Nabid Alam

Nabid Alam

Master of Business Information Systems

Bangladeshi student Nabid Alam graduates this December with a Master of Business Information Systems. After two years of graduate study he’s achieved what he set out to and returns to Bangladesh with good prospects and exciting future plans. Getting to this point, though, has demanded tough decisions, a fair amount of risk, and great dedication and commitment.

Nabid’s first big decision on the road to ANU was actually his choice of undergraduate study back in Bangladesh. Whilst he attended the University of Dhaka, one of Bangladesh’s foremost institutions, he chose to study at the newly formed Department of Management and Information Systems.

“It was a bit of a risk,” he says. “When I got the offer to join the university, everyone told me I should join an established department, not a new one, because I couldn’t be sure what the department had to offer. But I went ahead and picked information systems. It was a sort of high risk/high gain thing, but I thought it was more of an opportunity than a risk. I saw that information systems was more diverse and multi-disciplinary and my major (Management Information Systems) accommodated many knowledge areas. There was a bit of technology, a bit of management and a bit of business administration, which was a really good blend for me. It was still a difficult decision for me, but after I started I was very happy with it, and as time went on I knew I wanted to do more in the area.

ANU can really offer you everything. I came here with very high expectations, and I can tell you they were well met.

“I always felt I had to do further study abroad. I was doing a very new program, and I wasn’t sure whether I could get the postgraduate training I need in Bangladesh.

“My first priority was to find some funding options to help me better focus on my studies and not be distracted by financial worries. Then I found that the Australian government is very generous with funding for overseas students, so I decided in the second year of my undergraduate degree that I must go to Australia. That was a very firm decision and I was really focused on coming here.”

Nabid’s next priority was to identify the university that would give him the both the quality and course content that he needed.

“I picked out a few of the higher ranked institutions, but ANU was at the top. I wanted to go to a very good university – that was my major concern – and so ANU was the one for me. What's more, the two-year Master of Business Information Systems really focused on the things I was looking for.”

Having come to this decision it was nose to the grindstone to maintain the good results that would help him secure some funding, as well as preparing for IELTS testing and all the rest of the arrangements that face international students looking to study abroad. With his undergraduate degree completed, Nabid joined a local bank as part of its graduate program:

“That was pretty tough – it was a really pressured working environment, and at the same time I still had to keep to my schedule to apply to ANU and for the government scholarship. But everything clicked, and I got the Endeavour funding and I got into ANU.”

Nabid would arrive in Canberra to commence his studies at ANU in February 2012, but getting here was probably his hardest test yet. He lost both his father and his brother not long before he was to leave.

“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.

“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.”

With characteristic initiative though, he took pains to talk to all his lecturers early on to understand course objectives and their expectations. It helped him build close working relationships with academic staff and feel confident about how he was organising his studies:

“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. So that was a good thing about the academic side of things – it was manageable and at the same time very insightful. But the social life was also wonderful – ANU can really offer you everything. I came here with very high expectations, and I can tell you they were well met.”

Nabid is now looking forward to returning to Bangladesh and reuniting with his family. He has been able to secure work with his previous employers, a great relief given the current highly competitive environment for graduate jobs in the country. He is also planning to do some part-time university teaching and start to pass on some of the benefits of his learning to students in his own country.

“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.”

Longer term, Nabid has his sights set on a research degree, and he is already pondering possible topics:

“I have a scratch plan to do some research into sustainability in information systems. It’s quite broad at the moment – it’s something I’ll have to think about some more but I did some courses in that area and I got some wonderful insights. But there are a lot of other things at the back of my mind too.”

So maybe for Nabid graduation means just au revoir to ANU not good bye!

Updated:   5 June 2014 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team