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Saima Asghar

Course: MA in ELT (CELTE now CAL) 1997-98
City of residence: Dubai, UAE
Employer: Education, Training and Language Assessmant Consultant
Interests: Mentoring, Guidance Counselling, Social Enterprise, Activism,
Contact details: steps dot skills at gmail dot com

Do you have any fond memories?

I have amazing memories of making a large number of friends, some of whom I am stil in contact with, from diverse nationalities.

What are you doing now?

I’m a language trainer and teacher trainer, heading my own company by the name of Solutions to Enhance Professional Skills (StEPS). I’m actively engaged with the British Council Dubai for language assessment, and with the University of Warwick and Lancaster University for student recruitment and marketing.

Why did you decide to become an alumni ambassador?
In my role as Warwick International Office Representative and now SROAS representative for Pakistan, I have been actively engaged with organising alumni events for the University in Pakistan and liaising with the alumni ambassadors in supporting networking activities. I moved to the UAE two years ago and have since then been engaged with Pakistani Warwick alumni in the region informally and through social media. Being an alumni ambassador for UAE would be a natural progression from my existing alumni engagements and I feel I would be able to offer a lot of insghts and support to my fellow ambassadors based on the success of alumni engagement in Pakistan.

What kind of people make up the Warwick alumni community in your area?

Senior and mid tier managers, entrepreneurs, supply chain professionals.

Have you been back to Warwick recently?

I have been visiting the University every year since 1998.

Anything else you care to add?

Please see my professional profile below:
Saima Asghar Riaz earned an MA in English Language Teaching, with distinction, from Warwick University in 1998. Her research area was Staff Appraisal in Education and she has since then been actively involved with the development and capacity building of teachers, examiners and students in Pakistan and UAE. She is a British Council certified IELTS Examiner Trainer, and also advises on and develops Communication Skills training programmes for the Punjab Judicial Academy of the Lahore High Court.

In her previous position as Director for Faculty Development & Internationalisation at Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), Pakistan, she worked closely with the Vice Chancellor and relevant Deans/Directors to guide on improvements in curricula, assessment techniques and implementation of international standards in the respective faculty/institute by successfully setting up a Faculty Development Centre, an International Resource Centre and Pakistan’s first university level mandatory Citizenship programme in collaboration with the British Council.

Saima has extensive teaching and teacher training experience, having taught at Kinnaird College for Women on their English Language Teaching, and Applied Linguistics Masters degrees, focussing on material design and lesson planning. She has been a member of the adjunct faculty at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), where she taught Composition and Writing, Research Writing and Communication Skills to undergraduate students. She has also taught English for Academic Purposes (EAP) at Warwick University and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) for Virtual University. Her video lectures are currently part of the Virtual University syllabus televised for VU students nationwide and internationally. She has developed and delivered training for numerous organizations and institutions including the Lahore High Court, LCWU, Aga Khan University, LUMS, Sharif Educational Complex, Kashf Foundation, Saif Group of Industries and the British Council’s Education UK. Saima has also been an external supervisor for BNU’s postgraduate research theses.

In addition to her academic pursuits, Saima has been representing the University's International Office (now Student Recruitment Outreach and Admissions Services) in Pakistan, and more recently Lancaster University in her capacity as Executive Director of Solutions to Enhance Professional Skills (StEPS). The key component of her work with StEPS involves counselling students and parents on graduate study and career options, engaging with stakeholders including sponsors and referees, and conducting trainings and skills seminars for students and faculty at local educational institutions. She works closely with Warwick Graduate Association and Warwick Careers Services in facilitating, mentoring and guiding alumni towards networking and job placement opportunities.

She is a member of the Institutional Review Board of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Executive Board Member of Door Of Awareness and a member of the Punjab Working Group for UN Volunteers.