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Born & raised in #Fanar #Lebanon, a tiny country in the middle east with a lot to offer. I always had a positive outlook on life maybe because of the culture or values🤷‍♀️.
If you don't know #Lebanon or a #lebanese then you should start mingling 🤣
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS
I grew up surrounded by a loving, joking & tough type of family that always support each other even amidst fighting. You can imaging being 4 kids in different age groups can cause a lot of fights growing up 😂 #siblingsfight #family #VoicesIWS
I have my issues🤷‍♀️! I always wanted to prove myself & make my family proud(2nd child). A pressure that was just in my head; they were always proud of us. I wanted to grow up to be a doctor or an army officer like my dad. Let's just say I changed my mind! #VoicesIWS @IWS_Network
The literacy rate & level of #education in #Lebanon is high, and like most cultures, most people end up following popular jobs & studies either as an #engineer, a #doctor (#physician) or as #officers. I wanted something different in #biology or #science! @IWS_Network #VoicesIWS
It is hard to keep up with society's #expectations & #judgement; I am sure most of you understand.
No matter what you do, someone is going to complain; shout out to my dad for telling me this everytime 🙌 so follow YOUR path!
@IWS_Network #Expectations #judgement #VoicesIWS
I went to the same french school for 15 yrs. It was excellent! It taught 4 languages: French(main) & Arabic + English & Italian. My senior year, I chose Life&Earth Sciences (SVT) to do the gov. official exams to enter uni. That is how my journey began. @IWS_Network #VoicesIWS
After passing the official exams, the search started. Which undergrad scientific program should I take🤔? Back then, a new BSc in Clinical Lab. Sc. was offered @aust_lebanon so after doing my research, I thought I'd dive in & take the risk💪😊
@IWS_Network #firstdegree #VoiceIWS
4 yrs passed, graduated with honors. Keep in mind, I am not an A+ student, on each exam, my brain goes through a nervous cycle by overthinking details that lasted even during my MSc but not at my work; I learned to channel it. What's the next step? @IWS_Network #VoicesIWS
After graduating, the next step was to continue a specialty diploma in Mol. Biol. @aust_lebanon while working as an exec. director for an NGO. It was overwhelming, I ended up quitting to finish the 1 yr diploma. I took a pathology technician job instead. @IWS_Network #VoicesIWS
Job opportunities & growth are difficult in #Lebanon. You will be used, underpaid, unappreciated & unable to secure a stable future. I started looking for MSc abroad but that is a challenge by itself. There are a lot of obstacles, especially financially, to overcome. @IWS_Network
I sought guidance from my department. Some told me bluntly they wouldn't help (not an A student=no potential). With no support&finances, I needed a scholarship which is hard enough for 4.0 GPA students😢 so lil' chance in my case, but I wasn't giving up💪! Why not take a chance?
I prepared a plan for diff. univ. all around the world starting with @mcgillu. I had a plan to send my email everyday to 10 PIs with projects I'm interested in. Luckily, I got 3 positive responses in the first week. After a month &interviews I had a supervisor! @IWS_Network
I needed to get accepted at McGill & the Human Genetics dept. That was a stressful month but with ref from 2 great teachers, I was in with a scholarship & a stipend💥💃🎅!! Fun fact: 3 months later, I arrived to Montreal on my birthday; it's been 5 yrs 4 days ago! @IWS_Network
In #lebanon, if you don't know the right people, you will not get really far. I got accepted, a dream come true! I went to my old dept, shared the news but for them I must have paid my way in so they didn't believe I got a scholarship. Haters gonna hate🤷‍♀️@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS
Started my MSc, everything was going great, smoothly, experiments&results were ➕. I completed 90% of the project in the 1st yr ✔. My committee asked me if I'd like to fast track, I declined to apply for PR so instead they gave me the green light to start writing. @IWS_Network
Guess what happened during the following year? #thesis @IWS_Network #VoicesIWS
The Kraken was loose🌬️🌊!
Another student was a fav. in the lab & I guess they didn't like the fact my project was going well & theirs wasn't. They started spreading rumors to my PI so he treated me as if I was invisible...no guidance, no help, other priorities! @IWS_Network
I was stuck repeating 1 experiment for almost a year because my results contradicted previous ones. In lab meetings, my PI would skip over me or cut me short. I have never written a manuscript or thesis so I needed help&guidance to graduate. @IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #badmanagement
I decided to send a first mini draft to my PI of the thesis intro; the feedback was bad (worse draft ever). I decided enough is enough! I took charge&with help from friends, I wrote the entire thesis, demanded to be heard& had a thesis submission deadline. @IWS_Network #VoicesIWS
It wasn't all bad. That year I started realizing maybe I didn't want to do a PhD, maybe I should look for options, maybe I am good at something else. Many PhD PIs that I met were great&advised me to think it through. What were the options outside of Academia? @IWS_Network #PhD
I am #sociable & I 💜 #science & #research. #Lost, I started applying to any #job outside #academia 😅..went to #interviews, felt great but never got the job(no #Canadianworkexperience). I was reading #advice from #CareerCoaches & it hit me! My #MSc was experience! @IWS_Network
After learning from my #interviews #mistakes & not giving up, I found a #job in #programcoordination outside of research in #IT #education. #Why? Because it has the #skills I wanted to land a #job in #science plus I needed it
@IWS_Network #VoicesIWS
Overall I have being doing well! #Advancing on both #personal & #professional levels. I am always #challenging myself & trying to overcome the #challenges & #obstacles in my #path! Every year is better than the one before! @IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #challenge #growth #skills
Starting #alone in #Montreal, in #Canada was challenging, but during the last #5years I have met some #great #people, close #friends, #2nd #family & also got #married! An #irreplaceable #journey! #Next #step is to #travel more & #explore #different #cultures! @IWS_Network
I know how most #job #candidates feel! You #apply & apply...pass #interviews that went great but never get a #callback...you feel #down, #frustrated, #demotivated so it is #important to know you are #notalone, find your #niche, #support, #group or come to #IWS! @IWS_Network
If I had to offer one #advice, it's #Dontgiveup! It is #easier #said than #done I know😅 but what is the worse thing that could happen? #noreply #nocall, so what? You #learn from #Your #Mistakes, #Interviews, #peoplesadvice. Any #experience is #goodexperience! @IWS_Network
I wouldn't have made it to where I am #today without the #support & #love from my #family, #friends, #2ndfamily, #IWS #leaders & #members so #ThankYouAll! If you ever need advice or help then just send me a #shoutout! #WeAreStrongerTogether @IWS_Network #VoicesIWS #StoryWeek
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