MEET: Jihad Raya

Min Club Chair 2019-2020

MIN CLUB CHAIR — Jihad Raya (MinE fourth year, 1T9 + PEY), the Min Club Chair, in the Min Club Lounge for Lassonde Mineral Engineering students in CivMin.
PHOTO: Phill Snel, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering/ U of T

Jihad Raya is a busy fourth year Lassonde Mineral Engineering student, as well as Min Club Chair, but is also a firm believer in “me time” to help keep everything in perspective.

“Take the time to go out with friends, to go out with family, to go out and have fun. It doesn’t have to be going out drinking and all that – I think a lot of people get that impression. Honestly, go out for dinner, go play board games, if that’s what you’re into. Just get away from school for a bit,” declares Raya.

He’s personally proven the work-life balance approach while on his PEY (Professional Experience Year) at Kinross Gold Corp, as well as tied it to academic success. “The most fun I had was in my third year, and it was also my highest performing [academic] year. I understood myself a little bit better, and how to study. Just being able to relax and turn it off every once in a while kind of allows you to get through that mental ‘reset’ you sometimes need.”

Raya’s believes in fostering a sense of belonging in his role, and finds himself at home in the Lassonde Mineral Building. “The [Min] Club is the whole community – I think it’s really tightknit and is unique within the Department and the entire Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. Because of our size – we’re a smaller program obviously – it’s something really unique that we have. And while others may look at the program size and say it’s a negative; we kind of think it as a positive. We know all of our professors, we all know each other, and we’re all friends.”

Academic and professional opportunities for those in Lassonde Mineral Engineering are abundant, Raya says, “We’re really blessed. There’s so many scholarships and opportunities provided by the [mining] industry that benefit so many students here. Sometimes people don’t apply, so the scholarships don’t get used – make sure you apply.”

Networking at events hosted by companies on campus are numerous, but worth the time.

With a regularly-scheduled Friday night off, Raya says it’s important to keep that appointment and believes everyone should do something similar. “Just scheduling some time for just me time works. Honestly, sometimes the easiest way is to just to say I don’t need to worry about school right now. I think it helps me de-stress, it helps me perform better.”


By Phill Snel