More about Alhareth
After completing an undergraduate degree at NTU, Alhareth continued his studies with us undertaking a degree in MSc Structural Engineering and Management. Following his graduation he moved back to Libya, where his experiences led him to change his career path from engineering to international relations. In 2020, he was awarded the prestigious Chevening Scholarship for further study in the UK.
We spoke to Alhareth to find out more about his journey since graduating from NTU.
Why did you choose NTU and your course?
My main reason was that I had the privilege to study with my father and graduate in the same year. He was completing his PhD studies and was encouraged to accompany him at NTU. This is a unique reason many would have not had but I was happy as I had the opportunity to see my father often and assist him when he needs my help. I discovered that NTU had a great reputation for an excellent student experience. Also, the campus was nearby the city centre and the tram link was great for daily commute. My passion for maths and science resulted in my thorough search of a subject that will intrigue my mind.
Engineering had the practical side of maths and enabled me to see maths (structural engineering and surveying) and science (geology and materials) in real life and how they affect the daily routine of mankind. Another reason was my passion to help rebuild Libya and ensure that I am involved in the new chapter of my country which has unfortunately faced huge challenges since 2011.
What did you think of the course staff? How did they support your learning experience?
My teachers are amazing. I continue to contact them and provide them with updates of my career. They are experienced, helpful and are always keen to help their students to achieve the best. I have managed to develop an excellent relationship with most of my lecturers and I really appreciate their effort and support throughout my years of study.
How would you describe NTU in 10 words or less?
NTU is diverse and adventurous, with excellent facilities and staff.
Can you tell us a bit about the roles you’ve been in since graduation?
Since my graduation I have had ample experience in different sectors. The major reason was after my decision to go back to Libya, I struggled to find an opportunity to practice my engineering skills. The country was devastated by the aftermaths of the war and employability was shallow. I was challenged by the new environment in Libya as I was away for more than eight years.
It took six months until I received an opportunity to teach kids English at a summer school. It was a great period to learn and engage with the society. After a short period, I was given two offers to work as an engineer or a relations officer at a food company. I took the decision to continue to discover my potential outside the engineering field and I enjoyed every moment. I was the focal point for all international companies Aljaied Co. dealt with. I was based in the procurement department working within an excellent team. I monitored payments to vendors, finalised product designs and maintained an excellent business relationship with all external companies.
After working in the Procurement Department for three months, I was appointed to assist the project manager to work as part of the Project team, which included following up on construction works and facilitating meetings with different contractors. Finally, I was recruited to work for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). The organisation has been involved in Libya since 2011 and helping migrants and Libyans by providing them with adequate medical care. The main targeted group are migrants and in some cases Libyans. The opportunity widened my interest and built my awareness and eagerness to learn more about the international scene.
How has your career developed since leaving NTU?
Ever since I stepped foot into Libya in January 2017, I have promised myself to work towards creating a positive change within my community. I struggled to adapt into a new environment changed by the aftermaths of war and a deteriorated governmental system. I thrived towards finding a suitable ground to achieve my goals and vision. I was selected as the only Libyan youth in the African Union Youth Volunteer Corps 2018 Batch but sadly due to personal circumstances, I had to turn this down. I supported a project as a member of the Dialogue and Debate Association in the peacebuilding talks in 2018, and the Libyan Foundation for Sustainable Development in the peacebuilding project between Misurata and Tawergha. I have also helped facilitate a national conference in July 2019 with the UNDP in Tripoli. I started to learn about leadership, diplomacy, international relations, world politics, economics, global and national security, terrorism, and negotiation skills. At this pivotal moment I decided to identify an opportunity to fulfil my goal and managed to take an advice of a good friend who is a 2019 2020 Chevening Scholar.
After applying for the Chevening Scholarship, in late 2019 I was selected as the only Libyan youth to travel to Egypt to participate in the World youth forum and to be trained as part of the elite African Youth in the African Presidential Leadership Program (APLP). I was a keen student, I have managed to establish excellent relationship with my peers, lead different group work, participate in an additional training course of Training of Trainers (TOT) , engage with all my teachers and facilitators in a professional manner, and represent my country in the best way possible. As of today, we are all aware of what is happening to Libya.
A war is still ignited. International players are present on the Libyan ground. Citizens are devastated, IDPs and migrants are scattered across the country faced with huge needs, and electricity, water and liquidity in banks are reduced. Thus, I was chosen from more than 52,000 applicants from the world to receive a Chevening Scholarship, funded by the government of UK. With many thanks and appreciation to what they have done, and their support will insure I reach to my goals. I believe that my studying in the International Relations area will provide me with the tools I need to fulfil a greater future for my country.
What would your advice be to those who have recently graduated and are looking for roles?
Never give up, you have reached to this stage with your cleverness and desire. You will need to be strong and push your abilities towards the goals you want to achieve. You will be faced by challenges and difficulties throughout the journey but keep in mind that this will only make you stronger.
Ensure that you learn from others and increase your area of influence by doing good to your community and work organisation. Create challenges and be ready to tackle them. The opportunities are there but you need to take the extra step and learn from your mistake and others. Benefit from helping others and learn how to be a useful human within your family, society, university, country and the world.
How does your current role utilise skills you learnt during your time at NTU?
My greatest power was the organisational and relations skills I have gained during my university period. I was able to represent my cohort as an academic year rep and engage with my teachers in matters effecting other students. My outgoing personality ensured that I can take the risk and discover new areas of expertise. I was able to take risks and insure I become a person that many will rely on to finish tasks.
One of the most valuable skills I adhered to during my time in NTU, is being honest, clear, and approachable. With these three skills I was able to create good relationships with my colleagues at the university. I have helped many people different situations and worked towards doing the same outside the university.