How did volunteering turn out to be a life-changing experience for me?

Mahad Imran
3 min readMay 31, 2022


Last year, after completing high school, I was waiting for my university acceptance when I saw Zubair’s post on LinkedIn looking for volunteers to work at ZNotes. I immediately filled out the application form and was called for an interview a few days later. As far as I remember, the interview went terribly, as I was really nervous. To my surprise, I was selected to work as a content writer. I was delighted that day but doubted that I might not be able to get the work done.

Induction and Early days

The induction process happened, and I started working with the team. I submitted my first task to Newsletter Editor and waited for feedback. The editor redid almost the whole thing and texted that she enjoyed reading the content that I wrote, but it wasn’t in the correct format. My confidence shattered, but those few kind words held me.

Eager to learn and grow, I went through most of the previous articles on the blog and tried to familiarize myself with the format as much as I could. I improved myself with time and got better at it, all thanks to the supportive Newsletter Editor.

Three months in, I finally have my university acceptance. Surprisingly, I got in everywhere I applied, but unfortunately, my peers struggled to score good acceptances. My elation and sense of accomplishment weren’t mutual. I felt like a terrible friend and wanted to do something about it.

Founding Kis Uni

At this point, I had already understood how an organisation like ZNotes operated and how could I start something similar. Inspired by ZNotes, I founded Kis Uni to make university education accessible for everyone in Pakistan. If I hadn’t worked at ZNotes, Kis Uni wouldn’t have been there.

With Kis Uni, my personal growth was exponential. I learned how to make a pitch deck, pitch to incubators, look out for partnership opportunities, lead a team, and much more.

Transition to Fundraising Officer

I still continued to work at ZNotes while building Kis Uni as I couldn’t leave where it all started for me. Five months into the content writer role, I expressed my interest to Zubair in working in Growth Team. Zubair suggested I work as a fundraising officer as the position will be helpful in building KU.

I got to work on the ZNotes’ competitions applications and saw the previous ones that had won awards. I learned as much as I could and applied that to KU applications. I saw our applications at KU improve tremendously.

Concluding thoughts

You might be wondering how I managed to work at ZNotes, build KU and manage the university altogether? All thanks to the wonderful ZN team, who are very understanding and fill in if you’re unavailable.

I would’ve never thought last year how this opportunity might be life-changing for me. I always knew I wanted to work on building meaningful products and give back to the community, but I never knew this would happen that early. I’m ever grateful to Zubair for taking a chance on me that day and being my mentor during this amazing journey.

To every student reading this, do volunteer for something. You never know how can that be life-changing, as was the case with me.



Mahad Imran

Mahad is the founder of Kis Uni, Pakistan's first online mentoring platform for high school students. He is also the Program Lead for Career Launchpad.