Four years ago, I had the opportunity to take part in a two-week Exchange program in Georgia, USA. This program gave me valuable knowledge about leadership, career planning, and American culture. When I came back to Egypt, I made a deliberate attempt to integrate the lessons learned from this experience into my everyday life. Consequently, I started actively participating in various extracurricular activities as a volunteer. By getting involved in these activities, I was able to discover my true passion and identify the field where my innate talents are best suited.
After two years, I decided to leave my junior position in the Faculty of Law in Alexandria and enroll as a fresh student in the Faculty of Arts, Public Relations Department, in Aswan.
During my first year as a new student in a distant city, I faced various difficulties such as adjusting to the climate, finding limited local activities, and dealing with cultural differences. However, I was able to overcome these challenges relatively quickly. I expanded my social network and developed friendships with both my peers and roommates. Additionally, I actively participated in national and international events that were related to my field of study. For example, I attended an Animation workshop at the Aswan International Women Film Festival and had the honor of being selected for a Film Directing and Script Masterclass held in Luxor during the Luxor African Film Festival.
During my stay in Aswan, I observed the limited opportunities for learning and gaining experience that were available to students. In order to give everyone a fair chance, I began sharing my thoughts, knowledge, and past mistakes with them. Additionally, I provided information about exchange programs they could apply for. My objective is to motivate them to take action and expand their horizons beyond our city’s limitations.
In October 2020, the final college results were announced and I achieved fourth place. This achievement not only reflects my academic performance but also demonstrates my ability to adapt and inspire others within this new community. Remembering all of this fills me with immense pride for taking such a risk.
I am a goal-oriented person and, during a program I attended in the USA, I visited various universities and colleges. It was during this time that I developed a belief in the land of opportunity and set a goal to study in the USA someday. While Public Relations is my passion, my university’s academic education does not align with the demands of the labor market. Hence, being in the USA would enable me to enhance my professional skills and establish connections with professors and colleagues. This experience would also aid me in discovering my own voice and identity. Moreover, I view participating in an exchange program as more than just achieving academically; it is about creating new networks too. Through campus residence and involvement in community activities like international events, I eagerly anticipate immersing myself in diverse cultures from all over the world.
This program will assist me in achieving my future career objectives and becoming more eligible for internships within a corporation. Additionally, it will equip me with the ability to adjust and integrate into foreign communities and international corporations. Moreover, it will provide me with the necessary skills and resources to collaborate with my colleagues and share my knowledge with them upon my return.
In 2019, I assumed the position of head of Public Relations for the Moic’19 project, also known as “Model organization of Islamic Co-operation”. This marked my first experience leading a project since I had previously served only as a committee member. Despite initial confusion, I opted to accept accountability and ensure the project’s success. To achieve this, I assembled a team comprising one female and one male member. Over the span of a month, I provided them with training on composing proposals and negotiating deals while collaboratively establishing our objectives and timelines. Throughout the endeavor, we encountered obstacles stemming from insufficient sponsors and funding. Regrettably, my team ultimately departed due to exams and assignments. Although this left me disheartened, I resolved to persevere and validate myself.
Despite facing financial challenges, I was motivated to persevere because of my sense of responsibility. To better understand the project’s strengths and weaknesses, I performed a SWOT analysis. The project had a significant participation from college students, approximately 150 participants, along with a committed staff and an efficient media committee. However, the weak point was still the financial situation. To overcome this hurdle, I brainstormed and devised a solution: producing and selling notebooks. With this plan in mind, I started working tirelessly to transform this concept into actuality.
The initial step I took was to poll the other committees and participants on our Facebook group to determine if they agreed with my idea. Eventually, everyone reached a consensus. Subsequently, I approached the media committee to collaborate on the designs while simultaneously searching for a founder. Initially, three potential founders declined the opportunity, but I eventually found one who agreed to financially support my notebook project.
After searching for an affordable printing press, I found one that offered good quality and printed 200 notebooks. I sold 100 of them at popular co-working spaces and students’ centers, while the rest were placed on a model corner. Surprisingly, the notebooks achieved unexpected success, leading the owners of the co-working places and centers to reach out to me for more notes. Even the participants of these spaces asked for more notebooks. The idea turned out to be more successful than expected, covering all expenses for my project. Additionally, there was still demand for the notebooks even after completing all projects.
In the end, I encountered a daunting situation and handled it on my own, which proved to be extremely tough. Nevertheless, I managed to conquer it and accomplish an unexpected triumph. Throughout this experience, my attention was not only on resolving the financial aspect but also on building a broad network of connections that could aid future individuals in similar situations.