A seminar entitled 'Careers of Tomorrow' was organized by the IIS Graduate Studies Department for alumni and current students of the Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities. To facilitate the process of exploring career possibilities, senior staff from the AKDN Institutions.
Students who complete the IIS Graduate Programme develop analytical skills and competencies which could be applied in a wide range of careers. This full day seminar provided a means for IIS graduates and current students to explore present and emerging career options within the AKDN institutions which coincide with their individual interests and abilities.
Professor Azim Nanji, Director of the Institute, welcomed the guests and students to the seminar and spoke about the growing pool of graduates completing the Graduate Programme. He shared his hope that the Institute and its graduates will play an important role in meeting the world-wide human resource needs of the AKDN as the network generates more opportunities for individuals in diverse fields, particularly in education and social development.
The Head of Graduate Studies at IIS, Dr Alnoor Dhanani, spoke about the possible career pathways open to students of the graduate programme, once they have completed their three-year programme through the Institute. He encouraged them to consider further education in areas of Islamic studies and education; to look towards opportunities in the field with AKDN and other NGO's working in developing areas of the world; to consider working in areas which have a direct impact on the perception of Muslim identity, i.e. media, film, literature, museums, and other cultural institutions; and investigate careers with the Ismaili community institutions around the world.
Dr Dhanani also spoke about His Highness the Aga Khan's vision for the graduates of the IIS, making reference to his address at the 25th Anniversary Graduation Ceremonies held in October 2003:
"It is my hope and prayer that the education and training that you have acquired will enable you to assume positions of leadership in your communities, countries and even beyond. I believe that your continuing relationship and dialogue with the Institute will enrich your role as potential agents of change, while also extending to the Institute the benefits of your experiences and insights. This partnership can ensure that you are well placed to contribute to the development and growth of future generations of our intelligentsia, so that we strengthen our own capacity to determine our destiny."
Shams Jaffer, Senior Manager of Staffing for the Imamat/AKDN, presented an overview of the Aga Khan Development Network and its mandate, discussing the skills and abilities required for careers within various AKDN institutions and projects. She also highlighted the distinguishing features of working for the AKDN, which provided individuals with international exposure and mobility, professional development, an impact on grassroot and field level projects, and a unique opportunity to contribute to society.
Salim Bhatia, Director of the Aga Khan Academies Project, elaborated on the Academies of Excellence which are planned for 19 different locations around the world in the next 5-7 years, outlining potential opportunities for professional engagement for IIS graduates to consider.
Attendees of the seminar also heard the first-hand experiences of Aziz Batada, a science teacher at the Academy of Excellence in Mombassa, Kenya and of Louay Ismail, a GPISH graduate of the Class of 2005 who completed an internship with BBC this summer.