Every year, a group of bright-minded high school graduates embarks on the somewhat overwhelming yet invigorating journey of starting college. And be it an Ivy League school or a local university, some challenges are pretty mainstream for high schoolers worldwide.
And aside from complex majors or decoding academic jargon, some of these roadblocks may have a more intangible nature, like feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
Luckily, for the past 7 years, Egyptian high schoolers have been receiving comfort in knowing they’re not alone thanks to Traverse Summit. Being the largest summit for high schoolers in the MENA region, Traverse Summit has been a vote of confidence for anxious high schoolers seeking to get answers on navigating their career paths, choosing a major, and commonly asked questions during that transitional time.
And last weekend, Traverse held its 7th edition at Hyde Out New Cairo on February 24th & 25th. So, we decided to see how this year’s edition put the minds of budding high schoolers at ease . . .
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1. Success Stories That Aren’t Utopian or Out of Reach
If there’s one thing that reassures us the most, it’s knowing that the people admire have persevered through the same challenges we’re facing. And this year, Traverse Summit made sure to deliver that sense of relief.
The event featured regional celebrities and media figures; inviting them for a candid conversation about overcoming career roadblocks, defying social norms, and more importantly, doing so with confidence.
In Your Shoe: A Friendly Competition Turned Into A Business
Founders Amr Kawashti and Ezz Tarek once bickered about who had the coolest-looking socks. Five years later, they co-founded a fashion brand that sparked diversity for over 85,000 satisfied customers. And they came to share their story at Traverse 2023 to demonstrate the process of business ideation and setting foot on the path to success as a startup.
Ouda & Eid Nasser: A Reminder That Professional Success Starts With Personal Triumphs
Earlier this year, famed content creators and twin brothers, Ouda & Eid Nasser, launched their own apparel brand, Oudies, in just 21 days. Overnight, they sold their first collection and immediately started producing the second one. With that kind of success, you’d think they must’ve done something right. And they did. The Nasser twins shared the stage and tackled the concept of self-development and how to reap its rewards on a professional level.
Joining them was actress and comical content creator, Shahd El Shater, who also reflected on her career path and the personal development she actively went through to reach career heights.
Yasmina El Abd: Knowing You’re Never Too Young to Make A Change in Society
In 2022, the highly anticipated Arabic rom-com series “Finding Ola”, made an admirable return featuring lead actress, Hend Sabri. And while audiences enjoyed her contemporary persona, they also fell smitten with a new character: Yasmina El Abd. Since then, the 16-year-old breakout star has quickly risen to fame in domains unrelated to acting. El Abd is currently an ambassador for Safe Kids, an Egyptian NGO promoting sexual harassment precautions for kids, as well as a UNHCR partner for refugee-related issues.
And at Traverse 2023, Yasmina not only voiced her efforts in raising awareness on sexual abuse, bullying, and mental health; but encouraged others her age to do the same.
Aziz Maraka: Crafting An Artistic Identity Through One’s Culture
Over the last decade, Egypt has witnessed a surge in its total tally of local artists and singers. Having said that, it takes true talent to gain your audience’s admiration. And who better to discuss this topic other than 2 artists who’ve realized this formula for success?
Jordanian composer and regional artist, Aziz Maraka, delved into drawing inspiration from our surroundings and channeling them into artistic passions and imprints. El Shater seconded that notion in a talk of her own while reflecting on how she did the same while pursuing an acting career. Also joining them was El Abd who shared a journey similar to El Shater’s.
2. Employment Opportunities to Broaden Their Horizons
Traverse 2023 offered its audiences more than just inspirational pep talks.
Given today’s fast-paced work environment and the need to quickly surpass one’s limitations, the summit offered students numerous employment opportunities in diverse fields from local entities.
Some organizations offered internship opportunities such as:
And other entities were offering charity and volunteer positions such as:
- Hospital 57357
- Egyptian Food Bank
- Share A Smile
- Mashrou3 Kheir at AUC
- Ibrahim A. Badran Charitable Foundation
3. A Breadth of Academic Opportunities & Guidance on Choosing The Right One
There is one goal Traverse seeks to realize each year. And that’s connecting students with the best opportunities and stories possible to inspire them and help them lead better careers. Naturally, choosing which university to register in is a leading factor to consider.
And for its 7th edition, Traverse 2023 gathered 33 international and local universities under one roof to provide curious and confused high schoolers with the chance to explore all their academic interests. Students were also assisted by admission counselors and college representatives to help them make an informed decision.
Students also got to experience one-on-one mentorship from 90+ field experts and career coaches, in an attempt to bridge the gap of career misconceptions through interactive workshops with industry professionals.
However, students weren’t the only ones seeking advice at Traverse 2023. While designating a parents’ agenda, parents attended workshops and sessions dedicated to helping them better guide their children through high school and college. Some of the tackled topics included preparing their kids to study abroad, providing them with the right education for the tech-infused future, and the vexing process of choosing one’s major without regret.
The summit presented universities from multiple countries such as Canada, Egypt, the UK, and France, such as:
- Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport
- ESLSCA University
- University of Hertfordshire
- European Universities in Egypt
- Misr University for Science & Technology
- British University in Egypt
- Future Univerity in Egypt
- Toronto Metropolitan University
- University of Prince Edward Island
- The University of Hertfordshire
- The Knowledge Hub Universities
Global Educational Entities Also Lent A Helping Hand
Moreover, the event featured businesses that served as educational intermediaries helping students smoothly transition from high school to college with all the knowledge and skills they may require in doing so. And one of these businesses was The British Council in Egypt.
Founded in 1934, the British Council has been the ultimate international organization for seeking exceptional educational opportunities and building long-lasting cultural relations. Four years after its establishment, it opened its first office in Egypt. And at Traverse 2023, its Egypt office team came to support high schoolers eager to fortify their English-speaking skills and help them enroll in any required examinations such as the world-famous IELTS test; which it jointly runs with the University of Cambridge.
If there’s anything high schoolers need to do more often, is take a breather from the stress of exams, college admissions, and research papers, and have a good laugh. And what better way to do that than with 2 closing ceremonies led by some of Egypt’s funniest figures?
As for the second closing ceremony, students received a dose of academia and comedy by none other than Al Da7ee7. Known for his comically educational sketches, Ahmed Ghandour‘s edu-taining act brought smiles and enlightened minds all around.
However, Traverse’s Real Success Lies Elsewhere . . .
As much as Traverse offered students an unmatched experience filled with inspiration and confidence for their futures ahead, one can argue that a crucial success factor remains untold; and that’s the people powering Traverse Summit since 2016: iSpark.
Founded in 2015 and incubated by Injaz Egypt, iSpark has incessantly supported Egypt’s youth and helped over 250,000 students carve successful career paths for themselves while partnering with over 100 schools in Egypt.
Over and above, the reason Traverse Summit remains a success to this day is that the company has sustained one critical success factor: the team and workforce that have created an unmatched experience for high schoolers that will live on to serve many generations to come . . .