Thirsty for knowledge & direction
I have just returned from Rawalpindi having taken part in the third of a series of P@SHA Career Expo events across the country. Since this was the first time that P@SHA was holding this event in Pindi, there was a lot of nervousness regarding how the event would be received. The purpose of the P@SHA Career Expo is basically to connect jobs with people, to create an awareness of the kind of companies and careers that exist within the IT sector in Pakistan, to conduct workshops on topics like Communication Skills, Successful Interview Techniques and Professionalism, and to provide Counselling and direction.
The event was to begin at 10 am on Sunday at the PC in Pindi. The P@SHA team had been working hard to put it all together and we were hoping that the young people for whom this was organized would show up. Well, we weren’t disappointed. There were kids who showed up at 9:15 am from as far afield as Peshawar, Quetta and Jhang.
The companies had a flow of visitors throughout the day, the workshops were very well attended and the Counsellors from Green&White were kept very busy – we owe Fahd Khan, Qazi (who was just visiting from Lahore but was roped in) and Osama Hashmi our deepest gratitude for providing direction and advice to all the young people who sought them out.
In addition, I convinced Osama to present an impromptu workshop – all i had to do was provide him with some caffeine and within 10 minutes he was on a roll. In addition to his opening talk, he put together a panel (Fahd Khan of Ovex/G&W), Faisal Chohan (Brightspyre), Atif Mumtaz (Cogilent/Brightspyre) and yours truly. We covered loads of topics ranging from job hopping to professionalism to the advantages of working for startups and SMEs as opposed to MNCs. There were also questions from the audience regarding resume writing, fielding difficult questions in interviews, etc. From feedback received, this surprise panel was considered to be a hit. Maybe I should surprise Osama more often.
Once again the Ambassadors were absolutely brilliant (there were about 24 youngsters from Muhammad Ali Jinnah University). We were working with them for the first time but they proved beyond doubt that they were responsible and professional. They took ownership for the event and were helpful to exhibitors, speakers, organizers and visitors alike. They made us all proud. Thank you Tanveer – your team and you are going to go far. We wish you well.
Our partners Brightspyre.com were a delight to work with – Faisal, Jawad, Atif, Usman, Aftab (I am sure I am forgetting someone) were all there actively and professionally participating in the event and helping to make it a very successful Career Expo for exhibitors and visitors as well as for P@SHA. Thanks Brightspyre – we look forward to working with you again.
My takeaway from the event was that there are a lot of young people out there – not only in Pindi/Islamabad but in Peshawar, Quetta, Multan, Jhang, etc who are thirsty for knowledge and direction. We need to extend our contact to areas outside the three main cities – to provide counselling and opportunities. There were a number of people who came up to me and wanted to know when I could run a Communication Skills workshop for their institute/group. Others wanted to know if we could bring company CTOs/HR Directors to other cities. P@SHA will need to activate itself in other parts of Pakistan – not necessarily hold large events but start an interaction, hold seminars and workshops, provide on campus counselling etc. Let us start a process. The young people of this country need us to do this and we need the resource.
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