Global Markets, Local Creativities - ERASMUS MUNDUS SCHOLARSHIP - GLOCAL
I am applying for the Global Markets, Local Creativities - Global Markets and Development pathway as it amalgamates my Management education with my experience of business development, consumer behavior and marketing, and immigrant entrepreneurship and assimilation. After completing my O/A Levels in Pakistan, I pursued my undergraduate education at Bilkent University in Turkey on a full-scholarship, and also did an Erasmus exchange semester at Katholieke Universiteit-Leuven in Belgium. During my time at these prestigious academic institutions I got the opportunity to learn about sustainable economic development, global economy and markets, family business innovation, international politics and economics in a global context by taking various relevant courses and international opportunities by winning multiple scholarships/grants.
As a Marketing Intern at Mobilink Jazz, a major Telecommunications provider in Pakistan, I worked in a team of 6 and became the top performer by bringing over 700 new customers to the company; increased the online following by 15% via SEO and SEM and got valuable insights into customer experience management via one-to-one customer interactions. Also, as a Sales and Viral-Marketing-Architect at Al-Saleh in Egypt, I developed a Business Plan and evaluated an investment project of 2 million EGP with a team of 8 for cleaning and restoration of the streets of Giza and also decreased regional expenses by 3.5% by improving the local operations management. Both of these professional experiences were extremely beneficial to my studies and professional development since I got to implement the theoretical skills learned during my undergraduate studies. Also, for some European experience, I did an Erasmus+ Traineeship in Poland at Craftoon; a young digital marketing and video production agency. This experience further built my interpersonal skills in a business context as I was not only doing potential business opportunities analysis, but also engaging with the company's partners during meetings and also keeping the company office in Saudi Arabia in coordination with the Polish head office.
My experiences at AIESEC-Ankara as a Marketing and Communications Team-Leader in the Outgoing Volunteer team and Public Speaking and Administrative helping volunteer at Ankara Toastmasters Intl. Club have both taught me key interpersonal skills especially when dealing with people in a multicultural environment. Also, my social volunteer experiences: in AIESEC-Egypt as an English teacher in Cairo for the children of refugees from Sudan and families from disadvantaged backgrounds, in AIESEC-Malaysia as a caretaker for stray cats and dogs in an animal shelter and in The Citizens Foundation as a teacher of Math's, Science, English, and Urdu to children in underprivileged areas of Karachi, Pakistan have all inspired me even further to continue my interest in social work especially for communities of migrants, refugees and people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
This desire is what led me to TDP, a student-run club at Bilkent University, in the UYP Project, which is a social volunteering project about Syrian refugees inclusion support, in Ankara, Turkey, by providing them monetary, social, and Turkish language support. My most important contribution at the club came from an Erasmus+ Training Course about, "Strategies for inclusion of communities of migrants and refugees", in Portugal where we discussed the positive effects of inclusion through immigrant entrepreneurship and after the training, our team started entrepreneurial ventures support for helping the refugees economic conditions and because of the immense support of youth, our professors and other donors we were able to make an entire community of Syrian refugees in Ankara, financially independent by helping them provide services like tailoring (by women) and hairdressing (by men) in their respective regions. Apart from financial independence, they also became active members of the Turkish community as the locals saw their efforts for integration.
Moreover, I participated in two other Erasmus+ Youth Exchanges; in Romania, for encouraging youth to volunteer in their community, and in Greece, which facilitated networking between international humanitarian work volunteers focusing on refugees and also encouraging inactive youth to participate. Also, in Tunisia, I participated in a fully-funded Youth Conference which focused on encouraging youth leadership in social work and most recently, in the World Youth Forum (fully-funded) in Egypt during December 2019, where 7000 people from 164 nationalities gathered to discuss issues like the Impact of Globalization on Local Markets, 4th Industrial Revolution and Global Migration. And so, these experiences have given me confidence, further knowledge, and tools that will benefit me throughout my academic and personal pursuits, especially in the context of the global economy with a local perspective.
Pakistan and Turkey are in the Top 5 countries with the largest refugee populations of about 1.4m and 3.7m+ respectively, according to Amnesty International. And so, coming from an economically disadvantaged background as a religious minority in Pakistan to former migrant parents, the idea of helping refugees and migrants to assimilate locally has been really interesting to me which is why a lot of my academic, work and volunteering experiences revolve around that theme. Also, my dissertation will focus on how business incubators can facilitate refugee entrepreneurship and integration in developing countries. The discussion would also discuss the financial as well as the socio-cultural impact of Entrepreneurial activity. The potential for Social Entrepreneurship in Pakistan and Turkey is immense and development in Social Immigrant Entrepreneurship could curb long-term poverty and unemployment. Considering that economic factors are often the biggest variables in the integration of refugees, it makes sense to invest more in programs that support the economic viability of refugees which needs further awareness and so this is my main motivation for this dissertation topic. Also, my passion for and experience in filmmaking and journalism along with my ability to speak 6 languages will help me document, market and communicate my ideas effectively across various media platforms and markets. Moreover, my professional experience of working with SME's and refugees in their inclusion process; courses discussing the impact of Creative Cities, Emerging sectors, Immigrant Entrepreneurship during the program and SME's and Entrepreneurship from KU Leuven and my previous research experience during my undergraduate will provide further guidance for my dissertation.
Upon completing my masters, I plan on joining a renowned Management Ph.D. program in the field of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and New Organizational Models (including, Social Enterprise, Impact Investing, and Social Impact Measurement) primarily in the Global context and their implications on the local markets in the developing world. And so, this is why the idea of studying in a consortium of prestigious Universities in Europe on a scholarship really inspired me to apply for GLOCAL. Moreover, the research interests of Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Fear (at Glasgow) and Prof. Dr. Hartmut Berghoff (at Göttingen) are of great interest to me, especially because their work, also focuses on the topics of Immigrant Entrepreneurship, Consumption and Business History, and so, conducting my thesis research under the guidance of such renowned academicians will definitely provide great support. I look forward to an enriching academic and research experience which will enable me to learn about European culture and history in the context of global economies with a local perspective. As a Pakistani, I will present a positive image of my country and act as an ambassador amongst a select few lucky enough to be an Erasmus+ scholar.
I sincerely hope the admission committee finds my profile well suited for this life-changing opportunity.