Omar Ebeid, Founder & President of the Egyptian Society, talks about receiving the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to University Life

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The Vice-Chancellor Award for Outstanding Contribution to University Life is presented to a student who has contributed to their University experience and that of others, as well as leaving a lasting legacy at the University after they graduate. Only students in their final year of undergraduate or postgraduate study are eligible for this award.

I am very grateful to receive this award because not only does it recognize the contributions I’ve made to the University of Surrey and my university experience, but it sends a message to international students that they are capable of moving to a foreign country with a different culture and still influence the community. Even though I study Mechanical Engineering, a lot of my extracurricular activities were in Management & Entrepreneurship. I represented the University several times in national business competitions and was invited to different national networking events. I believe studying at Surrey played a major role in helping me find these opportunities because of its industry partners, location (near London), and generally supporting students not only academically but extracurricularly. Professor Vincent Emery, the Pro-Vice Chancellor, is a great example of someone who supports students, as he endorsed me to meet the President of Egypt during his visit to the UK. Being a University of Surrey student definitely carries a unique trademark with it.

I am also thankful for everyone who has supported me, given me advice, criticised me, and pushed me to achieve greater. It’s an honour to have started the Egyptian Society and see it shortlisted as a Best New Comer Society, to present the Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the student awards as founder of the Award, give a TEDx Surrey talk, and to receive a 787 Boeing model by the Vice-President of Boeing during his talk at the university. I was very glad to promote the Egyptian culture in the university in numerous ways. The Egyptian Society gathered Asian, European, and Middle Eastern nationalities. The Society held social nights, movie nights, and raised awareness about the Egyptian revolution. As a result of the society’s outreach and being shortlisted, Dr. Reem Bahgat, Head of the Educational and Cultural Bureau from the Egyptian Embassy, attended the Student Awards night. It has been very rewarding to start an initiative and see it prosper.

I wouldn’t have been able to receive this award without my family’s and friends support, along with the belief my parents had in me. I hope that being awarded the Vice Chancellor Award serves as nothing but a motivation for everyone to excel and represent their country at the highest level possible.