Select Page

Beyond Paper – Chapter 1: Neha Gilani

Beyond Paper – Chapter 1: Neha Gilani

There was an Idea, about how multiple people all over NUST have, over the years, done their part in expanding our campus experience. These people have contributed knowingly or unknowingly to the overall atmosphere in the University and have influenced dozens of Individuals. With that in mind, PaperCrush has decided to goBeyond Paper and bring the stories of such Individuals to the limelight.



PaperCrush: Beyond Paper.

One such esteemed Individual is Syeda Neha Shah Gillani, the President of FICS (Finding Innovative and Creative Solutions for Society) and the inaugural Interviewee of our Beyond Paper Segment.

Let us shine some light on FICS,

FICS is one of the biggest events in NUST, held in stages every year where people discuss business related problems and find, as the name suggests, innovate ways to tackle them and contribute to the well-being of society.

Syeda Neha Shah Gillani is a senior student of the 2k15 batch in the department of mass communication, S3H.

Her family lives in Sialkot, but she herself is a day scholar. Known as President Neha to all the executives in FICS, she’s more commonly known as Nain to her friends and family.

Join Us, as Beyond Paper Interviews Ms. Neha.

Please describe yourself in a few words.

I feel like I’m a very friendly and outgoing person. I often get along with people very well.

When I was younger, actually a few years ago, I used to be slightly introvertedand have even suffered from stage fright, but thankfully as time progressed I grew more confident and managed to break away from that and well, Here I am now!

How did you manage to break away from your shyness?

Well, I applied for FICS in my freshmen year, and I got rejected.

The interviewer saw me after that and actually sat next to me and told me that he did notice this spark inside of me, but because of my lack of confidenceI was unable to clear the interview and show that spark and desire.

He told me that I had to groom myself a little more and grow out of it, because the world wouldn’t accept me otherwise. In fact, the guy actually gave me a few tips on how to give an interview.

He said that the interviewer knows in the first 5 seconds whether they’ll keep you or not, even before the interview has started. So what you should do is walk with confidence, enter the room like you’re the CEO and that you’re someone worthy of selection.

That day, was the triggering point.

I knew afterwards, that no matter how afraid I was, I needed to actually look like I was confident. Because, the interviewers are people themselves, right? and what’s the worst that can happen? They wouldn’t keep me and choose someone else. That’s all.

With that in mind I quickly improved myself and rose up the ranks, by the time I was in my third year I got the coveted title of director socials and protocol.

Also, I slowly and steadily overcame my stage fright and admittedly it was difficult at first but overtime, giving presentations to audiences became significantly easier.

What advice would you like to give to people who want to make the same transition in their lives?

The same advice that I was given that fateful day, it did indeed help me a lot, and I would want to say the same to people who aspire to bring about a change within themselves; Take the leap! What’s the worst that could happen? They just won’t keep you. And that’s not a bad thing at all. Because you learn from failure, I believe a person needs to fail at least twice in their lives to learn. So I would advise people to not be afraid of failing, because that’s what makes you a better person and fundamentally leads you to success.

How has your journey in FICS been?

It’s been 4 years and I’ve participated in FICS 6 times.

Rejection in team social events in my Freshmen Year, followed by getting selected in the next recruitment for the same team i.esocial events, then came team protocol, followed by a return to team social events. In the stage 3 of FICS, during my third year, I progressed to the post of director security and socials and now, Here I am!

From which portfolio do you think you gained the most experience from?

Social events!

How has your experience been as the president of FICS?

Well, it was very overwhelming for me. I honestly didn’t think I would get accepted. Because it’s indeed a huge jump from being just a director to becoming the president.

My brother convinced me to apply and I honestly had no idea I would get accepted. It was unbelievable because previously it had to manage around 35 people, but now it became around 110 or something. I had to handleand overlook everything and everyone, which was an incredible amount of pressure.

But now that I think of it, it was actually a very good feeling. I enjoyed being the President and learnt a lot.

What would you like to say to the next president of FICS?

The thing about FICS is that it can be monotonous at times, because we don’t have any mega social events. So one needs to stay motivated almost all the time so that the same motivation can be shown by your team members as well.

How has your experience in NUST been?

I’m from an army background, and I have travelled all over the country. But when I came to Islamabad and got selected in NUST, I found it to be very homely. The feeling you get here, because of all the diverse amounts of people, it’s very wholesome.

NUST has groomed me a lot.

Who has been your motivation in your life?

It’s hard for me to decide between my parents, but my Dad has always been there for me, telling me to move forward, and to never stop struggling. He has always pushed me to become stronger.

What advice would you give to students in general?

I would tell them to really learn and enjoy from the four years of your university. Because these mark an end to your professional education.

This is the time when you should actually groom yourself, discipline yourself and become better human beings for the life that shall begin after graduation.

Do you have a favorite quote?

I recently read an Urdu quote, and it really struck me,

Achaywaktkiburaihai kay wo guzarjatahai.

Or buraywaktki ye achai ha kay wo guzarjatahai.’

How has your experience with NUST Media Club and PaperCrush been today?

I’d say it’s been a very good experience. I myself never applied for NMC, but I know that this is the only society working creatively and has media related events in it. I have heard a lot!

We really enjoyed spending time with you and hope you did too! Thank You!


With that, Marks the end of the Interview with Ms. Neha Gilani, the President of FICS.

She’s an amazing person and we wish her best of luck for her future!



If you, the person reading this, know anyone who’s story we could cover with Beyond Paper for our coming chapters, then do let us know by filling out the following form:

With that we bid you farewell!

Join us for future segments of the Beyond Paper Series!


About The Author

Hamda Shafiq

Social, friendly, extrovert. Loves to talk about deep shit. Personal therapist of many, so you know where to come when you need to talk. Very understanding. Not very good with sarcasm, unfortunately. And an aspiring (plus mediocre) artist and writer, aiming to break walls, and become a legacy.