Hassan Saeed (YES 2008-2009, Pakistan, placed by ASSE in Topeka, KS)
In an effort to highlight the success stories of inspiring young professionals, YES alumni in Pakistan helped organize a series of Facebook Live sessions in collaboration with the Society for International Exchange (SIE). As part of these sessions, senior YES alumni shared their career trajectories and experiences with thousands of audience members.
During the sessions, students and young professionals learned about the various career pathways available to them and ways in which these jobs are secured in an effective way. The YES alumni speakers encouraged viewers to stay confident, motivated, and dedicated towards their goals. The speakers have experience in a variety of fields, including medicine, engineering, arts, business, humanities, and more. From April to August 2021, a total of 30 sessions featuring 30 YES alumni speakers were implemented. An additional 18 YES alumni also contributed to the initiative as hosts for the live sessions. The sessions were viewed by over 240,000 audience members on Facebook.
YES Program Director Farah Shafi Kamal said, "The speakers presented here are from non-elite backgrounds, and have amazing stories of paving their career path through hard work, discipline, and passion. This defies the general impression among a good majority of Pakistani youth that only elite and privileged people can make it to the top. These stories are a great motivation and inspiration for youth to follow and build confidence to become successful in life."
Assistant Program Manager Sarah Zubair said, "The Carve Your Career with YES alumni Pakistan series served as a purpose to develop a sense of direction to the audiences who are yet to choose their career paths, to the youth who are looking for inspirations and ideas and careers to venture. Overall, the series not only served this purpose but is a great resource that can be used during many career counseling sessions in schools and colleges."
One of the speakers, Dr. Sheikh Raza Shahzad, who is a resident fellow at Stanford Medicine, said, "This series of sessions is a wonderful initiative, and will serve as a great resource for everyone involved. Kudos to the YES team in Pakistan for their efforts." One of the audience members, Nigar Shahid, also shared, “This is a very informative and realistic series of sessions for youngsters to be motivated in the right path. Keep it up!” Overall, the sessions were widely appreciated by the listeners and viewers from all walks of life.
The sessions are expected to continue, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, in an effort to benefit online audiences with effective career counseling and encouragement to do well.