Habiba is the first Muslim woman to hold the post of student union president – of Birkbeck College, University of London. In January 2004, Prime Minister Tony Blair responded in The Guardian newspaper to her question on student fees funding. Habiba played a key role in campaigns to increase the influence and participation of Muslim students in student politics, and was one of the two Muslims successfully put forward in the 2004 National Union of Students conference for the elected positions on its steering committee. Habiba studied Politics, Philosophy and History at Birkbeck and she also has an MSc in Globalisation and Development.
She has served as equal opportunity officer at the National Postgraduate Committee, a charity that represents and promotes the needs of the UK postgraduate community. Her subsequent assignments have included working on UN and USAID economic development projects with the International Medical Corps in Baghdad.