My journey to becoming a researcher has been both challenging and rewarding. I embarked on my academic journey with a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication Engineering, where I excelled in my studies and secured the first position in the department. I was fortunate to be part of the Erasmus Mundus program, which allowed me to study in Denmark and broaden my horizons in the field. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I pursued a master’s degree in Telecommunication Engineering and Management, further honing my skills and knowledge. During this time, I had the opportunity to work as a Research Associate at MUET. This experience allowed me to work on real-world projects and gain practical insights into the field. I then ventured into the corporate world, working as a Network Analyst for ENI PAKISTAN. This experience provided me with valuable industry exposure and a deeper understanding of networking technologies.
Following my industry experience, I transitioned to a lectureship position at MUET, where I could share my knowledge and passion for the field with aspiring students. Alongside teaching, I continued to work on research projects, including the deployment of a free space optics link and authoring research papers. In pursuit of further academic excellence, I completed my Ph.D. in Information Technology, delving into cutting-edge research in photonics. This phase of my journey opened doors to international collaborations and opportunities, including a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia in Canada and the prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) COFUND fellowship programme Sparkle for photonics research in Europe.
While my journey had its share of challenges, including living abroad without my family, missing out on precious events, and adapting to new cultures and environments, these hardships also provided me with invaluable opportunities for personal growth and resilience. I believe I enjoyed doing my PhD the most, thanks to Erasmus Mundus LEADERS program. Studying in a multi-cultural environment provided me a great opportunity to first represent my culture and secondly to experience other cultures closer and identify the similarities and differences, as well as the positive and negative behaviours of the cultures.