Prepared by: Iqra Abbasi, Member of IEEE COMSATS University Islamabad Student Branch

In 2015, 12 individuals from COMSATS University, Islamabad (CUI) came together to create the IEEE CUI Student Branch. Their primary aim was to provide their fellow students with a platform that would allow them to gain industry experience and grow as professionals.

Today, the branch has expanded into five chapters with one affinity group and 173 members. Despite the various challenges faced, this student branch continues to work devotedly for the professional and technical development of its student members while simultaneously helping them become engaged members of their communities through its humanitarian efforts, such as IEEE PES Zero Hunger Day. All this hard work led to IEEE CUI being awarded the IEEE Regional Exemplary Student Branch Award 2019.

In keeping with the branch’s main purpose, in 2019, IEEE CUI organized over 60 events (including a variety of workshops, seminars, and competitions) that reached out to more than 3600 students and professionals on a local and national level. This branch collaborated with organizations such as Google, Facebook, Startup Grind, OPEN Islamabad, DEV, Digital Ocean, Red Bull, British Council, Embassy of Belgium, Embassy of France, and the Pakistan Red Crescent Society for various events. Standouts among which were ROBIAN, Techno Fest, and the CS Carnival, all of which are held annually at a national level.

Employment opportunities are also provided to the students through such events and Career Expos. These events allow students to showcase their work for various industry representatives and gain insight into the recruitment processes of various organizations. The branch also helped LampròMèllon, a recruitment firm; introduce its train-to-recruit program in the university. The branch also focuses on the personal development of students. For this, seminars regarding public speaking, first aid skills, scholarship opportunities, etc. are regularly held. Another hallmark of the year is the biannual recruitment drive, along with the “Ice-breaking Session” to ease the new members into their chapters and make them feel comfortable in this new environment.

 As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, university activities have been suspended. As a result of this, all major branch activities have been moved online. In this regard, the branch has been hosting webinars inviting professionals to speak to the participants and provide their insight on various topics like industrial protocols and mental health. Also, all 7 IEEE CUI teams (which consist of content writing, videography, graphic designing, photography, etc.) have been conducting weekly online sessions. This ensures that the students are using this time to develop their skills. Undoubtedly, this spirit will lead the IEEE CUI student branch to many more accolades in the future.