Where are they now? Prama Dewan, Master of Public Health 2018 (from Bangladesh)

Why did you choose to study at Flinders University? What made it stand out from other universities?

I chose Flinders University because of its natural surrounding beauty. I had been following the Australia Awards network before applying and came across few of my friends’ photos and their activities at Flinders that were posted on Facebook. One of them said to me, “Flinders offers tremendous support and help to all students in any way it can”. In addition Adelaide is home to a few of my cousins. So, I thought it would be great to be surrounded by friends and family while studying. I must say, Flinders University did not fail me.

What is your favourite memory from your time at Flinders, or your favourite lecturer?

Definitely, it would be passing time with friends. I believe that without my friends and their enormous support, I wouldn’t have made it. We used to discuss not only our studies but also family, politics, entertainment, travelling and what not. Apart from these, being a member of the Flinders University Badminton Club and playing Badminton at the on-campus sports centre made me cheerful and kept me fit both physically and mentally.

My favourite lecturer would be Kristen Foley, without whom I would not have come home with my degree. She was my tutor while I was struggling with my studies in my early days at Flinders. Memories of her assuring smile and support will always be one of my favourites to cherish forever.

Have you maintained connections with fellow students since graduating?

Yes, I am still connected with my fellow students through Facebook and they are doing pretty great.

How did your Flinders degree prepare you for your current role?

My Flinders University degree definitely helped me a lot to prepare for my career. Most importantly, it helped me to do better research, and enhanced my writing and analytical skills. In addition, I became quite confident about my future interactions as a public health specialist.

How did your time at Flinders University change you both professionally and personally?

I would say it made a huge impact on me more personally than professionally. Personally, I became more open-minded and more resilient. It helped me to explore myself each day. For instance, I did not know I had so much passion to fulfill my degree with so many constraints at hand such as coping with a completely different education system, living without a family etc. Professionally, I think the experience made me more confident in facing any kinds of difficulties and situations more smoothly and solving them accordingly.

What has been the greatest accomplishment of your career to date?

Definitely, studying at Flinders University with an Australia Awards Scholarship has been my greatest accomplishment so far.

Who has inspired you the most in life – personally or professionally?

My husband, because he helped to take care of our only daughter at home when I was away studying overseas. Few people are fortunate enough to have this kind of understanding and generous partner who helps you grow professionally and personally. Professionally, I get inspiration from my former boss Dr. Sandip Kumar Dash till date. He is an extraordinary human being and a famous neurologist who helped throughout my career. I am very thankful and forever grateful to him.

What are your future goals and plans?

My future goal is to contribute as much as I can for the betterment of my community as I am from the ethnic minority group of people in Bangladesh. However, it is not easy to get such opportunities in a densely populated country with such high rates of job seekers in the market. Therefore, my plan is to grab any opportunity that comes in my hand which delivers quality health care service to the poor and marginalised people of Bangladesh.

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