I am Shafaq Bashir and this is why I chose Berlin

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When Berlin Calls – Shafaq Bashir recently came to Berlin from Islamabad, Pakistan to work as a salesforce developer for the startup Blacklane. Bashir, who one day wants to work in Silicon Valley or become an entrepreneur, shared how she came to be here.

IMG_3254“I feel like it isn’t really important at the moment to do a master’s degree. You need to know what you want to do with your life and do a specialisation in that area. I am a software engineer by profession and I wanted to grasp what I want to be in my field.

I was working at a huge startup before here in Pakistan. The startup was from Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is a huge thing for those in software engineering. Everyone wants to work there, but you can’t just fly there like that.

So I started looking at opportunities close to that – groomed environments that are close to that level and Berlin came up. It is basically the hub in Europe. I did all my research through the internet; all my interviews were on Skype.

Getting me from Pakistan to Berlin was a huge mess. The embassy application had new requirements; everything was brand new. I got hired four months ago, but I got here in November.

When you are at the start of your career you want to do anything you can get your hands on.

In startups you learn a lot. They are developing themselves and you are developing yourself. There are real life problems as it is not a stable company. Anything can go wrong and anything can go right. I wanted that adrenaline rush and I wanted to see how they build up from scratch.

I want to prove that being a girl doesn’t restrict me from what I want to do in my career, and then that being a Pakistani doesn’t restrict me either. I love my country and I am really proud of it.

Maybe that is why I chose Berlin. It is very multinational. Everyone is from a different country and everyone respects that fact.”

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