AlumniConnect Session 2



On February 19th, 2021, the LUMS Syed Ahsan Ali and Syed Maratib Ali School of Education hosted its second session in its latest series of talks AlumniConnect. The session, moderated by Dr. Faisal Bari, the Interim Dean at SOE, invited back three esteemed alumni Sumbal Baksh, Shajia Shoaib, and Waqas Manzoor from the School’s inaugural batch to talk about their life post graduation.

The first panelist Sumbal Baksh is currently employed as the Head Mistress at the City School Shalimar Campus for Play Group to Grade 5. Her work centers on encouraging stronger student-teacher relationships based on greater ownership and empathy. Her primary focus has been to foster an inclusive academic atmosphere that targets learning gaps, specifically in the wake of COVID-19, through Inquiry and Project-Based Learning (PBL).

Shajia Shoaib, the second panelist, is currently working at EDTechWorkx (EDTW) as a Lead for their iSchool Project which focuses on digitization of the education process by creating a blended model that balances offline and online learning. She is also a master trainer for the Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) where she successfully helped train over 90 teachers in TEVTA Management Skills while also teaching them Diploma of Associate Engineering (DAE) courses.

Waqas Manzoor is currently working as a Project Officer at Alight Pakistan, an INGO, in their office of Program Development & Engagement. He is currently working to materialize the vision of Alight Pakistan to enroll 1 million children who are currently out of school. He also mentioned other projects introduced during COVID-19 including Radio School that encourages greater accessibility for students who might not have access to the internet. The project makes use of radios that can be found in all mobile devices. Its ongoing pilot project in Gilgit Baltistan has been successful so far.

The session opened with Dr. Bari asking the students to reflect on their experience at SOE. The alumni responded by talking about the importance of quantitative analysis and the value of data. They also appreciated the Career Placement Program that offers the students multiple opportunities in terms of both jobs and strong networking. Additionally, they also mentioned how the MPhil programme aids one in their journey of self-discovery; by providing a strong theoretical base, it helps equip them with the relevant knowledge and skills-set.

The session then opened the floor to questions from the audience. When asked about “growth” and career opportunities especially during the ongoing pandemic, the alumni said that “growth” in terms of personal or professional development, at any place of work, is defined differently by different individuals. While some might recognize it as an increase in monetary compensation or a wider job description, others may see it in terms of the impact that their work creates.