Shadwa graduated from the Lebanese American University with a BA in economics and minor in international affairs. After graduation she was awarded the Lazord Fellowship, a year-long professional development fellowship. Working at American University in Cairo, she served as a governance coordinator on a joint project between the European Union and the Egyptian Ministry of Trade. Afterwards she worked as a policy researcher at the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority, where she gained experience in the development of the non-banking financial sector. As a student, Shadwa was the recipient of a Samuel and Kathleen Awad Global Affairs Fellowship.