Interview with Vahid Suljic, founder of Campus & Student Life in Qatar / @Students_Qatar
It’s becoming harder for publishers to break through the constant noise on social media.
But that hasn’t stopped Campus & Student Life in Qatar (@Students_Qatar) from becoming Qatar’s largest student community. The platform is flourishing with over 21, 000 followers and counting. They have also inspired a host of similar student communities, but none have managed to challenge in engagement.
- How did you get the idea for your social media platform?
Campus & Student Life (CSL) in Qatar – @Students_Qatar started on Facebook back in 2014 upon seeing the need among the student community in Qatar for such a service. This panned out well and we have been growing constantly ever since.
- What inspired you to start such an online community platform?
I have been raised to be of service to my community wherever I am and I felt the need to give back to this beautiful country and to do my small part in helping it, by helping its students.
- What is the main purpose for creating such page, and what do you expect out from it?
My motivation was to create a community that would be useful to any student, weather local or international, who was interested in joining our educational community here. One of the challenges faced by many was that information, though available, was scattered and not always easy to find. Students are smart, pragmatic and quickly recognized our one-stop-shop. It also gives a great opportunity to high school students and their parents to get a realistic look inside the actual university and see what it might offer their kids.
This is a rare spot on the planet were cultures enrich each other in harmony, were differences are respected and diversity is celebrated. It offers excellent opportunities in higher education in many fields of study, and the facilities are simply amazing. We wanted to showcase Qatar as what it truly is, an oasis and a cradle of knowledge.
Growing the Campus & Student Life in Qatar page hasn’t been an easy task. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get the platform to where it’s at today. Nevertheless, our efforts have more than paid off. Together we have exceeded expectations. We are monitoring the needs of students and fellow alumni non-stop and based on that we are getting the most engaging content out there every day. It’s about driving growth through the creation of original content that is completely unique to the page. For us, the key to engagement lies with consistency and knowing your audience inside-out – which isn’t always easy when you’re dealing with students. Consistency is also important. If you want to be successful on social media, you’ve got to be extremely reactive to current trends, news and events while finding new ways to innovate.
- Where do you get your sources from and how reliable are they?
We are blessed to have access to the official information issued by the universities, government entities and the student bodies but what really sets us apart is that we complement this with untold stories from many of the alumnae and current students themselves. In combination, this offers both macro- and micro perspective and is highly appreciated by our community. One thing is to hear that a course is available but it is so much better to hear from someone who has taken the course already and pick their brains. It helps perspective students make better informed decisions.
- What is the end goal and mission statement of this page?
What really makes us tick, is to hear from people who have been confused or even worried and couldn’t make up their minds but after reaching out to us and getting the proper information, they chose to come to Qatar and study. Our mission is to be of service to the students, educational community and to support the state of Qatar in achieving its educational goals.
- Do you have any competition, if so who?
This is not something that is easy to do, long term and it doesn’t make anyone rich. There have been tries to copy this initiative but it all ended rather quickly as people were not ready to put in the hard work and sacrifice their time without financial gain. For this reason, we remain the genuine voice of the student community in Qatar.
- What are your future plans for this page, how do you want it to grow?
Our biggest goals are to continue providing value and guidance to all the students who are already in Qatar or think about coming here. How that might look in detail will probably change over time as the technology and user behavior changes. What won’t change is our dedication to our community. There are so many positive and groundbreaking things happening in Qatar, that world needs to know about. We want to be a part of that voice letting the world know that serious progress and world-class research is happening here.