A sneak peek in the life of our Master in Management Alumna Rida Fatima


In these difficult times, when everything came to halt and there was no ray of light to hold on to, I always cherished my memories of MSM and the time spend in The Netherlands. And that I believe, is life! There are good and bad days. You just need to cope and stay positive. You might be wondering, who is this person? Hi everyone, I am Rida Fatima from Pakistan! And in this blog I like to take you with me on my journey.

After I did my Bachelor’s degree, I always had in mind to pursue my Masters abroad. When I started my search for a master’s degree, I came across Maastricht School of Management (MSM) and was impressed by its diversity of admitting students from all around the world. Also, I have always been fascinated by the Netherlands (Windmills & Tulips!), as well. After working it out and going through some personal issues, I finally got into MSM and was admitted to the Master in Management program!

The time spent at MSM was one of the most delightful times of my life. Meeting people from all over the world, was the best thing ever. One can only experience such diversity in MSM, where you get to meet people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Moreover, MSM enrolls a decent number of students, whom you can meet and become good friends with. Furthermore, the faculty and support staff were very cooperative and friendly, it made it easier to study and learn from such talented people.

So, in December 2019, I moved back to Pakistan for good. I never planned on staying in The Netherlands, but always wanted to gather knowledge and experience different cultures and ultimately come back and find myself a job here in Pakistan. Unfortunately, by the time I was actually ready to apply for jobs and find work, the pandemic happened! In February, Pakistan had to go through a complete lockdown to handle Covid-19 cases. And at that time, many people around me were losing their jobs or were on the verge of losing their jobs. There were hardly any openings at companies. Thus, that was a very depressing and frustrating time for me. But after lots and lots of patience and trying, I landed myself a 3-month internship at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Pakistan! It’s kind of a really big deal for me. Getting into such a prestigious organization, even for an internship. This year, by the time I was appointed as an intern at UNDP Pakistan, we were already at the beginning of a third lethal wave of Covid-19, that everything came to a halt again. Thus, I had to start my internship online from home, in Sahiwal. The office runs in Islamabad, and now that my internship has been extended with 3 extra months, I’m hoping to travel to Islamabad and join the office in person.

What I do at UNDP
My initial internship task was to create a portfolio for the Democratic Governance department I work for under UNDP. My boss provided me with all essential information and expected me to create a document, which is useful for their donors abroad (the countries helping in development of Pakistan), or the government officials who need to be briefed about the development or getting permissions on certain official things. After I had completed my task, the department was really happy with what I had produced. And I always mentioned to them, how this was a regular assignment at MSM, where I used to write a paper, on every subject we were taught. Hence, MSM had prepared me in conducting research and writing a paper on my own. Moreover, the tasks changed frequently, and I was busy learning about the corporate world.

My ultimate goal
There is so much to accomplish in life as yet. After I’m done with this internship, I’m hoping to land on a good management job and start with my professional journey. Whereas the ultimate goal is to earn enough to invest in Pakistan’s well-being and development. I’m eager to create a platform for uneducated women, who are not allowed to get out of their homes in the rural area. To create a platform where they can earn through showcasing their handicrafts such as embroideries and knitting and so on. Also, to create awareness how important is it to send their children to school for  better opportunities and a bright future ahead. I’d like to mention that UNDP, as we are well aware, is an organization doing social work in Pakistan. They have many projects going on that support my dream as well. So, I’m super proud to be part of this organization in many ways. To reach my goal it is going to be  a long road and a bumpy journey. It’s not only going to take a lot of money but a lot of convincing and efforts for betterment of my country. It has to be addressed as s system, as a nation.

My advice to you
I wouldlike to say, to current and recent graduates, just be yourself and thrive for your goals, it might take time to reach to your final destination but there is always a way to do so. Figure out your career interests and find a job which helps you grow and flourish. And leave all toxic environments or vibes behind. Be happy and let others be happy too!

I had the best time of my life in The Netherlands. I studied well, scored decent grades and enjoyed my life! Balancing both aspects are important. So don’t waste your time and just be happy in the moment!

Dank je wel!

About MSM's Master in Management

The MSM Master in Management program is a one-year full-time master’s program for recent graduates and young professionals (< 3 years of working experience) with the ambition to manage people and processes with success in any organization, country or context.

Our program provides you with a first necessary step to fast-forward your career to higher levels by providing you with a solid foundation in the practice and theory of management in a fast-changing global world.  During this course you will be provided with the opportunity to understand how to steer your organization to high performance in a diverse and multicultural international business context. You will learn from experienced faculty, international companies and fellow participants from different cultural, business and study backgrounds. Click here for more information.

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