Scholarship Alumnus Reflects on his AUC Experience
AUC alumnus and former ABB SUSA Endowed Scholarship recipient Rafik Mourad has perfected the art of multitasking. A Dean’s Honor list student who majored in construction engineering, Mourad currently works as the general manager of Hinalco-Engineering Construction Company as well as leading the façade engineering of the Great Egyptian Museum in 6th of October City as the project coordinator.
Mourad credits his AUC undergraduate education for preparing him for his various roles in the construction business. As the general manager of Hinalco-Engineering Construction Company, a leading company in the construction of waste water and potable water treatment plants, electric substations and infrastructures, he is required to have knowledge of different types of contracts and pricings as well as methods of construction. In consultant design, Mourad must utilize his general design knowledge and understanding of engineering plans and construction details. As the project coordinator for Werner Sobek, a German consulting office, and Roschmann, a German contractor, he is expected to coordinate multiple aspects of the façade's design using this knowledge, although he does not personally design. Mourad attributes his ability to succeed in the multifaceted nature of his work to his AUC undergraduate classes. "All this knowledge had been taught through the different courses taken during the academic years."
In addition to the substantive career knowledge gained from AUC, such as the basic sciences, construction management, structure design and site construction, Mourad believes that he gained unique lifelong skills from his transformative years at AUC. Although as a student he questioned the necessity of taking many electives and classes outside his major, in retrospect, Mourad shares that these challenges "had either direct or indirect influence on my local and international work." The AUC education left a "special mark" on him, he explains, that no other institution could have made on his professional skills.
In addition to excelling in several jobs, Mourad finds time to apply his knowledge of construction engineering to help rehabilitate housing units for impoverished families in Upper Egypt. Because of the deplorable living conditions, Mourad describes his volunteer activities with his community service group as a big challenge. He assists in coordinating the improvement of houses with solid roofs, bathrooms with doors, clean floors not compacted with dirt, and access to water and electricity. Mourad gives back to the community by helping families achieve living conditions that, he believes, are the minimum requirements necessary for human beings.
Mourad's years at AUC were marked by high grades and honors. In reflecting back on his academic success, Mourad recalls receiving an engineering department certificate of outstanding achievement for three consecutive years as well as making the Dean's Honor list. However, he describes his awarding of the ABB SUSA Scholarship as the greatest academic honor. Mourad explains, "Scholarship was the prize of excellence and the academic achievement during my years at AUC. It was the reward and the indication that I was following the correct academic path and achieving my target." While the assistance with tuition was helpful for Mourad and his family, he truly valued his scholarship as a significant and substantial acknowledgement of his hard work.
Mourad's success in construction engineering is not just due to excelling in academics and mastering the knowledge of the field, but also because of his tenacity and ability to overcome challenges. Such skills, Mourad claims, were instilled within him throughout his years at AUC. He shares, "Being an AUCian to me is having the passport of qualification to go through life and conquer the difficulties and the challenges that we face. There is no 'impossible,' there are no difficulties, but there are trials after trials, and even if there is failure on the way success awaits at the end."