Note : This article was initially produced for HEC magazine Dr Rafi Ullah was born on 15th June 1983 in Swat KPK Pakistan. He is from a middle-class family having six siblings and all are at least graduate because of his father’s deep interest in their education. His father supported him for his studies till last. He received his initial schooling from Hera Public School, Swat . He did his bachelor from the University of Peshawar , M. Phil and Ph.D in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering from University of Agriculture Peshawar in 2016. Currently he is working as an Assistant Professor in University of Lahore Time for another success story!

What follows is a story of how planning, drive, patience, and perseverance helped me launch into a career as a Bio-technologist and Genetic Engineer.
Parents, their support-moral and financial-is key to success in my life.A nyhow without teachers, the key is unable to open the door to success.

I have lurked the forum of Higher Education Commission ( HEC ) for probably close to six years, and I listened to the advice of the moderators and regulars. They know what they’re talking about. But, once you get started you will quickly realize that there are very nice, helpful, friendly people outside of academia that are willing to give you some of their time. Be respectful of their time, and don’t expect them to give you ANYTHING other than some information/feedback. Do not EVER approach networking as an immediate gratification experience. It’s a learning experience and you might not realize what you learned right away – but trust me – interacting with HEC is a good experience although you will get some tough experience with them-sometimes….

Key things I did that I think made me successful:
1. Listen to the advice of HEC forum. 
It all started here for me. It works. Hone the skills. You may feel awkward and come across as awkward at first, but you’ll get better and your awkward inner scientist will bloom into a social butterfly that can relate, and communicate your value beyond pipet skills to non-academics.

2. Know what you want, and let yourself have it

I wanted to be an equity research scholar – so I talked to people in the field via informational interviews, and really learned what would set me apart on that stack of resumes. If you don’t know what you want, networking (computer-internet) is a way to figure it out. If they sense that you’re all over the place in your career aspirations, it will hurt you. Make sure your answer to the “Why do you want to be a Bio-technologist and Genetic Engineer, is your strongest job interview answer.

The last obstacle in your way once you know what you want, is yourself. Stop playing the victim “I’m a PhD and I am banned to post-doc purgatory for life!” If that’s your attitude, then that will be your reality. If you want something different, let yourself have it by putting in the work to get it.

3. Drive. Once I knew what I wanted, I put in the work to look appealing to employers. I did some free work as an internee in a lab during my PhD – and I did well, anyhow I had to study long and thrive hard for completing my PhD. I knew from my informational interviews that doing PhD and working as an HEC Scholar would help set me apart from the resume stack. It showed drive. It showed initiative. Put in the work and really at the end I got it-I got the PhD…..

4. Patience and perseverance. Rejection hurts and it seems easy to just give up. I almost did. I had several phone conversations and coffee chats with networking friends whining about job interviews that I thought went well, but didn’t go anywhere. In fact, after four months on the job search I was talking about trying some other areas and giving up on equity research after being passed over after multiple interview stages for more qualified candidates. I thought I didn’t have a chance – there would always be someone better in Peshawar city applying against me. Months later I had interviews with many institutions and I was certain had a better candidate to offer to. I was on cloud nine! And my network was really at full gear working for me because I was interviewing at a third place at the time and my network let me know about three other open positions they could introduce me to. Don’t give up. If you want it bad enough, you will be patient. If you build your network, they will be there to support you, keep you from giving up, and point you out to opportunities to pursue and I got it I got a job as Bio-technologist and HEC really helped through whole this long road

Know what you want, and let yourself have it.

Academic Profile

Degree/Certificate year of passing Institution, city, country Group/ Specialization % age obtained Division/ CGPA Academic Distinction
SSC, 1999 Hera School & College, Swathn Science 73 1st
F.Sc, 2001 SPS & College, Swat Pakistan Pre-Medical 78 2nd
B.Sc, 2007 University of Peshawar Biotechnology 69 2nd
M.Phil, 2010 University of agriculture, Peshawar Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering 88 1st
PhD, 2016 University of agriculture, Peshawar Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering 1st / 3.5

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