New Nop Testimonial

New Nop Testimonial

  • Aqeel AhmadBA-LLB Aqeel started his BSc Honors degree at LUMS in 2010. He values LUMS for making him more open towards exploring new opportunities as well as proactive towards availing them. This later helped him to land a fulfilling job of a Legal Associate at the Justice Project, Pakistan. He shares his experience at LUMS in the following words: “By taking courses from various streams, LUMS changed the way I thought. To begin with, it made me realize that every picture has two or more sides to it. This realization, in turn, made me understand that my side of the picture does not have to be necessarily true instead people having beliefs and ideals different than mine can be right and should be respected. In my sophomore year, upon realizing my ignorance of various disciplines, cultures and academic fields, I got interested in reading which in my opinion has helped me in understanding and empathizing the people.” Aqeel participated in the Global Ugrad exchange program hosted by the US Department of State, in 2013 where he got exposure to international standards of education and made his bond grow closer with his fellow Luminites present over there. He believes that his inquisitive and curious nature has played the most significant role in helping him reach where he is today.  He says “I question a lot and everyone else should too.” The biggest challenge that he faced in his life was his humble financial background. He shared that till coming to LUMS, he struggled hard with his finances. There were many days, when he did not have enough money to buy himself food and was supported by friends. He later started doing on campus jobs to make things easier for himself. He feels that he has been successful in changing his life and has great aspirations for the future.  “I have come a long way from a small village in Swabi. I think, I was meant to get here and play my part in making this world a better place. As a lawyer, I want to work towards radically reforming our legal system. Three months before my graduation, I started working with a Human Rights law firm, Justice Project Pakistan which is a pro bono human rights firm working for the rights of the most vulnerable prisoners. I am still working here as a Legal Associate and will continue to serve people in any way possible.” Close
  • Ghazanfar AliBS Chemistry I started pursuing LUMS after another NOP scholar from our community, Karrar Hussain Jaffar, told me about it while I was still a matric student. I was very worried about getting admission in LUMS due to financial constraints but then I got admission in the NOP programme due to my strong academic background. That is the point when my dream to create my own future started to become a reality. The best part about LUMS is that it makes you feel like any other student. Rich or poor, NOP or self-financed, we are all equal. The Institute provides equal opportunities to every student in excelling in their careers and their dreams. LUMS has changed my perspective about almost every other thing in life. It is not all about the ‘degree’ that you hold after four years, it is all about how you spend those four years, what those years teach you is what counts the most. It has made me realize that if one has the passion and patience for achieving their dreams, there is nothing that can stop him/her from achieving that except himself/herself. If you have a dream, don’t stop just there, that is just the beginning, move on, and make it happen. I received six fully funded Ph. D. offers from different universities across US when I was in my last semester of my undergraduate studies at LUMS. I have accepted one of the offers and will be joining them next semester for my doctorate studies. I hope and aim to keep giving back to my community and country in whatever capacity I can and is required. Close
  • Muhammad Salar KhanBSc (Honors) Politics & Economics I am very fortunate to have been born in a family that had inclination towards education. Therefore, a friend of mine in Islamia College made me attend the National Outreach Program orientation session. This first encounter was the first push to stimulate me to LUMS.Majoring in Economics and Politics, to be honest, I was victim of my societal nature. With brilliant minds all around, even in LUMS I always wished to take a path least traversed by. I would do feasibility studies for start-ups, internships at government organizations, and travel across the country and finally as an NOP coordinator would deliver sermons.Furthermore, with this background I led an automobile startup right after graduation. However, soon I shifted to British Council as a junior expert. On behalf of British Council I was rendering consultancy to the Parliament. I was streamlining, managing and conducting needs assessment exercise of Public Accounts Committee (PAC).Currently, I am a Graduate student pursuing master’s in public policy, and holding the esteemed Fulbright award, at Oregon State University. Along with my studies, I am working at Oregon Policy Analysis Lab (OPAL) also. Moreover, World Bank recently recognized me as its researcher for one of its projects Close
