BUILDING A LEGACY
PROUD TO BE AUD
The summer after my fourth year, I was privileged to work as an intern at one of the world’s leading architecture firms, RMJM. A year later, when I applied for a position as a junior architect, my interviewer (who was also my supervisor during my time as an intern) explained how impressed he was with AUD’s alumni and students. Despite the fact that we were the first batch to graduate from the Architecture Department, he said we presented a quality of work that set us apart. That was one of my proudest moments as an alumna.
Fatma Rashid never imagined that an interest in design would pave the way to an exciting future in both architecture and diplomacy, but that’s exactly the road she’s now journeying. Emphasizing the importance of hard work, dedication and seizing every opportunity, Fatma explains how her childhood passion for design has evolved into an exciting and unexpected career.
“In high school, I realized that my passion for creativity and desire for understanding how things work seemed to be summed up in the form of architecture,” says Fatma. “When I started studying architecture, I discovered that this field is much more than that because the architect takes control of the environments where people live, socialize and work. An architect needs to have the right knowledge to realize the needs of the people.”
Her studies in architecture laid the foundation to unforeseen professional paths, stemming from an enquiry through AUD’s Career Services. "Initially, I never realized that being an architect and being a diplomat might go hand in hand, until I received an offer via Career Services, explaining that people from different fields have a chance to join the Emirates Diplomatic Academy.”
With her eyes now opened to new possibilities, Fatma took up an architectural position at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, adding a diplomatic role to her CV. Fatma’s position at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was preceded by a brief stint at RMJM, one of the world’s top architecture firms.
Fatma credits her time at AUD as integral in shaping an ambitious yet mature approach to design. “While studying architecture at AUD, we were encouraged to dream while finding a way to bring our ideas back to reality and make them work,” she explained.
“Professionally, people can see the gap between dreamers and realists, but our five years of architecture taught us how to bridge that gap.” She added that AUD’s slogan of ‘where potential is turned into success’ rings true and advised students to make the most of the experience.
Fatma dreams of setting up her own architecture firm, along with fellow AUD alumni, one that is not afraid to explore cutting edge ideas. To make this happen, she aims to spend the next few years understanding how the industry really operates.
To fuel her passion, she spends most of her free time writing and sketching or discovering hidden alleys and secret architectural delights in Dubai. Her advice to other students is simple: make every moment count.
“Take time to enjoy your time at AUD. Build relationships, because you will keep them for life, whether it is through support, friendships, or partnerships. Work the hardest and play the hardest during your senior year, because what you produce during this time will influence the next step of your life,” says Fatma.