M. Mizanur Rahman

My name is M. Mizanur Rahman and I am a development practitioner and researcher. I have worked in several countries in the Asia and Pacific regions with different national and international organisations.

I studied the Master Programme in International Humanitarian Action under the Department of Theology at Uppsala University. It is an Erasmus Mundus programme offered by the Network of Humanitarian Action (NOHA).

While working with organisations like CARE and Islamic Relief Worldwide in the area of Disaster and Emergency Management, I felt that for growing my career internationally, I needed a highly reputed degree in this field. Then I conducted some research and found that the NOHA Master Programme in International Humanitarian Action is one of the most prestigious degrees in this area, and so I decided to apply for it. I was lucky enough to be awarded with Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for undertaking this Master's programme.

It is mainly the international outlook of Uppsala University that influenced me to choose it. There were several options (seven different universities in Europe) to choose from, but I went with Uppsala University because of its international reputation. And now I feel like I did the right thing.

The best things about studying at Uppsala University was the amazing student support, course content, and the university atmosphere. I was very cordially assisted by the programme coordinator and other administrative staff members, especially for enrollment, accommodation, setting up a bank account and so on. I spent only one winter in Uppsala and it gave me some unforgettable memories in my life. It was an amazing environment there and people were awesome.

I found the classes very encouraging, participatory and enlightening. All the teachers including the programme director were very friendly. I met some amazing people in my class and many of them are still very good friends. I have studied at seven different universities around the world but I would say, Uppsala University is the most fabulous one. It offered so many things and for me, coming from a tropical Asian country, it was like a different world. Interactive class discussions, friendly teachers, a wide range of student activities and the aesthetic beauty of Uppsala often makes me nostalgic.

Before I finished my study I got a PhD scholarship at a prominent university in Australia. Therefore, after I had finished my degree at Uppsala University, I moved to Australia and started my PhD in 2015. Then I also started working with a not for profit organisation as an International Programs and Policy Manager.

While studying at Uppsala University I was preparing to take any suitable position with an organisation in Africa. I was and still am a passionate development and humanitarian practitioner. I love to contribute to the life of the people who need us the most. I was in love with Africa and actively looking for job opportunities in the African region. For me, it would also be very valuable training to work there but suddenly everything changed when I got the PhD offer in Australia. However, I am still passionate about moving to Africa and working there.

If I were going to go back and do my Master’s again, I guess I would spend more time with friends, do some more networking and explore northern Sweden a bit more.

My advice to others wishing to follow in my career footsteps is that a career in the humanitarian sector is always challenging but it is highly self-satisfying. I left a demanding career in banking and decided to join the development sector in one of the least developed countries, challenged from various aspects. But it changed my life. Afterwards, I have had the opportunity to work in more than ten different countries in the Asia-Pacific regions. I have closely worked with a number of communities in these countries and felt how important my job is for all of us. For me it is not a career, but a calling. What I believe is – if you put your best effort for pursuing your dream, it will definitely come true.

Read more about the Master Programme in International Humanitarian Action