From Pakistan to Aberdeen: Studying at RGU, travelling, and building my career

Energy Management student Aarim started his RGU journey back in Pakistan where he met with a staff member who inspired him to come study in Aberdeen. Since taking the leap, he has been enjoying student life at RGU, exploring the UK, and has now also secured a year-long placement with Baker Hughes!

Aarim answers all our questions about his exciting adventure from Pakistan to Aberdeen in this blog.

What did you study before pursuing your master’s?

Before pursuing my master’s, I completed my bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES), Islamabad, which is considered as one of the most prestigious universities in Pakistan.

Additionally, right after graduation, I had the opportunity to work as an Energy Engineer at a power plant. This experience reinforced my belief in the importance of pursuing a postgraduate degree in Energy Management and solidified my career aspirations in the energy field.

How was your experience talking to RGU staff in Pakistan?

During my time in Pakistan, I had the privilege of meeting Michelle, who served as RGU’s Regional Manager for Africa, South, and Southeast Asia. I received an email notifying me of her visit, and I knew I had to seize the opportunity to meet her. We arranged a meeting at the Pear Continental Hotel, where Michelle warmly welcomed me, and we engaged in a conversation over a cup of coffee.

She passionately shared insights about RGU and addressed any misconceptions I had. Michelle’s knowledge about the university, the Scottish culture, and the abundance of scholarships truly resonated with me. One aspect that significantly impacted my decision was her introduction to the placement route offered by RGU. Prior to our meeting, I hadn’t considered this path, but Michelle explained its advantages, which opened my eyes to new possibilities.

Her genuine enthusiasm for RGU, the student-friendly environment, the diverse community, and the excellent campus facilities ultimately played a vital role in shaping my decision to choose RGU as my study destination.

Why did you choose to study Energy Management at RGU?

My decision to pursue Energy Management stemmed from my deep passion for the energy sector. Learning about the various challenges and opportunities in this field during my work as an Energy Engineer further fuelled my desire to specialise in energy-related studies.

When Michelle shared the remarkable employability rate of RGU graduates and their outstanding performance in the industry, I was truly impressed. Knowing that RGU’s alumni were highly sought after and in high demand gave me confidence that studying Energy Management at RGU would provide me with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the industry. The university’s excellent reputation, its commitment to practical learning, and its strong industry connections further solidified my choice.

How did you find the process of settling in Aberdeen?

Settling in Aberdeen has been an amazing experience for me. Initially, I faced some challenges in finding a part-time job, but within a month, I was fortunate enough to secure a position at Poundland on Union Street. This opportunity allowed me to work alongside Scottish locals and immerse myself in the vibrant Aberdonian culture.

Exploring the city and its surroundings has been a highlight of my time here. Aberdeen offers breath-taking natural beauty, and I have had the pleasure of visiting numerous castles, including Slains Castle and Dunnottar Castle, among others. As time has passed, I’ve become more familiar with the city, its charming corners, and the warm hospitality of its residents.

What have been the highlights of your course so far?

My journey at RGU has been incredibly rewarding, and there have been several highlights throughout my course. One of the standout aspects has been the opportunity to learn from highly knowledgeable and experienced faculty members. Their insights and industry connections have enriched my understanding of the energy sector.

Additionally, the courses themselves have been well-designed, allowing me to gain a deep understanding of Energy Management and achieve above-average grades. The knowledge and skills I’ve acquired during my studies have provided a solid foundation for my future career.

Can you tell us more about your student life experience at RGU?

RGU offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities, and I have actively participated in various events and accessed support services. I have made use of the excellent sports facilities, the library, and taken part in events organized by the RGU Student Union. One particular event that stood out was One RGU Many Nations, which celebrated the diversity of our student body. It was a fantastic opportunity to represent my own country and learn about different cultures, including Mexican, Nigerian, Indian, Ghanaian, and, of course, Scottish.

Furthermore, the university’s support services have been instrumental in my personal and academic development. I have attended seminars on CV building, interview preparation, and cover letter writing, which have helped enhance my employability skills.

How was the process of finding a placement?

The process of finding a placement was challenging but rewarding. I must express my gratitude to RGU for the immense support they provided throughout the journey. The university’s placement office played a pivotal role in guiding me through the process. They offered valuable advice on identifying suitable opportunities, refining my CV, and preparing for interviews.

Additionally, RGU organised careers fairs that allowed direct interactions with potential employers, creating networking opportunities and increasing my chances of securing a placement. Even though I sourced my own placement, it was RGU who made it possible. Thanks to the university’s assistance and the knowledge gained from my programme, I was able to secure a placement at Baker Hughes—a dream come true for me. I will always be grateful for the university’s guidance and support during this transformative experience.

Did you go on any exciting travel adventures during your time at RGU?

During my postgraduate studies, I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel across the UK. Exploring different cities and experiencing the diverse cultural landscapes has been a true delight. So far, I have visited a total of 31 cities within the UK. From the stunning landscapes of Aberdeen and the historical charm of Edinburgh to the vibrant energy of Glasgow and the bustling streets of London, each city has offered unique experiences and unforgettable memories.

The chance to immerse myself in the rich heritage, local traditions, and architectural marvels of these cities has been a valuable complement to my academic journey at RGU.

Syed Muhammad Aarim

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