Bringing academia and industry together: Stacks Pakistan FAST Chapter Orientation
The idea stemmed from the classrooms of Princeton, and soon took the shape of a startup. Stacks started its operations in 2020, spending most of its first six months in setting foot on the Pakistani business scene. In 2021, Stacks was active on many fronts; industry-related as well as educational. Exploring the minds of the youth and giving awareness to the local audience were the main agenda of the campaign’s initial setting. I had my first interaction with Stacks, when I attended an awareness workshop in Lahore, which was in collaboration with Career Counselling Society of FAST university, Lahore.
My understanding of the company was no different than any other student thinking about an organization, and deciding whether to work with them or not. Then, June 2021 saw numerous students of FAST-NUCES being participants and part of the management team at Xplore 1.0, Pakistan’s first blockchain conference.
The New Ground:
After Hack4Impact, Summer School, Clarity Cohort 1 and Xplore 1.0, the organization took a new turn and decided to formally enter the corridors and auditoria of universities.
The Xplore 1.0 team served as the bedrock of the whole idea. With about 70% of the team comprising of students from FAST, there was no better place to begin with.
The management of the organization had been in contact with the students and this contact paved way for a university chapter in the institute. The students formed their team, Stacks assigned them roles and made plans with the university management of the proposed chapter.
The Kicking Off:
The efforts bore fruit when the chapter got approved from the university management and then the official kicking off took place on 7 December, 2021.
The event was arranged in the university’s auditorium and saw the multinational company set its foot in the Lahore campus of Pakistan’s top ranked IT institution. Team members had invited the director and advisor of the new society, Dr. Hammad Naveed, the HOD of Computer Science department, Dr. Kashif Zafar, Stacks Pakistan Country Consultant, Mr. Nabeel Qadeer, Stacks Pakistan Community Manager, Ms. Syeda Mehak and co-advisor of the society as well faculty member, Dr. Rana Asif Rehman.
University management allowed the team to arrange for some entertainment for their fellows. With games, a photobooth and quizzes, the atmosphere was filled with fun and excitement.
The event started off with the recitation of Holy Quran (a religious custom). Then the audience was requested to stand up for the national anthem. Our hosts gave an introduction of the organization and made sure that the students understand the idea behind Stacks.
Mr. Nabeel was the first one to address the 200-odd audience, with his patriotic and charismatic style. He made sure that he mentioned his experience in the field and the meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Our guest told the students that this is the first chapter of its kind, and it has come to stay. With anecdotes from the meeting with the premiere to insights from his student life at the very campus he was addressing, Mr. Nabeel caught the attention of everyone.
He reached the pinnacle of his speech when he made it, “This is the best country to live in.”
The Director and advisor of the chapter, Dr. Hammad Naveed was next on the mic. Apart from showing his confidence in the new society, he made sure that the students realized their responsibilities and took the right steps towards success.
To make things clearer, Dr. Kashif Zafar and Ms. Syeda Mehak shared their views and played their part in highlighting the new demands of an excellent career. The event then allowed an exchange of appreciation tokens between the university and the organization.
Dr. Hammad and Mr. Nabeel then shared the stage, as the latter announced the first executive of Stacks FAST chapter.
With the conclusion of the event, the chapter now looks to redefine the work of societies in the institute and aims to bring all the opportunities of the company to the students of FAST.
With the reputation of the university as the top IT institute, there can’t be any better option to choose from. Positive results await as Stacks and FAST join forces in the upcoming hackathons, boot camps, cohorts and conferences.
Written By: Humza Noor