See what our first batch of Dil Interns had to say about their experience below.
“The Dil Internship Project is truly the highlight of my year, and was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
In my weeks in Karachi, I interned at The Aster School, and honestly it has been great so far. Each intern has a different task and role assigned to them and mine was marketing – something I was considering to do in the future. My role includes managing the social media accounts as well as taking professional photographs whilst spending time with the children during their Summer Camp – and it has truly lived up to its expectations. It has allowed me to be creative, and has also given me an insight as to how the marketing role works. Not only was everyone welcoming but they also made me feel at home. Similarly, the same can be said about the volunteers, and the interns that I am working with. Despite the fact that I have only spent a month with them, it genuinely feels like I have known them longer than that – there’s no one else I would have rather spent my summer interning with!
The whole experience consisted of many activities and events that had been planned for interns. Firstly, we began by seeing the education centre Payam-e-Taleem. In a place like Pakistan where there is a visible and drastic gap between private and state schools, Payam-e-Taleem, a centre founded by Soaliha Ahmed, provides free education for students with the aim of closing this gap. The centre focuses on four main subjects – Maths, English, Computer Science and General Knowledge and has many success stories whereby one student was even applying to Canada for university. This was truly one of the most wonderful sights to witness – seeing that there is someone out there who is helping these children progress further in life and education deeply moved us. Moreover, when speaking to the children, I believe I can say that we were all in awe as we heard them tell us what they wanted to pursue in the future as well as how they found studying. This was truly a heart-warming experience.
We then visited McKinsey – a worldwide consulting company. This was a Q&A session whereby we were able to ask the employees a range of questions, including some of the public projects that they had worked on, particularly in education, and how they executed it as well as how it felt to be working in a Pakistani environment in comparison to overseas. This allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of their company and their core values, leading to be a great networking experience. Lastly, we had our first tour of Karachi – known as the city of lights but also the industrial city of Pakistan. We were taken on a W11 bus which was traditional, vibrant and decorative with an aux cord – because for a long trip, music is a must, especially Bollywood music in a place like this! We visited the Frere Hall, Quaid-e-Azam Mazar, alongside the high court and many other landmark places with breakfast occurring at a traditional shop in Saddar town, allowing us to have the full cultural and traditional experience. This is all due to the Dil Internship Project and everyone who is a part of this project for making this both a wonderful and lovely experience – it really is the highlight of my year!
“I am truly passionate about supporting the development of Pakistan, which is why the Dil Internship Project has been a perfect addition to my Summer.”
Being a second-generation Pakistani, I have forever felt the need to return to the country that gave my parents such incredible experiences. Since arriving, I have noticed the need for development in the educational sector, which is why my experience at the Aster School is so inspiring. The innovative teaching methods present at the school are introducing a new outlook into education in Pakistan, which I truly want to be a part of in the future. Working at Artistic Apparels has been thoroughly informative, as I have never experienced a corporate environment, let alone in a Pakistani company. The experience has educated me about the global presence of Pakistani businesses and the women at the office have truly motivated me. In an environment, where the women to men ratio is scarce, the women at the company continue to inspire me to be more assertive and confident about my own abilities. This experience has reminded me how Pakistan is beginning to change positively, the social responsibility in large companies have begun to prioritise the need for more diversity – which is something I did not expect before I arrived.
The tours have given me an insight into the rich cultural heritage of Pakistan and have reminded me of the rich history the country possesses. Visits to monuments such as Frere Hall and Mazar-e-Quaid added great photos to my camera roll and the trips to minority communities were amazing to experience! We visited the oldest Hindu temple in Karachi and to see a community come together, in a country which has continually disregarded minorities, was beautiful. Meeting these communities have reminded me of the strength of the Pakistani people.
Overall, this experience has truly left me with great memories. This internship would not have been the same without the other people I have experienced this with. We have become a family and continue to inspire each other about the need for professional, social and economic development in Pakistan. Karachi has also provided me with a new network of young people in Pakistan. In the future, I can see myself returning to Karachi and easily reconnecting with the network I have created here – and even possibly making a life for myself here!
“I believe the lesson I’ll take back with me to the UK is the undoubted sense of ‘duty’ to Pakistan that I have. Having seen the deep, embedded social, economic and political problems facing Pakistan”
I first came across the Dil Internship Project through social media and was immediately drawn to the core message of the project. I related to the narrative that the Dil Internship Project was conveying; transcending notions of charity, reversing the supposed ‘brain drain’ in Pakistan and changing cultural perceptions about Pakistan misrepresented in the media. I came to Karachi specifically to immerse myself in the unique cultural and professional experiences Karachi had to offer. Being the city of my mother’s birthplace added a greater, more personal significance to learn more about my own cultural identity. As a third generation British-Pakistani Muslim, I’ve often struggled to understand and reflect upon my own identity and coming to Karachi by myself through this initiative has given me time to do that.
