Hurricanes Help Rashid Strive for Future

by Ashleigh Young

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – She knows more about the University of Miami than most.

Zakiya Rashid has four ACC track and field team titles and a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology, and is currently earning a master’s degree in exercise physiology with an emphasis in strength and conditioning.

Now, she has her eyes on a position in product development.

The road to her fifth season with the Hurricanes has not been easy. Injuries halted her progress with the throws squad, but after her foot surgery, the Suffolk, Va., native is feeling better than ever.

“I’ve had some overuse injuries, had a surgery on my foot and ankle, but now it’s better than it was before in so many ways,” Rashid said.

The people around her are what makes Miami special. The tight-knit group of the student-athletes on the throws squad, the training staff and particularly the coaches are what keeps Rashid going.

“I’ve had some injuries, but I feel like I have been treated above and beyond by our coaches here,” Rashid said.

Entering into her final outdoor season with the Miami track and field team, Rashid has scored countless times at ACC Championships, reached NCAA East Preliminaries during the outdoor season and, most recently, finished 10th in the discus throw at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.

Having accomplished so much with the track and field team, Rashid is also preparing for her future. With the help of Miami’s student-athlete development department and three internships within the athletic department, Rashid has narrowed down her field of choice.

“One of the things we appreciate most about Zakiya is her constant level of involvement and engagement,” Alex Martin, assistant director of student athlete development, said. “Whether it’s community service, SAAC, FCA, or supporting her teammates with the black student athlete alliance, Zakiya is one we can always depend on to show up, show out and have a great time in doing so.”

Her involvement on campus is recognized by many. Her first and favorite internship so far with the Canes was working with the marketing department. It gave Rashid an idea of what she wanted to do in the future.

“I really liked my time with [marketing] and realized I could do product marketing, maybe not event, but it was something I could see myself doing,” Rashid said.

Rashid has also interned with the strength and conditioning staff and currently interns with the football nutrition team.

“I’ve learned a lot working with both departments and was able to apply a lot of the things I’ve learned in class to real life,” she said. “Being able to use that and help the athletes get better was great and I had a great time working with them, especially being athlete myself.”

Her experience though has led her to her passion: clothes.

The goal is to work for adidas in product development. It is her own experience competing and styling that has driven her to passion for clothes.

“I personally want to help make better fits for different size athletes being that I’m a plus-size athlete,” Rashid said. “I know I feel my best when I’m comfortable and compete at my best when I do.”

Her passion has also led her to create a series of “Styling with Z” on both Instagram and Tik Tok.

“I really like clothes and I just wanted to get persistent on the internet of creating looks,” Rashid said. “I really enjoy making the videos and stylish clothes and shoes because I like the process of putting it all together.”