Mohhid Kidwai in Islamabad, Pakistan: An Enrichment Grant Blog
Over the Summer, Mohhid Kidwai had the incredible opportunity to travel to Islamabad, Pakistan for a Business Analyst internship. While in Pakistan, Mohhid gave back to the community by volunteering in Rawalpindi at The Educators School. Keep reading to learn more about how he used his enrichment grant to support his experience!
In May, I was fortunate enough to travel to Islamabad, Pakistan using an enrichment grant, and complete a short Business Analyst internship at Zameen.com, Pakistan’s largest online real estate portal. I was also able to volunteer and teach at a school in Rawalpindi, Pakistan called The Educators School. I found the experience to be very enriching and a great opportunity to give back. Interning at Zameen.com, I was appointed under Hasan Danish, the regional head of the northern region of Pakistan for the company. Being able to talk to executives and learn more about the company and their business model served as a great way for me to understand what it means to build a company as massive as Zameen.com. I was given a project where I oversaw the transition of the company from their current to next headquarters. As a part of my responsibilities, I assessed the progress of the transition and identified areas of improvement. I was able to create a report and present it to executives for the company and get feedback on my performance. Overall, I learned so much and I am very thankful for everyone at Zameen.com for making the experience as great as it was.
Teaching at The Educators School was a very humbling experience. I was able to talk to the students and faculty at the school and get a better understanding of the challenges facing primary school education in Pakistan. I was able to shadow teachers in their classrooms and observe the unique way the curriculum was formatted. I also spoke with the principal and she explained to me how the COVID pandemic really affected education, as many of the students did not have access to technology to continue their classes. I covered STEM concepts with the students, specifically related to technology, and I discussed my journey to students interested in software engineering. I hope I was able to make a positive impact and help the students learn more about what the field of technology can offer them.
In terms of my personal goal for learning and development, I wanted to learn more about the Business Analyst role and how my skill set can be applied to the role. I would say that I was able to achieve this goal. Through the internship, albeit brief, I was able to experience what the role may entail and decide how I feel about the role. Another goal of mine was to learn about the intricacies of a large company like Zameen.com and find out what it took to build a company to that level and how it maintains its dominance in the market. Starting my own business is something I have always wanted to do so being able to learn directly from people at the company and learn about the stages of development for the company was very insightful.
Another personal goal of mine was to improve my Urdu speaking skills. I am semi-fluent in the language as my parents were born in Pakistan, but being immersed in the society was the best way for me to improve my speaking ability and I was able to make vast improvements in that short amount of time.
Another goal of mine was to visit and shadow the primary school in Pakistan and learn about the challenges affecting students over there. I didn’t anticipate how much the experience would have an effect on me. Hearing the stories of students who couldn’t afford tuition and the difficulties the faculty members face was truly moving. I remember while I was visiting the school, there was no A/C working in the entire building in 90 degree weather. However, despite this, the students remained diligent and focused throughout.
This experience will definitely help me with my future goals and career aspirations. I was able to learn more about how businesses are developed and how they expand and maintain their place in the market. It also gave me valuable information on the business side of a company, rather than the tech side which I am more used to.
I chose this experience because of how many personal goals it checked off. Not only was I able to intern as a Business Analyst at the largest online real estate portal, I was able to improve my networking skills as I talked with managers and leaders in the company. I learned valuable information about running a business and got amazing advice from very accomplished individuals. I was able to immerse myself in an Urdu-speaking society and improve my speaking skills with the language. Lastly, I was able to give back and teach underprivileged kids at a local school and really understand the struggles they go through with their education. I was also able to explore the beautiful country of Pakistan and make many lasting memories during the trip with the people I was surrounded with. Overall, it was a great experience and I would love to go back in the future.