NMF Gold Medallist Shares Insights on Surviving SDSB

NMF Gold Medallist Shares Insights on Surviving SDSB

Sannia Nasir BSc’ 19




What was it like to study at SDSB-LUMS? What were the highlights of your degree?

If I say studying at SDSB was prestigious, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration. It was challenging yet wholesome. Meeting so many people who had been high achievers their whole lives was an opportunity to learn and grow. There is no doubt that SDSB played a huge role in my confidence building and effective public speaking. The highlight of my degree was my gold medal, which is dedicated to my parents, my teachers, my friends, and everyone that I met and learnt from in the four years that I was at SDSB.

Why did you opt for Management Science as a major rather than Accounting & Finance?

During the first year at SDSB, you take courses from both Management Science and Accounting and Finance. I had already studied accounting in my O and A levels, and although I enjoyed it, I did not develop an interest in finance. On the other hand, in Management Science, I was introduced to data analysis and problem-solving. I particularly enjoyed the challenging analytical problems, which made my degree choice clearer.

Which moments or activities during your studies influenced your career choices and opportunities?

When I opted for Management Science, there was one basic data course in which I did not do well. That proved to be a moment of self-reflection where I questioned myself whether I would be able to pursue this field or not. However, that is when I also realised that failure is not getting a bad grade; failure is being too afraid of the consequences and not trying at all. From that point onwards, I decided that I would not settle for my comfort zone, and will try all the things that I was scared of, like programming. This influenced my choice of Data Science as a career.

Was there someone - classmate, alumni, or faculty - whom you admire? Why?

I really admire two of my professors, Dr. Kamran Rashid and Dr. Zainab Riaz. I also had the opportunity to work with both of them as their TA (Teacher’s Assistant). Dr. Kamran taught me some great values, including discipline, not compromising on ethics, and most importantly, self-belief. Dr. Zainab also has a major role to play in where I am today and the career path that I chose. She led me to the field of Business Analytics and was very supportive from when I was in the UK pursuing my master’s degree, till the time I landed a job. We still keep in touch, and it’s a lifelong bond that I share with her.

Tell us about your path from LUMS to where you are today. How has LUMS helped you in your career?

It has only been a year and a half since I graduated, and I believe that the journey has been quite adventurous. The change in my life has been drastic. While I was in my senior year at LUMS, I got a 100% scholarship from a well-reputed university in the UK for my master’s degree. The university’s career office was extremely helpful in the entire application process. I was referred to a special consultancy firm that had an alliance with LUMS, and they helped me with the visa process. I was able to land a job in one of the emerging Artificial Intelligence companies right after my master’s and I am currently working as a Data Analyst.

What did you do after you graduated from SDSB?

Just two months after my graduation, I went to the UK to pursue my MSc in Business Analytics from the University of Nottingham. Best place to get a meal or coffee in or around campus? There used to be a small shop inside the library building under the stairs. My friends and I used to get coffee and biscuits after long study sessions in the library and sit on the stairs outside, sipping our chai or coffee. It helped us unwind and gave us a kick for upcoming sessions. One of the other fondest memories was sitting in REC after early morning lectures and having marble cake and coffee to replace our breakfasts. It sounds very unhealthy but accompanied by complaints and laughter; it was extremely satisfying.

Would you like to share some challenges that you have faced as a student and how you overcame them?

I think the biggest challenge that I faced was stress and time management. There were times when there were five projects due in a single week and tons of presentations. It was essential to control your nerves and not give up on yourself. I learned that to prevent burnout and remain productive; you need to give yourself short breaks. Maybe vent a little with your friends while having a cup of tea or go out to eat in Y-Block or have some cold coffee from the superstore. That does not reduce the workload but helps you keep going.

What is the one piece of advice you would offer to students considering studying at SDSB-LUMS?

If they tell you it’s going to be easy, it’s not. If they tell you it’s impossible, it’s not. While studying at SDSB, you will be reminded again and again that you are competing against the best. While it is true that SDSB has the finest individuals, who have an intricate blend of intelligence, hard work, and competitiveness, you must remember that you are YOU! Your competition is no one but yourself. SDSB will push you to your limits but make sure it brings the best out of you. Your hard work and consistency will pay off, and trust me; it will all be worth it.

Meet The Faculty