LUMS Assistant Registrar, Latafat Baig – commonly known as Latafat Sahab – at the Office of the Registrar has been part of LUMS since 1992 and this year’s convocation will be his nineteenth. He is one of the most popular people at LUMS and is equally loved by students, alumni, staff and faculty across the campus for his helpful nature. Here is a conversation Latafat Sahab had with the Communications Team at the Office of Marketing, Fundraising and Alumni to talk about the different phases through his over 22-year-old journey at LUMS.
How did you hear about LUMS initially and what made you join the LUMS team?
In 1987, I applied for an administrative position open at LUMS which was advertised in the paper but did not join then. At that time, I was working with USAID but they were winding up their operations. So the second time another position was open at LUMS, I applied again and after clearing the basic tests and interview, I joined the Dean’s Office team on January 1, 1992.
Describe your journey with LUMS? Please share a memorable incident during your tenure at LUMS.
The journey started from the old campus of LUMS. I worked for the Dean, Associate Dean, and senior faculty members. They were appreciative of my performance with regards to efficiency, accuracy and memory. Their encouragement basically motivated me a lot and my association with LUMS grew stronger and stronger. I was also very impressed with their style of working. The administrative person to whom I was reporting was my predecessor (late) Muhammad Akram Qureshi. Before my confirmation, work pressure was so immense that I was almost quitting LUMS within the first six months. However, with the grace of Allah, I was able to survive through that difficult patch of my professional life and emerged stronger.
In September 1993, LUMS moved to its new campus. We did not have air-conditioning in those early days; however, to combat high temperatures we were provided with abundant limewater.
I cannot recount any significant memorable incident. However, I cannot but feel amazed by the continued support of the founders, faculty and the staff to settle for nothing less than the merit from admissions to graduation.
When did you move to this area, and how many batches have graduated since you joined LUMS?
In October 1996, I was delegated to work and take care of grades, transcripts, and degrees. My job also required me to provide assistance in all activities pertaining to admissions and handling of admission tests. Since 1996 to 2006, all admission tests were prepared and administered. I, being a member of the testing team had a very important role. In additional to handling of LUMS tests, I also administered GMAT, GRE, SAT, and LSAT.
Convocation 2014 will be my 19th Convocation since 1996. The preparation for the event with confidentiality, accuracy and timely delivery has always been a very challenging assignment.
During this time, graduation of all batches from the BSc to the PhDs were handled with due diligence.
You get to interact with a lot of students, how do you feel a LUMS student is different from students of other institutions?
Students coming from across the country do have an idea about the University’s discipline and merit based approach. We were directed by our superiors that students and parents are clients of LUMS, so we have to be very careful in dealing with them. While interacting with administrative offices, I have always found them well behaved and ethical. The most important thing is the way you deal with them and handle their queries promptly with professional approach, which contributes towards building their confidence in LUMS staff. Overall, LUMS students are the best.
If you were given a chance to study at LUMS; which programme you will you pick?
All LUMS programmes are very stimulating but I am an admirer of our flagship MBA programme.
What do you like the most about LUMS?
Merit based approach, world class faculty, and state-of-the art facilities
One change you would like to see in LUMS?
LUMS does not need any change as it has been created to bring the change.
What is your take on PDC food?
LUMS community has grown very big over these years and even now the PDC offers quality food at reasonable price.
Please share your message for students, staff, faculty and the management at LUMS
Please remain connected. Keep your identity as one University. Respect everybody who is part of LUMS family— faculty, staff and students. Close coordination and team spirit has been the key factors, which has brought LUMS on the stature where you find it now. Stick to your belief, behave professionally and remain impartial. LUMS being a national asset is the pride of Pakistan. Provision of quality education is our main and single goal. Do your level best to contribute on a broader level. I suggest formation of a committee to resolve issues that are encountered between departments/schools.
Long live LUMS, founders, faculty, alumni, staff and students.