  • Muhammad Waqas Ghouri BSc (Honours) Economics I have 3 siblings, a brother and two sisters. My father worked in a private company as an accountant. At times, my dad worked 2-3 jobs to provide basic necessities for the family. I grew up in a small 2 bed room rental house in Lahore. During my FSc, father saw the LUMS National Outreach Programme (NOP) ad in Jang newspaper in his office. Back then, I was not even aware that there is an institution called LUMS. My father had heard about LUMS and his understanding was that it’s for the children from elite class of the society. My dad’s salary for 3 months was less than LUMS fee for a quarter. When I went for the initial test at LUMS, I was blown away by the building, infrastructure and pretty much everything. For a moment, I didn’t believe that it’s a Pakistani institute. I was fortunate to be shortlisted for the coaching session at LUMS. The Coaching Session and living in the LUMS hostel was a great experience.  I made it through the summer coaching session and even aced my academic exams so I was admitted to LUMS for the 2003-2007 academic session. My parents accompined me to LUMS on my Orientation Day. For myself, my parents and our humble living style, LUMS was way too fancy and modern. My overall LUMS experience was fantastic. In the beginning, I had problems with English and my confidence level was very low, but the great thing about LUMS is that it does not only teach you academic stuff, but also builds your personality. During my time at LUMS, I was part of the LUMS Literary Society, LUMS Entrepreneur Society and LUMS Adventure Society. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Mathematics. After graduation, I secured a fully funded scholarship and got admission in Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. During 2008, I secured the Ontario Graduate Fellowship, awarding me $8000. In 2009, I completed my Masters in Economics with concentration in Econometrics and Finance. My first job was with RISI, an international forest products consultant company where I worked as an Economist for the company and managed to publish a number of economic analysis and forecasting reports. While working for RISI, I travelled extensively through USA and Canada for client presentations and conferences. Since June 2013, I have been working with the Ministry of the Economy, Saskatchewan Canada as a Senior Analyst. I was also nominated for the Premier’s Award of Excellence in Public Service in 2014. Moreover, based on my one year, on job performance, I was selected among the top 25 potential leaders (out of 600 employees) to attend a one year “Management Development Program (MDP)”. The MDP was offered by Saskatchewan Ministry of the Economy, Public Service Commission and Johnson-Shoyama School of Public Policy, University of Regina. Currently, I am also representing the Ministry of the Economy on Engaging and Developing Government Employees (EDGE), a Saskatchewan cross government wide initiative to enhance the learning and development opportunities for public service employees. The selection was made by Executive Management Committee (EMC), which consists of Deputy Minister (DM) and Assistant Deputy Ministers (ADMs). Futhermore, I am also on the 5 member committee to implement the LEAN in our ministry. Implementation of LEAN tools will not only increase the day-to-day work efficiency in the functioning of the ministry but will also provide standard documentation on some of the key procedures. I believe getting admission and graduating from LUMS was the pivotal point in my life. I can divide my life into the pre-LUMS era which was characterised by worries, fears and instability and the post-LUMS era which is all about growth, development and progress on many levels. Close
  • Shaheera Tahir I, coming from a humble background, five sisters, residing in area behind one of the gates of the walled city of Lahore, graduating from LUMS, was no less than a wonder. The journey began when I read on the website of LUMS that there is a program named “National Outreach Program” which caters to the underprivileged students. I told my parents about this opportunity and they encouraged me to apply. Moreover, I cleared the entrance exam and got opportunity to attend Summer Coaching Session. During coaching session, I was amazed by the classroom teaching style, openness to various opinions and debates on concepts among students and teachers.When I got admitted to LUMS co-education system, I got the opportunity to interact with students of the opposite gender. I learnt to carry myself within them; the intellectual and personal grooming the university offered through its competitive classroom learning environment, instigated the confidence in me.During the course of my four year stay at LUMS, I happened to make lifelong friendships and meet people from all over Pakistan. Furthermore, because of LUMS I was privileged enough to get shortlisted for the Coca Cola MENA scholarship program. Currently I am working as an Accounts and Finance Officer for a German Technical Consultancy firm.  I believe that I would not have been the same person if I had not been associated with LUMS.  Close
  • Usman Khan BSc (Honours) Accounting and Finance Growing up in a one income household with four siblings, where my father was a government officer at Pakistan Steel Mills and my mother a house wife, aspiring to attend a prestigious university like LUMS was certainly a dream.During my four years at LUMS, I was involved in various extracurricular activities. I was the Vice President for Share, Director of Finance for M64 Residential College and a certified member of LUMS Emergency Medical Service (EMS). Through various societies' trips and class projects,  I also got the opportunity to explore the beautiful regions and cultures of Pakistan such as Naran, Kashmir, Kalaam, Peshawar and Islamabad. LUMS not only nurtured my personality and gave me confidence, but also prepared me to dream big. The four years at LUMS flew by quickly, after graduation, I joined a multinational corporation, Rocket Internet, as a Business Intelligence Analyst, where I provided business insights to top management and executives.  I also had the opportunity to work for Euromonitor International as a Research Analyst, where I represented Pakistan and conducted various FMCG industry researches.I believe it was because of the high quality education at LUMS that I got an opportunity to come to the USA to pursue my MBA from Duquesne University on a 100% scholarship. Currently, I am completing my MBA. I am in my last semester and expected to graduate with high honours.A lot of people have asked me the difference between LUMS and universities in the USA. I am proud to say that the only difference I have found between LUMS and US schools is their location; LUMS is in Pakistan and Duquesne University is in the USA. The education standard, facilities and faculty are the same in both schools. In fact, in some cases the education standard and the rigour at LUMS is much greater than what is seen in the USA, and this is what makes LUMS students stand out.   Close
