CSC Alumni Pakistan

A Welcome Home Reception for recently returned Commonwealth Scholars and alumni was held on 27 January at the Marriott Hotel Islamabad. The event hosted a panel discussion on ‘The UK Education Journey, Prospects of 21st Century Employment and Challenges’. Panellists were drawn from diverse professional backgrounds, and included:

  • Farah Samuel (2017 Scholar, MSc Energy and Society, Durham University), Manager Programs and Partnerships, Code for Pakistan
  • Yaruq Nadeem (2015 Scholar, MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management, Imperial College London), Manager Innovation, National Science and Technology Park
  • Sarah Parvez, Head of Higher Education & Skills, British Council Pakistan
  • Moderator: Khadija Amir Amir (2014 Shared Scholar, MSc Sustainable Development, University of Exeter), Lecturer, National University of Sciences and Technology

Welcome remarks were delivered by Mark Crossey, Deputy Country Director, British Council Pakistan. Mark expressed his pride for the CSC Alumni Network and the individual accomplishments of Commonwealth Alumni. He also restated the British Council’s support towards the network in making it grow stronger and providing networking opportunities.

The panel discussion kick-started with questions on the personal challenges each panellist faced following their time in the UK and their strategies in overcoming and navigating these. Farah advised participants on the importance of knowing your goals and redirecting your energy to achieving these. She drew on her personal experiences, explaining the employment market sometimes is not ready to absorb the talent available and advised recently returned Scholars to seize for opportunities that will be rewarding in the long-term, rather than settling for short-term results. Yaruq emphasised the importance of re-evaluating yourself and re-visiting the skills that will bring you closer to your goals, with Sarah adding the employer’s perspective on the skill-set required for jobs in the 21st century.

To encourage interaction, the floor was opened for participants to voice their opinions and share their journeys, from studying in the UK to re-entering the job market in Pakistan. The discussion brought together a wide range of perspectives from alumni belonging to different academic, regional, and cultural backgrounds, and helped recently returned Scholars navigate some of their employment challenges.

The event concluded with networking and refreshments.