Mariam Ali Hassan ( IGCSE’13) wrote:
The IG Club’s interview with Tarek Mohamed; a Chevening awardee for 2014… What is Chevening?
Who is Tarek Mohamed? (High school graduation, University and start of Internships)
Tarek Mohamed is a St. Fatima graduate for the year of 2007. He scored 127% in his IGCSEs in a time where 3 and 4 ALs were totally normal. His outstanding score could easily get him into the faculty of Pharmacy in Ain Shams University, but he received a 30% scholarship from the German University in Cairo and decided to go with it. During that time, he also applied for an internship in the British Council in Cairo; he was the science programs’ assistant where he learnt more about the environment like climate change, pollution, etc…
Tarek mentioned that he knew from the very beginning that his career will have nothing to do with Pharmaceutical field. He said that he only wanted the scientific background his faculty could offer him. He fell in love with the environmental areas during his internship at the British Council and decided to do some parallel studying along with Pharmacy.
In 2008, Tarek made an internship in the EU in the scientific department, specifically in environment which added to his knowledge in this area as well. Furthermore, he made another internship in 2009 in the Centre of environment and development for the Arab region and Europe (CEDARE).
University graduation and first job:
Tarek graduated from the faculty of Pharmacy (GUC) in 2012. He directly started his first job in CEDARE as a research assistant full time for 2 years.
Chevening scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded mostly by the Foreign and commonwealth office (FCO) and some partner organisations. The programme assigns awards to outstanding scholars from all over the world. They pay fees for postgraduate courses in UK along with a monthly allowance.
Tarek applied in September of 2013, he said that he didn’t expect any reply at that point but wanted to have at least tried. Surprisingly, he received back from them in February of 2014. They asked for papers and 2 references with a deadline of 10 days from that date. They contacted him back in March assigning an interview in April. But the program wasn’t well funded at that time so he was told that he will be on the waiting list. Tarek thought that this was the end of the journey with Chevening before it had even started. Fortunately, they contacted him in late July informing him that they’re being funded and that he made it with top students. Tarek mentioned how competitive the program is and how limited the places are. And for him to get a place with only 28 other students from Egypt is unbelievably amazing.
I asked Tarek for some advices for pre-IGCSE/ IGCSE students and graduates and he said that the 3 most important years of his educational life were his high school years. IGCSEs changed his life and way of thinking. The way he studied and deeply understood the subjects were greatly enhanced during high school. He said that he didn’t benefit from University like he did from the IGCSEs. It helped him during his interview for Chevening and when he sat for an IELTs exam. It was those 3 years that he’s till benefiting from until now. Tarek’s final words during the interview were “Try to educate others with you have, nothing is impossible, normal is good but you’ve got to be outside your comfort zone if you desire uniqueness. Always, always put your heart in what you do.”
Tarek has traveled today for his masters in environment and development in the school of agriculture at Reading University.