Saira Asghar is currently working as Officer Payroll and Contracts as part of the Human Resource department, based in the Head Office. However, her association with the panda goes back a long way.
After completing her B.Com from Punjab University, she joined WWF-Pakistan as a Front Desk Officer in February 2009.
“I got my result in January and I joined in February right out of college, making WWF-Pakistan my mother organization. The working environment of the organization is such that I have never thought of switching to another organization.”
While, she developed an emotional connection with the organization, Saira also wanted professional growth. Keeping this in mind she decided to pursue her Masters degree and enrolled for an MBA degree at the Virtual University, which she completed while continuing her job.
When the time came to pick a specialization she opted of Human Resource (HR), the reason being the nature of her job where she was on friendly terms with everyone, no matter which department they belong to. She interacted with everyone and in the course of seven years understood their problems as well. To her opting for HR meant that she would be in a better position to help her colleagues resolve their professional issues and contribute towards creating a conducive environment for individuals who are fighting the cause of planet Earth.
Someone who is not academically trained as a conservationist, WWF-Pakistan has played a role in grooming Saira. As she shared that at the time of her interview, she was not aware of the extent of the organization’s work and in general nature conservation was not on the list of her priorities. Now, however, she is a transformed panda.
“During my interview when I was asked if I had any questions, I asked what is a project that if I tell someone about externally, I would feel proud of. In response they told me about the Indus River Dolphin and as they say rest is history.”
One thing that she was looking for in her career was to work for an organization that was making some practical contribution to society. “There is a general notion attached to non-profits that they mostly provide lip service and no practical solutions. However, when I started working here I got to know the hard work that goes in on the scientific front and in developing collaboration between all the stakeholders, because in our work every action counts.
“This learning process helped me understand the issues and I would then convince my family and class fellows about nature conservation. I feel a personal change in myself, in the sense of my sensitivity towards conservation issues.”
What are some of your most memorable experiences?
“My most memorable experiences is from participating in plantation activities. In one of these, I got to plant 27 plants at Safari Park with my own hands. More recently, I got to plant walnut trees at our Nathiagali office and I plan to go back in ten years to see them give fruit.”
Your message for those who want to work for WWF-Pakistan?
“WWF-Pakistan is working to help save the only home we know of and we need the right mix of talent to help us achieve that goal. If you are passionate and want to contribute towards a better world, you should join us in the relevant field. It will be a great learning and satisfying experience.”
Fatima Arif is Senior Officer Digital Media, WWF-Pakistan.