As every girl with ambitious visions, I too had a long journey before I could truly recognize my aspirations in life.

I started off with a business degree at Regents University. That may have been the turning point of my life. It was the moment when I realized that I want to do something which would make a change in peoples lives. I had great examples set by the women in my family.

I dropped my business degree and started studying criminology at the University of Roehampton. During my course, I came across some very disturbing case studies concerning harassment, domestic violence and all sorts of abuse. Learning about such subjects in depth gave me the motivation to do more.

After graduating with a criminology degree I had landed with the great opportunity to intern at the House Of Lords with Lord Ahmed Nazir. Interning at the House of Lords gave me more exposure then I could ever imagine at such a young age.

I did not give my education a break. I soon started my Masters in international defense and security with Cranfield University, which was held at the UK Ministry of Defense Shrivenham Campus.

When I started my course I was told that I am the only Pakistani girl who had ever come to the Ministry of Defence to study this course. Not only was I the only Pakistani girl but I was also the only girl and the only civilian in the course.

My family was tremendously proud however I was unaware of all this until my classes started. At first, it was very difficult as I had nothing coming with any of my class fellows, they were all 10 or more years older than me. I was treated like the ‘youngest sibling’ in class but that itself was a great experience.

As soon as I completed my course, I was offered to work for a cybercrime company based in Saudi Arabia. My Job role was to organize events related to cybercrime and to attend such events worldwide. What more could one ask for?

Alhamdullilah, Thanks to the Almighty and my family, I have achieved more than I could have thought of by the age of 23.

 

– Iqra Zahoor

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