ISLAMABAD: The Express Education and Career Expo attracted hundreds of students and professionals from the twin cities on Saturday with its mix of fun-filled activities, study information booths and career sessions.
The expo is being held at the Pak-China Friendship Centre and it will continue on Sunday.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Member National Assembly from Islamabad Asad Umar inaugurated the two-day event on Saturday morning. Umar congratulated the Express Media Group on its initiative and said activities such as the Express Education and Career Expo provide an important opportunity to facilitate Pakistani youth, which is the country’s most important asset.
Undergraduate students and graduates appeared especially interested in the stalls set up by universities, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and organisations that provide information for study abroad programmes.
At the booth of The University of Lahore, which is also one of the expo’s partners, students were interested in finding out about degree migrations, MPhil programmes and education financing, according to the university’s representatives, Sohail Khattak and Muhammad Ali
The United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) stall, another expo partner, also attracted some foot traffic, most visitors interested in the “freebie” scholarships for study in the US.
“One common misconception among prospective candidates is that the process for applying to study in the US is really tough,” said Nadia Omar, a USEFP official at the stall. “But we encourage them to visit our website and look at the information there, because the process really is not that difficult.”
The USEFP administers a number of US exchange programmes including the prestigious Fulbright scholarship.
“In the age of internet, websites are indeed the easiest way to access information about foreign universities, said Mehreen Naz,” at the AEO Pakistan’s Study in Australia booth.
Naz said AEO Pakistan provides career counseling services in addition to supporting students from admissions to the visa process. But the best place to start, especially for postgraduate candidates, is to visit AEO’s website and follow the links to individual Australian universities, she said.
More than 25 institutes including HEC, RMT, the Oxford University Press, Quaid-i-Azam University, ACCA and Abasyn University also put up their stalls at the expo.
Meanwhile, students from different universities including Army Public College of Management and Sciences (APCOMS) Islamabad and Hamdard University Karachi among other educational institutions performed stage plays as part of a theatre competition.
On the Pak-China centre’s first floor, Brighto Paints organised a painting competition for students. Around 90 students participated in two legs of the three-hour art contest during the day. The budding artists were given paints and a blank canvas to let loose their creativity.
Areeba Almas, a Business Administration student from APCOMS, drew a giant, vibrant sun swirling into shades of crimson and golden as it flared across the canvas. “I am trying to show the summer season and the mood swings that it brings about,” Almas, who has had no formal arts training, said.
On the other end of the hallway from the painting contest, the robotics group of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering (CASE) displayed their footie-bots. The foot-high robots clasped at ping-pong balls and pushed them into the net on either side of an approximately 12x8 feet football field.
“The robots are being manually controlled right now, but for competitions, they move around the field using Artificial Intelligence, with field coordinates fed to them through a server,” said Muhammad Hassan Niazi, a student at CASE.
Niazi said the CASE robotics group is looking to represent Pakistan at the RoboCup contest in Brazil later in 2014.
In other sessions, experts gave advice to expo attendees on resume writing, career success and entrepreneurship
Express Media Group is holding the expo in the capital for the second consecutive year. But this year, the expo is being expanded to other cities as well. The Express expo will be held for the first time in Karachi on May 24-25 and in Lahore in August.
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