Naheel Jawaid has already moved to New York where he works with Google to to bring Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to classrooms around the world.

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Grads headed to jobs at Facebook, Google

June 05, 2017
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By Marianne Meadahl

Three students from Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology are graduating straight into plum jobs at the top of the social media ladder—one at Google in New York City and two others at Facebook.

Naheel Jawaid, of Surrey, has already moved to New York and starts at Google this week. His job will be to bring Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to classrooms around the world. “It's super exciting because we're a small team that takes new product ideas from inception to end product, and we even go around the world testing them in classroom from different cultures,” says Jawaid, who is from Surrey.

Earlier this year he landed a $1,000 prize at the STEM Spotlight awards. He spoke on how artificial intelligence can create better future buying experiences, and on ways to preserve the “non-invasive nature” of shopping today for the future.

Meanwhile Maheen Sohail and Chris Elawa are becoming full time product designers for Facebook, both based in the San Francisco Bay area. The two had previously completed co-op terms with the company and both are returning, this time to full-time positions.

Chris Elawa
Maheen Sohail

Sohail, also from Surrey, joins Facebook’s Virtual Reality team. She moved to the region from the University of Waterloo to become a visual effects artist, then switched gears to VR after some influential courses.

“As a product designer for a company like Facebook you need to be well-rounded and able to work across all aspects of the product design process,” says Sohail. “I’m sure there will be a lot to lean and many challenges ahead.”

While studying at SFU Sohail joined several business clubs and also served as president of the Interactive Arts and Technology student union. She also did several freelance video and design projects.

And with a passion for designing for the social good, Sohail hopes to eventually tackle society’s challenges through design thinking and solving problems through domains like VR.

Elawa, who graduated from an international high school in Nigeria, wanted to focus his studies on “the intersection of technology, media and the arts.”

“SIAT was most interesting to me because of the way it blended Media, Art, Design and Technology. Going in a didn’t know exactly which of these I wanted to focus on, – I had always been interested in media, the film medium specifically, as well as graphic design. In second year, I was introduced to User Experience Design/Product Design as a field that blended many of the things I enjoy and I fell in love.” 

Elawa hopes to eventually do product design for development in Nigeria.