We all want a fulfilling career, yet many of us settle for a job that simply pays the bills. Once you’re in this type of rut, getting out can seem impossible. But you might be closer than you think to finding your dream job with ‘Mera Future’- Paving the way to dream careers.
In this modern era, when we have several options to choose from and have very diverse skill sets to acquire, our younger ones still struggle to decide a career path for themselves, especially when they do not have anyone to guide them regarding their future and practical life. Our society is positively biased towards certain professions like health sciences and Engineering. These professionals are generally considered more honourable and well earned; any profession or passion apart from these is not perceived well by our elders and peers. Here arises a confusion for developing minds and bright ideas of our younger generation.
Fortunately, someone who has gone through all the struggles during the educational period has acknowledged this problem and has decided to take a step further and provide guidance for our younger generation to make an informed decision when they are about to select a career to pursue.
Startup Insider has the privilege to interview the CEO and founder of a career counselling organisation, MERA FUTURE, Dr. Zunaira Saqib. She currently works at the Department of Human Resource Management, National University of Sciences and Technology as an Assistant Professor. She holds a PhD from the University of Leicester and a Masters from Lancaster University. She has several publications in journals, Harvard Cases, and international conferences. Her research interests are in the area of Diversity and Inclusion and Organizational Identity.
Dr. Zunaira started this initiative back in August 2019 with the motive to provide an equal opportunity of career counselling to our youth regardless of their social, financial, or religious background. Since then, her team has been providing services primarily for Intermediate students (O/A Levels, 9th, Matric, FA. FSC) so that they can make a conscious choice while deciding for their graduate degree. “Mera future” consists of highly qualified faculty, experienced practitioners, psychologist, career counsellors, and researchers with extensive collective experience. It is basically an Aptitude testing company that also provides detailed counselling through industry mentors. Their aptitude test is based on an Artificial intelligence model with data set collected from real-life case studies from top universities of Pakistan.
The purpose of this test is to empower students to make a well-thought decision so that they do not feel lost. The test result is a detailed 25-page report in which a student would be able to know about his/her personality traits, area of interest, which subject set they should choose, and related future career fields to opt from. Apart from the test, if a student further needs counselling or result discussion, “Mera future” arranges in-person sessions with career counsellors and industry mentors who are on board with this organization. Industry mentors are professionals working successfully in their fields and can provide guidance about various aspects of their profession.
Dr. Zunaira and her team are also providing Online courses and certifications, including training courses for teachers and basic skill development courses for students. Online courses for teachers enable this organization to train and certify teachers anywhere in the country for career counselling. Once a student is done with the aptitude test and needs further guidance, they can have access to a trained counsellor in their school or college to look up to at that time. Skill development courses include introductory skill courses like resume writing, coding, etc., so that a student can start freelancing while studying in an institute.
The future goals of Dr. Zunaira and her team for this organization are to develop a system with multiple schools and colleges across the country. She and her team plan to conduct multiple-aptitude tests throughout the academic year starting from 8th class / O-levels so that when students are going to take admission in a college or university, they can have a well-planned map in front of them based on their previous performance. This strategic planning would automatically help the students to decide better for themselves and set their vision for the future accordingly. “Mera future” CEO has a takeaway message for students, teachers, and parents. Dr. Zunaira said that this era is a period of information overload, with its pros and cons. Our youth needs to take advantage of this opportunity to understand themselves better so that they can perform better in society and on a personal level.
Because more information is better than no information, said “Mera Future” CEO. Parents and teachers should take equal responsibility for guidance for our youth instead of leaving them clueless and endorsing our personal opinions on their developing minds; we need to help them understand themselves so that they can develop confidence and courage. Parents should guide or find someone who can educate their children regarding their careers and accept their decisions with an open heart.