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Employee Spotlight: Naureen Khan, Senior Associate

Employee Spotlight: Naureen Khan, Senior Associate

In early 2021, Naureen Khan saw a job posting for an Account Manager at Gard Communications. A relatively recent Portland State University graduate, she knew that she was under-qualified for the job. But she went for it anyway.

“I saw that Gard was hiring for a position I was way under-qualified for,” she says, “but I knew I liked the organization, so I decided to apply regardless.”

She didn’t get the gig, but her moxie and enthusiasm impressed Gard enough to create a new position for her and bring her on.

Fast-forward about a year, and Naureen, a Portland native and trained Bollywood dancer, has already been promoted to the role of senior associate.

And we’re all watching to see where she’s headed with Gard next.

What do you do at Gard?

A little bit of everything. I was hired on to learn more about the world of public relations. I find myself supporting public relations accounts, marketing efforts and managing social media.

What inspires you in this work?

I enjoy learning about other people. It’s mainly why I studied marketing. I believe if you aren’t able to experience something, then the best thing you can do is learn from others’ experiences.

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you want to be doing?

I’d probably start a farm somewhere in the Willamette Valley and make it as low waste and self-sustaining as possible.

There’s an effort to bring a ferry service to Portland called Frog Ferry that you’re working on too. What interests you about that? I enjoy being a part of Frog Ferry because it addresses the multiple areas where the region needs improvement, such as tourism, transportation, emergency preparedness, sustainability and local culture awareness.

You have been to more places internationally than you have been within the United States, even though you were born here. What’s one of your favorite travel experiences?

My field study to Japan in 2019 probably is one of my favorite experiences. I studied marketing and international business with a focus in Asia/Middle East and have a few years of Japanese under my belt, so it was great to finally put all that knowledge to work. We started in the countryside and ended up in the city learning about various emergency preparedness initiatives to see what could be applied to Portland. Afterward, I stayed an extra week in Japan exploring on my own. I made many memories and friends, and even left some items on my bucket list so I have reason to go back.

Anything else we should know?

If I ever had all the resources I would need to go after one conspiracy theory, I would quit my job and go searching for Bigfoot.