I’ve been interning at the Aster School and now Artistic Apparels which have both been in two very different sectors, making the experience more enriching. Working in a corporate professional environment at Artistic Apparels has been eye opening and has personally unlocked a tangible path into a career in Pakistan’s corporate industry
I believe perhaps most of all the lesson I’ll take back with me to the UK is the undoubted sense of ‘duty’ to Pakistan that I have. Having seen the deep, embedded social, economic and political problems facing Pakistan, I’m excited to hopefully one day contribute to, and be a part of, the intellectual renewal of Pakistan. In the west, we do take a lot for granted and knowing the overwhelmingly positive impact that reversing Pakistan’s ‘brain drain’ could have is an awe inspiring
“ ‘You study in London? So why are you interning in Pakistan?’, I’ve heard this question from nearly every person I’ve met… but the knowledge I’m gaining is priceless”
One week down at Jamal & Jamal and I can honestly say this internship is one of a kind. All my previous work experiences have been mountains of photocopying, scanning and errands, and I expected this internship to be the same. To my surprise, I’ve been able to access real legal files and work on ongoing cases, building my own arguments and discussing them with barristers at the firm.
After being given two days to develop arguments on a complex rape case, the interns took part in a mock trial, mimicking the appeal that the lawyers in the firm actually took part in. This was my first ever moot, and I could not have chosen a more interesting case to work on. We had access to the firm’s legal library and associates for help, and then were given one-to-one feedback for improvement for next time.
The highlight of my first week was visiting the lower courts, the Kacheri, which is worlds away from any other court I’ve ever seen. Here we spoke to judges who answered our questions not only about the case at hand, but even generally about the Pakistani legal system and advice on pursuing a legal career. It was interesting to hear their thoughts on how the Pakistani legal industry is progressing, and particularly how it differs from that in the UK. Despite Pakistani Law originating from the British system, British law has developed and modernised, whilst the Pakistani system needs to be made more transparent and efficient.
With plans to visit the High Court and Supreme Court in the upcoming weeks, as well as more moots, I am so excited for the rest of this opportunity. Any doubts I had about this internship were gone within the first day, and I know that the knowledge and experience I’m gaining is priceless.
“Every time I visit this country, I want to build it up. One day, people across the world, will have the desire to work in Pakistan. The Dil Internship Project is at the forefront of this process”
I’ve always had a keen interest in fostering growth and development within Pakistan because I believe the country has immense potential. The underlying reason for the majority of problems in Pakistan is the lack of access to an adequate education.
The Dil internship project has granted me the opportunity to garner knowledge regarding the nuances and intricacies of the Pakistani education system. Moreover, it gives me a platform to highlight problems and come up with sustainable and innovative solutions for the education sector.
I'm also about to start a stint at the leading textile company of Pakistan. I'm blown away by their story and am keen to take commerce in the country to the next level. The Dil Internship Project is a key way of filling a long unfilled gap in Pakistani society. It's inspiring to be at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence in the textile industry. Although the concept's taken off in the West, it could really have a great impact on industries here. So to have this project is a great responsibility and one that I hope delivers results for this company for a long time to come.
“This has been the best summer of my life…My love for Karachi increased by the day.”
The numerous times I was told about the dangers and uncleanliness of Karachi before coming here had lowered my expectations of the city. As a result, I was extremely anxious and nervous about my upcoming time in Karachi. Upon arriving here, I was already feeling homesick as this would be my first time living away from home and family. However, after completing this internship my view has drastically changed to the extent where I believe that this has been my best summer of my life. Over the course of this month, I realised that the media portrayal of Karachi couldn’t be any more wrong. The city has been very much safe for us to explore, even at nights. My love for this city increased day by day as I got to explore various monuments as part of our tours including; Abdullah Shah Ghazi Mazar, the largest Sufi shrine in Sindh, and the oldest music shop in Sindh, where we also enjoyed live music, which was quite relaxing after a long week at work. As well as this, we visited Pakistan Chowk and Zainab market and ended our tour with camel and horse riding at the Sea View, which has definitely been one of the most fun highlights of this month.
Throughout this month, I was able to develop myself not only professionally but also personally. For instance, I have gained valuable knowledge and insight into the education, The Aster School, and corporate sector, Artistic Apparels, of Pakistan, which has also showed me what my future career in Pakistan would possibly entail, and also how I can play my role for the betterment of Pakistan. As well as this, I have not only become more independent but also confident in communicating and dealing with others. For this, I am grateful of my fellow interns and volunteers who have made my time in Karachi much more valuable as they are some of the most supportive, funniest and smartest people I have met. As well as this, they have played a huge role in my character development and their impressive amount of past work and experience have become my inspiration.
My departure from Karachi had been highly emotional, especially as the city had truly grown on me to the extent where I already want to revisit and experience the liveliness once again. Taking part in Dil internship and being in Karachi has taught me one important thing: Pakistan cannot develop further if we, especially overseas Pakistanis, only continue to complain about what’s wrong with this country instead of willing to take part in change so Pakistan can be a better home economically and socially for everyone.