  • Haseeb Ahsan Javed BA-LL.B Haseeb Ahsan Javed is a National Outreach Program (NOP) scholar, who recently graduated from LUMS, completing his BA-LL.B (Honors)."Law was the last choice on my priority list when I applied to LUMS. I was least interested in pursuing this degree.  However, despite my personal inclinations, I decided to study law (a decision which I certainly do not regret) because the National Outreach Program was the only hope for me to continue my education and obtain a degree from a renowned institution."Belonging to a humble background, Haseeb's father passed away when he was only 6 months old. He was raised by his grandfather and his mother. The struggles that he encountered growing up, motivated him to work hard and stay committed to his studies. His hard work ultimately paid off when he was granted a scholarship in F.Sc, and was, subsequently, selected as an NOP scholar."Life at LUMS was a difficult yet an exhilarating journey, which gave me the opportunity to prosper and become who I am – a more confident and definitely a more refined person. During my five years at LUMS, I came across, and made friends with people from extremely diverse backgrounds, with different life stories and experiences to share, which all added to my life experience. I had a hard time adjusting to the new life, but in retrospect, I realize that without those challenging days (which include failing a few subjects and falling below the minimum GPA requirement to retain my scholarship!), I wouldn’t be where I am now. LUMS taught me to never give up, no matter what the circumstances are."During his stay at LUMS, Haseeb became a part of number of societies. He also conducted information sessions and coaching classes in his hometown, for students who were interested in applying to LUMS. He assisted them in the admission process, and prepared them for the admission test as well.  Owing to Haseeb’s effort and guidance, a number of students received NOP scholarship, and are currently studying at LUMS. During the last two years of his degree, Haseeb was given the opportunity by one of his instructors to work at his law firm, who described Haseeb’s journey as "per aspera ad astra""Life after LUMS is definitely not a piece of cake. But there is no denying that LUMS has prepared me well to face the challenges that I am encountering, and will encounter in the future, as I strive to attain my goals and dreams." Close
  • Husnain Nazir BSc (Honours) Economics and Politics Being the youngest in the family and with the elder two sibings already getting expensive education, I knew it would be hard for my parents to afford my higher education at a good university. They were already under heavy debt because of my brothers' higher studies in England. After being a topper in my school and breaking a 40 year record of highest marks ever, I had to study hard in college as well in order to pursue my higher education. I was in college when I heard about LUMS through the NOP team, who visited to give a brief about the scholarship programme. When I visited LUMS for the Summer Coaching Session, I came to know what a great institute it is. I have visited various countries after graduation (thanks to LUMS) and I could not find a place like LUMS anywhere else.When you join LUMS, you don’t just study, you develop yourself as a leader, as a communicator and as a sportsman. Whatever skills or potential you have, can be further developed here. LUMS makes you a versatile person; as a student you are politically aware, learn to adapt to change and most of all you are able to communicate effectively on any platform.  I could barely speak in front of a small random group, I am now capable of impeccable communication and presentation skills.After graduating I worked as Consultant for a Channel partner firm in Dubai for a year and recognising my real potential I have come back to my country and am now working as a Divisional Field Coordinator for Adam Smith International on its project, Punjab Education Sector Programme. I am part of the Chief Minister’s Roadmap Team for Education Policy of Government Education Department. I have to admit that I would not have been able to be in this place, had I been from some other institute. Other than that, today I am able to give management tips to my father for his new business venture as well. In all these achievements, LUMS is the main catalyst and I want to say Thank You LUMS! Close
