What would you look for if you were in the position to hire new graduates from Western?

Extracurriculars & hunger. 

A dear friend once told me: “Skills can be taught, but you can’t teach character.” Patrick Lor, Panache Ventures

Favourite quote?

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 

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