10,000th scholarship student graduated and is nowpursuing TV and media internships
A year and a half on from receiving SPARK’s 10,000th scholarship, Kubar Msho is now a Media graduate from the Nobel Institute in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and has filled her resume with internships at national TV stations and media.
Kubar Msho, is a 20-year-old Syrian student from the small city of Derik in north-eastern Syria close to the borders with Turkey and Iraq. The war had been rumbling on for two years but when the fighting became too dangerous, Kubar was forced to flee her country with her parents and two siblings. The family fled to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I) where they have lived for almost ten years.
When they first arrived, they lived in a camp in Erbil, the capital city of the Kurdistan Region. It was hard for them to adapt and adjust to their new lives. “The first month living under a tent was very hard,” says Kubar. “Everything was so unfamiliar, the whole camp had only one bathroom. Our horrible living conditions finally took a toll on my mom. She suffered from a really bad depression”. After two years surviving harsh winters and boiling summers in a tent, the government supplied the family with a house and a place to call their own.
Education: A turning point
Education was always important to Kubar and her family. Her father was a theatre studies teacher in Syria. Yet starting school in Iraq, Kubar says she felt like an outcast. “No one wanted to be my friend. I didn’t know why. [But] we had a very lovely photography teacher at school. She encouraged me to learn English, put myself out there, be my true self and make new friends”.
With her social and outgoing personality, Kubar worked at a children’s TV station in KR-I and became a member of a folk dance group.
Pursuing her passion and following in her theatrical father’s footsteps, Kubar always wanted to study Media and Journalism. When she was awarded with SPARK’s 10,000th scholarship, financed by the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis, the ‘Madad’ fund, she was able to study Media at the Noble Institute in Erbil, hoping to one day become a famous journalist, help her family and contribute to rebuilding her war-torn country.
Internships in TV
In the summer after her first year, Kubar applied to work with Family Tourism TV station after one of her professors recommended her. “I started as an intern, I was doing translation and subtitling their YouTube videos mostly,” explains Kubar. “After two months, they offered me a permanent position there as a Communication Officer. I had to leave after a month as university was starting again and I had to focus on my studies”.
Throughout her studies, Kubar pursued remote internships with national TV stations, local news and a media website, Wishe.net, where she gained skills inscript writing and voice acting.
“When you’re studying media, they only teach you the basics. Once you do internships and summer jobs, you actually know and learn about what’s written in those textbooks and put them into practice,” says Kubar.
“Now I feel more confident and comfortable with applying for jobs, because my CV is filled with certificates and internships.”
Kubar has now graduated from her studies and is completing an internship at the local NGO, Kurdistan Organisation for Human Rights Watch (KOHRW), after she was matched to the role by SPARK’s internship facilitation programme. “I work with the HR team here, I help with organising files and information of the employees. I also help the communication team in my free time,” says Kubar.
“Internship opportunities won’t come to you”
Kubar wants to encourage young women to pursue their education, overcome any challenges that come their way and become successful individuals within their society. When asked about how she would encourage other young people to pursue and land internship and job opportunities, she said: “Work and internship opportunities won’t come to you, you have to put yourself out there and start making connections. Start taking courses, gain and develop technical skills.”