  • Akhtar Abid BSc Accounting and Finance I was born in a village named Pir Abad which is located in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa province of Pakistan. My father has worked as a laborer in a construction company in United Arab Emirates for thirty three years. My parents had always laid great importance on my education that’s why I always wanted to work very hard and peruse education from a reputable university that’s why I worked very hard to secure my admission in LUMS.   My four years at LUMS were very fruitful. I did well in studies was placed on Dean’s Honor List (DHL) for my excellent academic performance in my freshmen year and got an award for “special contribution” in hockey but the most important thing for me was the mental maturity that I acquired during these years at LUMS. I made friends from almost every part of the country and even some friends from Russia, Japan and China. I learned to appreciate diversity in different cultures.     I was even a part of many societies such as AIESEC, RWES and LUMUN. I am currently working in Telenor Pakistan as a management trainee in the finance department. I have attended an international training session in Norway and Malaysia.Furthermore, I have been selected for Fulbright Scholarship for MS in social Entrepreneurship. I am pursuing this degree because I believe that if we can encourage people in Pakistan to invest in businesses we can create jobs. This will decrease poverty and hence will lead to the increase in literacy rate.  Close
  • Fozan Fareed BSc (Honours) Economics and Maths During my Intermediate, I came to know about the LUMS National Outreach Programme (NOP) when the NOP team came to Sadiq Public School to give a presentation about the programme. I applied for the programme, attended the summer coaching session at LUMS, and was fortunate to get the NOP scholarship. It was because of this scholarship that I got the opportunity to study at one of the most prestigious universities of the country which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible because of my family’s limited resources.During LUMS, Development Economics become my passion. The LUMS internship programme allowed me to do internships at a couple of NGOs and this culminated in me a full blown passion for research. Apart from academics, I was member of various student societies and was involved in volunteer work as well. I always felt a far greater sense of gratification in my volunteer work which ranged from tutoring grade two and three students at The Citizens Foundation (TCF) School and leading the LUMS Community Service Society’s Children Hospital Project for two years.After graduating from LUMS in 2012, I joined FINCA Microfinance Bank as a Research and Development Associate where during my two and a half years, I extensively got engaged with the issues that engulf evaluating the social impact of microfinance institutions by examining issues like poverty reduction and employment generation. Moreover, in 2014, I got the opportunity to attend an advanced research training at FINCA’s Headquarters in Washington DC.I was recently awarded a fully funded scholarship by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to do a Masters and PhD degree in France. I am currently enrolled in the Master’s programme, Development Economics and International Project Management at the University of Paris - East.It was through the NOP programme that I was able to get the prestigious LUMS degree that equipped me with the necessary skills to adapt to grow in any scenario. The LUMS degree and the internship programmes arranged during summers helped me polish my research skills and instilled in me a strong academic foundation, which I utilise to this day. Close
  • Abuzar Ali BSc Economics My family lives in Quetta and I am the eldest of the four siblings in our family. My father used to run a small cafeteria in my home city and is now working as a room attendant in a hotel.I heard about LUMS for the first time back in 2004 when I was in 8th grade studying in Balochistan Residential College, Loralai. It was that day when I aimed of being admitted to LUMS and I worked very hard to achieve my dream.I consider my time at LUMS neither a success nor a failure. During my four years at LUMS I experienced some of the best moments of my life. I gathered enough courage to do the things which I was most afraid of.Moreover, I got admission in Central European University (CEU), Budapest, Hungary. Currently, I am studying in the two years MA Economics program of CEU on fellowship. The CEU fellowship includes total tuition waiver, free accommodation in the university’s residence center, free health insurance, and some stipend.NOP scholarship is a gift and this gift has made me more responsible and has provided me hope and belief. I am grateful that LUMS and its National Outreach Program have made it possible for me to have my own little story to tell.  Close
  • Ahsan Hassan Usmani B.A LLB I was raised in an inimitable family milieu; where we lived in a joint family system of 36, my father is the eldest in his 14 married siblings (9 brothers and 5 sisters). All families were dependent on grandfather’s crockery shop as single source of income. We are 4 siblings and it was unmanageable for me to continue education, as my father was already having tough time paying tuition fees of my 2 brothers for their MBA’s from IBA and PAF kiet Karachi. So, I learned to survive in an unusual way, where my hardships became my inspirations and my sufferings fueled my fire to become something.I started to search for scholarships for my higher education, as I had already done my FSC on scholarship from HEC, awarded for acquiring distinction in Sukkur board matriculation. I found out about LUMS NOP program on DAWN newspaper and headed to summer coaching session at LUMS. Soon I was inspired by the edifying utopia and realized that this could be a life changer.At LUMS I was introduced to a whole new kind of life, I explored my strengths and worked on my weaknesses. I learned to balance between social and academic life, met deadlines, did multitasking, explored Pakistan with LUMS adventure society; have had life experiences of skiing and glacier hiking, organized events, managed sponsors, did humanitarian work. But, I think what makes LUMS most distinct is its rich, vast and diverse experiences which teaches you different perceptions and introduces multi-cultural believes, and its emphasis on research and writing.  