Stories about university

11 interview tips that could get you a job!

I am only a non-HR professional with about two and a half years of professional experience, however, I always believe that interviewers for all sorts of jobs typically look out for more or less similar traits in their interviewee. Below is the list of 11 things that contributed to my successful interview. 1. The first impression This is the least one can do. Walking into an interviewer’s office in a neat-pressed suit, manicured nails, polished shoes and well-done shave can help you bag those instant free marks. Whereas, on the other hand, showing up at the interview just out of bed can totally turn your interviewer off. Yes, ...

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So sorry to hear that you are a woman!

“Women should think twice before stepping into this field, as I am sure that most of the girls sitting here today are going to be just good housewives after four years.” These were the words of one of our classmates in the first year of engineering. I spent four years in one of the top engineering universities of Pakistan. I enjoyed it tremendously. I was being taught by the best faculty in our country, including professors who had obtained their degrees from renowned universities abroad. However, it is sad but true, that during those four years I came across highly discouraging ...

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University: A haven for fashion, marriage, and entertainment

They were right when they said that university can teach one some of best lessons in life.  In this place called a ‘university’, I have met people that I didn’t even think could possibly exist! Although I am still in my first semester and it might be too early to draw conclusions, I am completely bewildered by the people I have been fortunate enough to have met. Having been swept off my feet, I would like to talk about a few of them: The bathroom hogger The original concept of using the toilet has pretty much diminished. The bathroom is now considered a convenient ...

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Blind date

December 20, 2011. Beep, beep, beep. Sameen took a deep breath and flipped open her cell phone. “Blue jeans, grey t-shirt.” The car stopped in traffic. Sameen began tapping her foot impatiently. There wasn’t much time left until he would be waiting there. And sure as that was, her phone blinked, “Where are you?” She suddenly felt flustered and snapped at her driver to somehow speed the car through the massive traffic jam. “Stuck at a signal,” she texted back. “Be there in ten.” He was already there and had been waiting for her. Sameen suddenly felt her blood pressure drop all over again. For the past two weeks ...

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LUMS’ lesser employees

There’s been a hue and cry over the esteemed Professor Hoodbhoy’s controversial departure from LUMS university, and justifiably so, if his claims are proven true. However, even further into the seedy underbelly of the university administration’s dictatorial tactics, is a story that incites far more moral outrage. Two days before Eidul Azha, 16 janitors, many who have been working at the university for years through a contracted janitorial company, were fired without notice. The reason? Well, it’s a long story. After the janitors, with the help of students, demanded that their salaries be raised from (the illegal) Rs7,000 to (the minimum wage) Rs9,000, ...

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LUMS and the Hoodbhoy hoopla

The Pakistani cyberspace has been galvanised once again with news that the contract of eminent physicist and outspoken social critic, Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy will not be renewed for another term by the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) administration. Although Professor Hoodbhoy is still waiting on an explanation, most of the speculation seems to be circling around the idea that the Professor was let go because of his course on an idea that did not sit too well with the religious elite running Jamia Islamia LUMS, or so the little blue birdie sings. Naturally, an idea such as the one above does ...

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The trouble with academia: Write to impress or write to express?

I’d like to expand on a pearl of wisdom that I received from where most pearls of wisdom originate ─ my grandmother. She is a published Urdu novelist and part-time journalist, but more than that she is an intellectual searching for depth in the meaning of death as she sees herself approaching the imminent reality of it. A more popularly acclaimed introduction would be as Bushra Ansari’s aunt. Lucky for you, I’ve chosen to talk about one of the least morbid topics she happened to discuss with me: Academic writing. Despite having published novels, my grandmother does not consider herself a ...

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Dear parents, can I plan my own life please?

“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.” -Anne Frank Being seventeen-years-old and looking forward to university next year, I currently face the enigma of making one of the most difficult decisions of my life — choosing a career. Although I would love to pursue a career in English and perhaps work towards a Masters or a PhD in Literature, my parents aren’t too fond of the idea. Their plan for me includes a good medical school, a professional degree, a job in a clinic or hospital, being married before I turn 30 and inevitably, ...

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An ‘A’ grader’s secret to success

Throughout my study span, I have seen fellow peers working hard to achieve some good grades to improve their grade point average (GPA). Few, out of many, were able to do it; the rest failed even when they did manage to get hold of the notes of their ‘4.o-GPA-friend’. Where does the latter lot of students go wrong then? Is it because the friend who you borrowed notes or books from might have left you in the dark and not provided you with the complete material? Yes, we all have that thought. There will always be something kept from you, whether unintentionally or not. ...

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Back in Pakistan and loving it!

The second best decision I ever made in my life was to come back to Pakistan. The best decision I made was teaching in this country that has been labelled as the ‘most’ dangerous country in world. Michael Kugelman, the program associate for South Asia at the  Woodrow Wilson Centre, recently wrote a blog for Dawn about the return of expats to Pakistan. He concluded the article with a question to expats about what it is like to be back. This is a question posed to me almost on a daily basis by anyone I meet who discovers I have returned after having ...

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