A sense of determination and drive to study at what he considers to be Australia’s top university brought a Bangladeshi student Nabid Alam all the way from Bangladesh to Canberra, to study a Master of Business Information Systems at Australian National University (ANU).
As an international student, there were a few hurdles to jump before he could begin. The first was to make study in Australia financially possible, which he did by winning an Australian Government Endeavour Award.
Alam had to prepare for his International English Language Testing (IELTS) exam and juggle travel and accommodation arrangements, all while he worked in a high pressure graduate role in a Bangladeshi bank.
Then shortly before he left to come to Canberra in February 2012, his father and one of his brothers passed away, which made leaving home all the more difficult.
“This was my first time leaving Bangladesh and it was a very big step – leaving my family and friends. It was a really difficult decision – and a real challenge, but I was up to it,” he says.
“I was also a bit scared about the pressure of coming to ANU because I had been working in a bank and out of study for a couple of years. I’d be starting a new degree in a top university and I wondered how I would fit into the ecosystem.”
Alam hit the ground running, making sure he met with each of his lecturers right at the beginning of his study to gain an insight into course objectives and expectations, and figure out how to best manage his study load.
“It’s a really good thing to understand your lecturers’ expectations. They have all been very friendly and always available. Even if your study plan looks difficult and challenging at first, it isn’t actually that difficult to manage – you get into a good routine.”
Alam will graduate with a Master of Business Information Systems on Tuesday 17 December.
While he says he has enjoyed his experience at ANU, Alam is looking forward to spending time with his family again. His mother and brother will travel to Canberra to attend the graduation ceremony.
After graduating, Nabid Alam will return to Bangladesh, where he has already lined up a position with his previous employers. He is also planning some part-time university teaching.
“My country is doing well – the economic indicators are good. It’s a great motivation to go back and get involved in work and try to contribute to the country,” he says.