While I was conducting interviews for my assistant, I realized that because of this stress on writing and research by LUMS, LUMS graduates were the only perfect fits for the job.After graduation, everyone is supposed to experience a rough ride and first few months were the toughest for me. As I had to find a job, manage a transport and residence, because home town Sukkur had limitation on my career goals. But eventually, I managed to find handsome job at HQM Law firm Lahore and handled big cases of corporate sector, which includes Hashoo groups’ PC, Marriot and Petroleum and gases. Alhamdullillah, Not a year after graduation I am a Senior Associate at Qureshi Law associates in Islamabad. Earning more than I ever thought I could, taking care of my family at Sukkur and planning to do my LLM by coming fall, on scholarship from Australia.  Close
  • Hamid Khan Bsc Economics and Mathematics LUMS was my launching pad as National Outreach Program (NOP) financed my bachelor’s studies in Economics and Mathematics. Building on these studies, I did Masters in Economics from LUMS through an interest free loan. The duration of undergraduate studies was an exceptionally enriching experience for me. It refined my personality besides inculcating academic excellence and professional work ethics. I got exposure to various stream of courses, interacted with diverse friends, participated in extra-curricular activities and moreover, held managerial positions in societies.During my stay at LUMS, I developed a strong passion to advance public interest. That’s why I have been working with development institutions for the last few years to improve effectiveness of development efforts.I couldn’t have fathomed such an exposure without the financial assistance from NOP. I heard about National Outreach Program in the early days of my college from a senior fellow who had attended LUMS NOP information session. I worked hard to get a good score in SAT in order to be able to get admission in LUMS which I was lucky to get. Since then, it has been a steep learning curve. I write this with gratitude to LUMS and its associates who supported me throughout. I wouldn’t have been where I am today without their support. Close
  • Zulfiqar Ali BSc (Honours) Economics and Politics Born in Dadu, a small town north of Hyderabad, I was born into a working class family of four. My father is an accountant in the Civil Court and my mom is a housewife. As you can imagine, it would have been virtually impossible for someone like me to even dream of joining LUMS but sometimes, it’s those chance meetings or just being at the right time at the right place that makes all the difference.  That happened 7 years ago when one of my school friends told me about the LUMS National Outreach Programme (NOP). Honestly, I did not feel particularly excited about it at first. I wasn't confident that I could compete with people coming from elite schools in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. As fate would have it, I applied nonetheless and went to sit for the NOP test in Hyderabad. I didn't ace it, of course but barely made the cut and was invited to the NOP coaching session at LUMS. Frankly, life at LUMS wasn't always easy or fun and there were a lot of moments of despair about grades, coursework, jobs, internships etc. but all that was overshadowed by the help, support, skill-set and more importantly, the knowledge that I gained at LUMS during my four year stay that still continues to help me in obvious and not-so-obvious ways.  Right now, I am in Tokyo pursuing a Masters in International Relations/Peace Studies at International Christian University on a fully funded Japanese Government Scholarship since April 2014. Close
  • Mohsin Iqbal BSc (Honours) Economics I did my primary schooling from BVS Parsi High School, Karachi and moved on to AKHSS (Aga Khan Higher Secondary School) for my Intermediate. It was there that I came to know about the LUMS National Outreach Programme (NOP) through a presentation made by the NOP team. I applied for the NOP as soon as the applications opened and was fortunate enough to clear the test and attend the Summer Coaching Session. Getting admission in LUMS is certainly the single most important thing that completely changed my life for the better. Over the four years, I was able to represent LUMS twice nationally and once internationally at student events. Also, I was the Vice President of SHARE LUMS and the President of LUMS Daily Student in the third and fourth year respectively. The time I spent working for student societies and extracurricular activities was instrumental in shaping up my personality and honing my leadership skills.After the amazing four years at LUMS, I started working for Nielsen Pakistan as a Research Executive, where I was awarded 'Simply Excellent Gold Award' for leading the Nielsen Global Impact Day in Pakistan. After spending a year with Nielsen I applied for the MBA programme at Sabanci University, Turkey where I was able to secure the Coca Cola Scholarship which covered all the expenses of the MBA programme (including food and lodging). Right now, I am based in Istanbul and working for Coca Cola Turkey as a Marketing Specialist and trying to make the most of the opportunities that come my way. I would like to appreciate the NOP and thank LUMS for providing me with the scholarship, which enabled me to be in the position where I am today. Close