Omer Ahmed Khan is a Microsoft Student Partner and an undergraduate in Computer and Information Systems Engineering from NED University. As a person, he is a polite, joyful and an opportunist guy with big dreams. Moreover, he loves to travel.
In 2015, he was the only Pakistani to get selected for the Microsoft Summer Internship Program at Egypt. He was invited to Microsoft Advanced Technology Lab at Cairo.
How did Omer Ahmed come to know about that Microsoft Internship?
“I am an opportunist and evangelist. Always seeking ways to support my goal. And on my search, I find this astounding break. But there is a background story; I became a part of Microsoft program called Microsoft Student Partner which was also one of my achievement. There I met with a huge community of students all around the world; we have a network on Yammer and Facebook where we share all updates of Microsoft. And this internship was one of that shared content. And I applied to it with any negative thought and with effort and support from my friends I ace it.”
What does Omer thinks of his selection?
“Honestly, I have no idea!.When I applied to the program, my only aim just to get experience from such tests and procedures. Well, the main factor of my selection may be my Final Year Project which was a research project on the Urdu language in a domain on NLP (Natural Language Processing). There was an NLP lab, and this might help me in selection. Other than that my previous internship and involvement in competition backed me up. And I hardly believe that academics or GPA were even in criteria of selection.”
How was your experience? What did you learn?
“It was an amazing experience. Besides becoming a part of massive Organisation, first time I had a chance to travel on my own to an unknown country. Truly, I was more excited about going to a new place than be selected by Microsoft. But I found my working space more friendly than ever.You are allowed to play games, read books and do many creative activities in you working hours. It had a productive environment. Besides that, the NLP (Natural Language Processing) team of the lab in which I was selected, helped me out in finding my interest that is Data Science. I was aware of this field but never had a chance to explore it, and in my internship, I dig an interesting part of this area which was NLP.”
Did you face any difficulty while being in the program?
“No, it was quite comfortable. All the other intern and your mentor always there to help you. I mainly faced a little problem in a start because I didn’t have enough knowledge of NLP (Natural Language Processing), but again as I said, my mentor helped me very well and explained all the basics of it. Other than that Language was also a little barrier, but overall it was a very comfortable place.”
How was your experience with other internees of the Program?
“They are very friendly and polite people.They greet me very well, and we became friends in no time. I didn’t feel that I did not belong there. They always call me for games and lunch. There were very nice people.
“My plan is to do more exploration in the field of Data Science and do research on it. And practically implement it to provide help in many sectors of Tech and non-Tech areas.”
Tips for aspirants of the next Microsoft internship program
“Do not back up from such opportunities. I want to share one thing which I come to know when I was there. I questioned them that why there are no Pakistanis selected for such programs. The reply was that very few applications were submitted by Pakistan for such programs thus few or no candidate gets selected.
I will just say that apply without any hesitation. Do not underestimate your potential; we are highly capable.We lack confidence. Just have faith in yourself and do not be afraid to try.”
Representing Pakistan at such forums is an honor. Omer Ahmed proved that one needs to have faith and will to achieve anything. Our aim is to give students, the exposure to this program so that we can see more Pakistanis in this program.