It has been four years that I spent what I call the isolated life at NUST until I open to things happening other than my degree. Fortunately browsing through some of the NUST pages I liked few societies’ facebook fanpages and their updates started coming in my news feed. I witnessed news about their membership drives and events they used to hold. I just randomly filled the form and few weeks later I received the call for interview. I was selected for one of the Executive Body posts. Later I stepped in one more society.
Being a person from Management Sciences having engineers all around was one of the very new and exciting experiences. I was delighted and amazed to see a lot of things happening close to what I studied in my management school. I experienced opportunities, opportunities and opportunities. However, before entering the societies I was alarmed by many that they are full of politics, distrust, one man show, corrupt places etc. To be adventurous enough I thought ‘let’s dive in!’ and discover to learn what this randomness could bring to me. Believe me it was a great learning experience from knowing that there were hardly two people from my own campus, out of the strength of 80 to 90 people in one society, to the fact that societies have the urge to prosper.
I came across different kinds of people, people in leadership positions but lacking the skills to be, people taking things for granted to people in authority trying to impose the bossiness to the level they could. I saw hierarchal structures, organogarms and reporting lines but the members not understanding the linkages of who will report to whom actually creates the real trouble. When every office bearer thinks that every member has to report him/her creates the real difficulty for the executive body members. Chain of command and delegation of tasks was there but not structured, productive and efficient. I do not blame anyone for this but I think they need to make the learning, train and learn the art of management. Some complain the workload is too much but I guess the reason is again the lack of management knowledge.
In my point of view it is nobody’s fault to be like this way. What I think is that they all are developing; going through the process that everybody needs to go through. My little experience is the evidence of the fact that these societies need representation from every college of NUST. I saw maximum representation from two or three schools. Along with that I saw the same person to be part of 3 to 4 societies for the executive body posts. It is not the fault of office bearers to select the same people for every society but I guess the onus lies on all the NUSTians for this. I do not understand the reason that why people do not take 5 minutes out of their schedules to fill the membership form and make an effort to enter these societies. I think societies need to open to new ideas with different people working in every society so they become less myopic and do not develop the groupthink. NBS having the least representation was no doubt the worst news for me as the societies have departments for Finance, Marketing, Human Resource, IT, Liaison etc. People from Management school need to participate, apply their knowledge and share it with the engineering students so the collaboration between colleges becomes effective. It will not only be a great experience for Management students but will help the engineering students for the professional development.
I found that engineering students are so much motivated to work, arranging meetings every now and then, active facebook groups and everybody volunteering to offer their services whenever the demand arises. To me it was a wonderful experience to be part of the societies, to see everyone having the thirst to compete, participate and learn. Nobody is getting paid for the services they are rendering but no doubt the exposure, learning and experience is immense. The professional on job learning the students are earning is worth the struggle they have to make. Volunteer work which helps in provision of professional experience is regarded a lot in foreign countries now and students need to participate for this. The opportunities range from time management to networking, making learning from the workshops to the event management, from learning to tackle with people to how to manage conflict. Sun Tzu states in his book ‘Art of War’:
‘Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small. The most difficult things in the world must be done while they are still easy; the greatest things in the world must be done while they are still small…’
I think it is simple now to become members in the society and later it will not be. The purpose of writing this blog was to encourage you all to participate and apply for memberships in societies in order to diversify your knowledge, skill set and experience because NUST has got a lot to offer other than the degree for which you have been selected . Discover these opportunities and definitely yourself too!
All the best! :)