For generations, Maham Sadiq’s family lived in a rural village in Pakistan called Fateh Pur. It’s been just two decades – within Maham’s 25-year lifetime – since the village first gained access to electricity.
Motivated by her dream to create solutions for a future where rural areas are no longer left behind, Maham is completing her Masters in Sustainability at Columbia University. She has also been living at International House since Fall 2016, gaining valuable lessons in leadership beyond her course work.
“The Women’s International Leadership (WIL) program has been the highlight of my time here,” she said. “What makes the program exceptional is the focused curriculum and opportunity to learn from peers and mentors in different professions and academic areas.”
Mentorship and Leadership
She particularly values her relationship with her WIL mentor, Lauren States, an International House Trustee and, like Maham, an engineer. States has guided Maham in refining her career goals, presentation skills and networking. “I come from a culture and a country where mentoring is not common. I really value the opportunity to get to know Lauren and learn from her.”
Even before arriving at I-House, Maham was developing her leadership skills. She represented Pakistan during the Millennium Development Goals Summit, the World Model United Nations, and the Human Rights Council at Model United Nations. While in college, she organized a national leadership conference for students to discuss solutions to Pakistan’s longstanding conflict with India, as well as terrorism and the country’s electricity crisis.
“These opportunities enabled me to raise my voice around issues that are important to me,” she said. Through her experience at I-House and with the WIL program, she continues to build confidence and leadership skills, and will no doubt be leading future conversations on improving our world.
The Women’s International Leadership program is made possible by the generosity of Bayer AG.