GDI graduate Maisha on how her master’s built her confidence
Maisha Zaman graduated from MSc International Development: Poverty, Inequality and development in 2021. In her blog, she shares her experience of studying at the Global Development Institute (GDI) with us and how it helped her built her confidence
On why I chose to study at Manchester
Firstly, UoM ranks among the top ten universities globally for development studies. Secondly, the courses in my selected pathway were diverse, along with a field visit to Uganda. Also, the alumni profiles seemed very interesting to me as they got involved in great work after finishing this master’s.
My previous job made me more interested to delve deeper into the development sector and understand its functions. That is the reason I chose to pursue this master’s to get a better grip on this sector. I was blessed to have extremely knowledgeable and humble professors who were easy to talk to. My peers were very cooperative too which made the entire postgraduate journey memorable. Also, my research topic for my dissertation was quite challenging and I have been very lucky that my advisors, supervisors and professors kept on encouraging me to produce my best work. Now, I have the confidence to further work on my research.
On my career
I have worked as a journalist, specialising in development communications in my previous role at the leading English daily newspaper in Bangladesh. I used to collaborate with ministries, NGOs, INGOs, think tanks, UN agencies, the public and the private sector in Bangladesh to produce content and make them publishable. After completing my postgraduate studies, I want to pursue a career in the development sector.
My course has set me up for my career path in the sense that I now have a better idea regarding the organisations I would like to work at. My course has made me more interested towards working in different countries if I get the opportunity.
On my course highlights
I did not expect to have peers from so many different countries. This was a very pleasant experience as I got to know so many cultures and find so many similarities and I have formed strong friendships which I hope, will last for a long time. I have also met extremely helpful professors who have immensely helped shape my perspective both at and beyond studies.
On my advice to prospective students
I would suggest the prospective students to have an open-minded approach towards the MSc programme as well as towards the people they will be meeting. I believe my batch, the 2020-2021 cohort, has pursued this Master’s during the most uncertain times when the world stood still. Yet, we showed resilience and helped each other throughout. Therefore, forming ties and having the thirst to learn can work wonders even during the most stressful and uncertain times. However, one must also take care of his/her both physical and mental health and should not feel guilty about taking breaks as the studies and adjustments to the new environment can get very overwhelming at times.
I hope students remain vocal about their thoughts, needs and rights. The University has been very supportive whenever we faced challenges. So, one must speak up when required.