Young Scholar Shares Her Journey through Habib University Dean’s Fellowship Program

Young Scholar Shares Her Journey through Habib University Dean’s Fellowship Program 

I joined Habib University as one of their first Dean’s Fellows in the 2021 cohort, and I must say, the experience surpassed all my expectations. Karachi has long been a hub for business schools, but little attention has been paid to those inclined toward academia, particularly in the social sciences. Habib University, especially through the Dean’s Fellow program, aims to bridge that gap. 

After completing my graduate studies at the London School of Economics, my desire to return to Pakistan for research was firm, though I was uncertain about the specific focus. That’s when I discovered the Habib University Dean’s Fellow Program. It perfectly aligned with my goals of enhancing my profile for a Ph.D. pursuit. At that time, and even now, my research revolves around post-colonial gender and human rights, and Habib University became my sanctuary. I found myself surrounded by like-minded academics striving to reshape paradigms in the field. This environment encouraged me to approach my research more constructively. 

The program provided immense support for our Ph.D. applications or any other career paths we chose, particularly through the Director of the Fellowship program, Dr. Coline Ferrant. She was a constant source of emotional and physical support, guiding me through application processes and references. Additionally, I had the opportunity to teach, an area I hadn’t previously experienced. Creating my syllabus and engaging with students taught me invaluable lessons—I am deeply grateful to those students for what they taught me. 

Moreover, the friendships forged at Habib University in Karachi are invaluable and enduring. Habib University serves as a catalyst for change, and being a small part of that is an immense privilege. Presently, I’m working as a Research Assistant at the University of Virginia, and the skills I acquired at Habib University are proving to be incredibly useful. I’m committed to pursuing my Ph.D. 

For future Dean’s Fellows, my advice is simple: make the most of every moment! 

This blog is written by Mahso Gichki, Dean’s Fellow & Lecturer, Social Development and Policy, Habib University. 


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