Qamar Alshorafa

Sharing her Microsoft side

By Andy Gregory

Not every university student gets to interact with the world’s most elite young thinkers and top professors. At NYU Abu Dhabi, it’s part of everyday life.

NYUAD’s world-class academic environment, where students are encouraged to challenge each other and step into the unknown, certainly helped prepare Qamar Alshorafa, Class of 2021 for her role at Microsoft working with the tech industry's best talent in a field that’s totally new to her.

Like NYUAD, “Everyone here is brilliant, I’m pretty average!” says Alshorafa, who’s celebrating her one year anniversary with the tech-giant in Dubai. As a business technology specialist she helps companies digitally transform their processes and tap into the world of data.

Being able to thrive in a place where I’m challenged is something I surely credit NYUAD for

Qamar Alshorafa, Class of 2021

“Being able to thrive in a place where I’m challenged is something I surely credit NYUAD for”, she says.

Alshorafa’s journey to Microsoft was unexpected. As a mechanical engineering major, her dream was to work in the aerospace industry but COVID hit the airlines hard and she had to pivot her career plan.

During the lockdown, she started to shift focus from machine design to machine learning and “quickly realized that data is the future for a lot of industries. Everything around us has the potential of being a data source.”

COVID-19, says Alshorafa, turned out to be the ultimate test of character and the decision to join Microsoft one of the best choices she’s made because it opened up a whole new professional passion: intelligent business systems.

“It’s been a journey and I wouldn’t change it.”