Sara Badiei, BASc’04, MASc’07

Sara Badiei currently lives in Coquitlam and works as a Business Development Executive at Unity Technologies. After completing her MSc (Engineering) Sara spent several years working in the non-profit sector across the globe before changing course. Read more about how Sara made a significant career move and how she navigates change.

Tell us about your role

I build the future every day by imagining how we can use the latest advances in technology to change the way companies do their business. Unity Technologies is the world’s largest platform for creating real-time 2D and 3D content. Over half of the games downloaded from the App Store, and over 70% of Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences are built with Unity. I work with Fortune 500 companies to see how we can transform their operations through these cutting edge technologies.

Describe a situation where you have had to navigate change in your career

For almost a decade I worked in the international development and humanitarian aid sectors with organisations like Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross and the World Bank. I led engineering projects in some of the most difficult emergency zones in the world, including Afghanistan, Gaza, Chad, Congo and more. I loved my job but after I had my daughter my priorities changed. Having children is a pivotal point in one’s career and finding a way to balance it all is a challenge – at least at first.

What did you learn about yourself from that experience?

Initially, it was very hard because my sense of self was intimately tied to my job. I had worked so hard to get to where I was and now there was a very sharp turn in the road that made me question my identity and trajectory. The process of starting a family re-engineered my sense of self and turned me into a more balanced and selfless person. What I learned about myself was that I’m extremely resilient and versatile which has served me well again and again throughout my career.

Do you have any advice for someone who is experiencing change in their career?

Change forces you to check the direction your career is headed in and see if your roots are deep enough to weather the storm. Building vertically in one direction may allow you to become a tall tree, but if you haven’t balanced well the smallest storm will topple you over – and the higher you rose the harder you’ll fall. Having some wind blowing occasionally and making sure you use that as an opportunity to lay down more roots allows you to build higher and be more resilient in the long term.

What opportunities arose from navigating change?

I decided to change course in 2018. Between then and now (2020) I ran in a federal election and came very close to winning, then joined a small tech firm which got acquired by the world’s largest real-time content creation company. Now I work on the cutting edge of technology, dream up what the future should look like, and work with an incredible team to actually make that future happen. I never would have imagined any of this was possible back in 2018.

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