Graduate Launchpad: Nurturing Future Leaders

By: Filza Rizwan
As the academic year draws to a close, the anticipation and excitement among graduating students at Iqra University are at an all-time high. After recognising the significance of providing guidance and support to these aspiring professionals, Iqra University’s main campus organised an empowering event called “Graduate Launchpad” on June 3, 2023, at the main auditorium.
This initiative aimed to bring together several esteemed alumni from the fields of business administration, computer sciences and media to mentor and guide the graduating batch as they embarked on their journey into the corporate sector.
Graduate Launchpad recognises that the transition from university life to the professional world can be daunting. To ease this transition, the event hosted a diverse panel of mentors comprised of successful alumni who have excelled in their respective careers. These mentors shared their valuable insights, experiences, and advice, offering a compass to the fresh graduates as they navigated the corporate landscape.
One of the key focuses of the event was helping graduates choose the right career path. With an array of options available in today’s fast-paced world, it is crucial to have guidance in making informed decisions. The mentors, armed with their own industry experiences and expertise, helped the students explore various career fields, shed light on emerging trends, and highlight the skills and competencies required to thrive in each sector. Through interactive discussions and one-on-one mentoring sessions, students gained clarity on their aspirations and found the career path that aligned with their passions and strengths. One of those mentors and alumni of Iqra University, Daniyal Shahab, who is the Head of Compliance at Topline Securities, counselled the BBA students in their last semesters. After discussing the area of interest of the student and analysing the skills of one of the students, Shahab recommended that he choose event management as his career path.
While navigating the corporate sector, another mentor and alumni, Ammar Ahmed, the Director of a renowned management consulting firm, ‘Impressols,’ stated that securing a foothold in the corporate sector can be challenging, especially for fresh graduates who are opting for a position in the Human Resource (HR) department. “HR is a good field, but after almost two years, it gets extremely exhausting for the employee because of the culture and the monotonous work in the organisation,” he said. “An HR employee must have effective communication skills and determination to cope with the environmental and other challenges linked to this field,” Ahmed added.
Reportedly, the Graduate Launchpad equipped the students with practical advice on job hunting strategies, resume building, interview techniques, and networking skills. The mentors shared valuable insights into the corporate world, providing students with a competitive edge and preparing them for success.
The Graduate Launchpad, in addition to mentorship, provided ample networking opportunities for students to connect with professionals from top multinational companies (MNCs) in Pakistan. Another mentor and alumni, Salik Kamran, who is the National Safety Travel Manager at Unilever, spoke to the students about his experience working at the best multinational consumer goods company. “Well, landing a job at an MNC was never easy for me, especially among the most competent candidates who came there for an interview,” he said, adding: “If I look at my resume now, I would never hire myself. What made me land a job at Unilever was my confidence and skills that I acquired from Iqra.”
According to the National Safety Travel Manager, your eyes should speak, and your body language and words should be so strong while sitting on the interview seat that nobody would dare to reject you.
Furthermore, Kamran spoke about how the world and the job market are developing through artificial intelligence (AI) with every passing day. “It is indeed challenging for the students today, but they can only make or break their careers through their skills and confidence to showcase them.”
While speaking about looking for better jobs and excelling in them, Kamran also asked the students to never rely on just one job. “One must always have a backup plan in these challenging economic times,” he said. “Even if one is doing a 9-to-5 job, they should always have their own clients and something on which they can fall back if, god forbid, they lose their jobs.”
While concurring with Kamran’s statement, another mentor and alumni, Saad Ullah, who is the manager of HR at Auvitronics Limited, told the students to use their resources effectively and take risks. “Do not take this economic situation and technological development negatively; I believe that it is a great opportunity for fresh graduates to kick start their careers and step into the job market,” he said.
Through panel discussions, workshops, and informal networking sessions, students of Iqra University got the chance to build meaningful connections that could open doors to internships, job opportunities, and valuable mentorship beyond the event itself.
The Graduate Launchpad at Iqra University was poised to be a transformative experience for graduating students. By bringing together accomplished alumni, the event aimed to empower students with the knowledge, guidance, and connections necessary to thrive in the corporate sector. As these students will be stepping soon into the practical world, they will have the confidence and support they need to launch their careers successfully. The Graduate Launchpad served as a reminder of the unwavering commitment of Iqra University to the holistic development and future success of its students.