Nazmin binti Abdullah, fresh out of university with a degree in Building Surveying, had a clear career path in mind—that’s why she took up a job in the world of construction sites and blueprints, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.   

Life, however, took an unexpected turn. When her mother fell ill and needed constant care, Nazmin had to give up her job and return home to her small town in the state of Kedah in Malaysia.  

Those years were a mix of conflicting emotions—on one hand she was happy to be with her family and be there for her mother, while on the other hand, it was a struggle to find stable work in a smaller town. She tried her hand in various jobs, from teacher’s assistant to hotel admin, each experience valuable but none quite igniting a long-term passion. 

It was during this time that a seed of change was planted in Nazmin. Witnessing the limitations faced by people in her hometown, especially in terms of access to education and resources, sparked in her a desire to help her community and be a part of something bigger. 

So, in 2019, while searching online, Nazmin came across a job opening at RYTHM Foundation that piqued her interest. The Foundation’s focus on empowering communities resonated deeply with her own evolving perspective. 

Starting as a programme assistant, Nazmin was involved in monitoring project progress, payments, etc. and saw first-hand the tangible difference their work made. But fate, or perhaps a healthy dose of curiosity, intervened. An opening came up in the Foundation’s administration department. It was a crossroads—the familiar territory of project management versus the uncharted waters of administration.  

After much deliberation, Nazmin decided to step outside her comfort zone and take on the challenge. This decision proved to be a turning point. The administrative role was more multifaceted than Nazmin initially anticipated. It involved meticulous record-keeping, managing logistics for events, and eventually, even delving into the world of finance.  

While the financial aspect initially caused some trepidation, her colleagues were always willing to lend a hand and explain things clearly. Over time, with practice and a supportive environment, Nazmin became more confident in handling financial tasks. Today, she is a Senior Operations Executive at the Foundation. 

Beyond the technical aspects, the most rewarding part of Nazmin’s role has been witnessing the impact of their work on the ground. 

A particularly memorable experience involved visiting the Bateq tribe, an indigenous community residing in a remote area near Taman Negara Pahang in Malaysia. The Foundation’s team, along with the local school principal, played a crucial role in facilitating the enrollment of the Bateq children in primary school.  

“When I saw the excitement on their faces and sensed the relief in the community that their children had a shot at a different future, it was truly heartening. It solidified my belief in the power of collective action to create lasting change”, she recalls.  

Another moment that left a lasting impression on her was when she had the opportunity to meet Datin Paduka Mother Mangalam, a RYTHM Foundation honoree who ran the Pure Life Society, an NGO in Malaysia that supports the underprivileged. Her wisdom—that women don’t need to be empowered because they already are—resonated deeply with Nazmin. 

From leadership workshops to risk management training, QI constantly fosters personal and professional growth. This focus extends beyond the office. QI’s unique Employee Community Impact (ECI) initiative encourages volunteering, allowing employees to directly contribute to the communities they care about. These combined opportunities to learn, grow, and give back have instilled a deep sense of purpose and belonging in Nazmin. 

For her, she found the right fit with QI, a company that allows her to make a real difference while carving out a fulfilling career. And that, Nazmin believes, is a journey worth taking. 

Nazmin binti Abdullah is a Senior Operations Executive with QI Group’s social impact initiative, RYTHM Foundation. She is based in Malaysia.