We had the great pleasure of catching up with Mustafa who was an SI scholar between 2011 and 2013. We got to hear what impact his time in Sweden had on him, how he influences future change-makers, and what his advice is to students considering the SI Scholarship for Global Professionals.
Tell us about your time in Sweden, what do you remember to be the best things about academic experience?
– I studied a Master’s programme on Information Systems at Uppsala University. Others might think of only the technical aspects of this programme, but along with the technological part, leadership was something my program and Sweden helped me develop greatly. I was not aware of how effective it could be until I came back and used it to empower my students, Mustafa shared.
-The values Sweden heavily embedded in me were sustainability, inclusiveness, and democracy. I try to use those profusely in my day-to-day interactions with people, he continues.
What surprised you about studying or living in Sweden? Did studying in Sweden give you new perspective on certain things?
-When I arrived in Sweden, you can only imagine the shock I faced, as a Bangladeshi, when even 2 people waiting for something would form a queue. What surprised me, even more, was the relaxed and informal atmosphere in the classroom. I learned later that it leads to space for new ideas and creativity.
With everything you now know about life and study in Sweden, what would you say to people thinking about Sweden as a study option? Who would you say should consider Sweden as a place of study?
-Cutting-edge teaching, advanced research, creativity, respect for all, teamwork, and more, are the reasons why students should think about Sweden as a study option. In Sweden, you learn to think independently, critically, and analytically. Students are taught by the best and in an environment that is conducive to learning and innovation, says Mustafa.
-Those who like a nice mix of independence and responsibility, a clean environment, a safe place, and organized things, and love coffee breaks, should consider Sweden as a place of study.
Looking at your journey, from where you were before you received the scholarship to where you are today. How has the scholarship influenced your life as well as your personal and professional develop?
-After finishing my studies in Sweden, not only did I get a degree, but I had also so much more than I could have ever hoped for. Studying in Sweden was much more than coursework, with activities focused on issues such as environment and sustainability, governance and society, equality and tolerance, etc. that equipped me well for personal and professional development and made me ready for the challenges of everyday life.
Tell us about your current work, what are you up?
-I am a university lecturer in Dhaka. I enjoy teaching, and I am passionate about my work. I also serve as a board member of the SI Alumni Network in Bangladesh. With all the support of the Swedish Institute, I was able to create the network in 2018. The network helps alumni from Bangladesh communicate with each other and build ties between Sweden and Bangladesh.
Has the scholarship opportunity and your time in Sweden helped you contribute to changemaking or sustainable development in any way? If yes, how?
-Being an SI alumnus is not just a title, Mstafa emphasises.
– Membership in this global alumni network is unique and provides an access to a vast and diverse array of resources. The Swedish Institute has empowered me, helped me grow as a leader, and taught me how to make the most of the resources and opportunities available to me. Based on my learning and experience in Sweden, I believe I can have a significant impact on my students who will be future leaders in change.
Learn more about the SI Scholarship and SI Alumni Network.
The SI Scholarship for Global Professionals offers fully-financed scholarships for master’s studies in Sweden. It is a unique opportunity to develop professionally and academically, experience Swedish society and culture, and build a long-lasting relationship with Sweden and other global professionals. Read more about the scholarship here.
The Sweden Alumni Network is a global community open to all who have received a scholarship from the Swedish Institute, participated in one of our Leadership Programmes or have studied in Sweden. Here you can find more information on how to engage with our alumni networks.