Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: Hello, I am Muhammad Awais Khan, and I belong to the famous archaeological city of Mardan. I am a graduate of International Islamic University, Islamabad in Software Engineering. Furthermore, I did my MS degree in Software Engineering from Zhejiang Normal University, China. Soon after the completion of my degree, I worked for a year as a Web Developer with the prestigious Integrated Health Services (IHS), Islamabad. Later I joined APEX Education Islamabad as a Web Developer. In my free time, I enjoy playing cricket and photography.
Q: How has your education prepared you for this job?
A: My Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees both are in the field of computer science. I learned a lot from my teachers and friends. They truly helped me to be prepared for every challenge in life. So I feel that I was well prepared for real-life situations and jobs. I feel that the experience and education I have gained has been truly valuable and has also helped me to hone my skills.
Q: You mentioned you studied abroad in China. Can you tell us about that experience and how the academics differ from Pakistan?
A: In my opinion, studying abroad means discovering a new culture, exploring new places, and making friends from all over the world. For me, studying in China has been one of the most beneficial experiences. I was on a scholarship in China. There I found the teaching faculty highly qualified.
I think the Chinese education system is very flexible, you can change your major at any stage. Classrooms are almost totally different from those in Pakistan in the behaviors of students/teachers and the resources available. Teachers are very helpful and friendlier as well.
Q: Walk us through your resume.
A: Whilst I was pursuing my MS in China, I worked remotely for my clients. As a developer, I focused on customer satisfaction and managed all aspects of web development from concept to requirements definition, design, development, maintenance and user support. I enjoyed the client-facing role and working closely with team members to produce high-quality deliverables.
I have served as a web developer at Integrated Health Services (IHS) Islamabad. In this role, I led web development projects for clients in diverse industries including technology, medical, media and financial services. After that, I joined Apex Education as a web developer and developed education-related projects. Further on, I worked as a freelancer with different organizations to date. I am also working as a volunteer with Lions Club International, the world’s largest social services club organization to support needy and poor people with medical and financial needs.
Q: Which past job did you like the most and why?
A: My experience at Integrated Health Services is what I cherish the most. I really liked the people I worked with. They were very experienced and helpful. It was a friendly atmosphere, and I actually enjoyed going to work each morning. I felt that the leadership team was great too. I learned a lot about different management styles and strategies.
Q: What project would you consider your most significant career accomplishment to date?
A: The Apex Education App I developed for the Apex Institute Islamabad. I worked alone on this project. The best part of this project was the online examination module.
Q: How did you learn about the KP Government Innovation Fellowship Program?
A: When Durshal co-working space opened up in Mardan, I did a quick internet search on what Durshal is. That search led to the Durshal and KPITB Facebook pages and I also subscribed to their mailing list. When the 6th Fellowship Cycle was announced, I got an email from KPITB and also checked the advertisement on Facebook. That’s how I learned about the Fellowship and applied for it.
Q: On what project are you working here? How is it helping you to build your capacity?
A: I am working on Digitization of Fund Disbursement for the Benevolent Fund Cell where I am digitizing the workflows and processes. Working on this project, I have the opportunity to work with the government department closely, and learn more about government processes and ways of working.
Q: In a few words, describe what skills and knowledge you bring to our team?
A: My way of thinking, determination, flexibility, sincerity, tolerance, leadership, and team management.
Q: How many of these skills did you learn from the internet on your own?
A: I learned through experience.
Q: What role are the Fellows/mentors playing in shaping you?
A: The mentors play a critical role during the Program. They share their knowledge and information with us, guide, motivate, and emotionally support us. I am learning a lot from my mentors. They kept me up-to-date about new things and urged me to keep learning and improving my skills. I try to remember the lessons I have learned from them.
Q: What is your philosophy towards your work?
A: My philosophy towards work is to work hard with sincerity, to treat others with respect at all times and approach clients with kindness.
Q: What personal or professional mistakes have you learned the most from?
A: I have learned from past mistakes that without teamwork and cooperation we can’t succeed. Also, it is far better to ask for clarification and solve an issue right away than to be unsure.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: I enjoy playing sports, like cricket and badminton. Besides that, I am also interested in photography and spending time with my family.
Q: If you could have dinner with any two personalities from history, who would you choose and why?
A: My supervisor Professor Han Jianmin, because he gave very constructive feedback when needed, which I believe has helped me to further hone my skills.
My best friend Abdullah Jan, because he was my best friend but now he is no more. We were schoolmates. In every examination, he won the first position and I was second. We spent about 18 years together with him including school and college life. His death was very shocking and disturbing for me.
Q: Would you like to say something to our readers?
A: I suggest everyone apply for the Fellowship Program. I found this program very helpful and effective in every aspect, whether looking for future job opportunities, entrepreneurship, skill development or knowledge sharing. In addition, the CfP team is very supportive and encouraging. I learned a lot from various sessions, and through this platform, I get to work with the government directly.