- Course: Engineering Project Management MSc
- Nationality: Saudi Arabia
Why did you decide to study a masters at the University of Leeds?
The University of Leeds is a Russell Group university which means that it is among the leading 24 universities in the UK that are committed to the highest educational standards and have a sound reputation within both the public and private sectors. Thus, obtaining a masters degree from the University of Leeds will result in both tangible and intangible benefits for degrees’ holders wherever they go.
What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and at the University so far and why?
The structure of the engineering project management program caught my attention from the first moment. As presented on the website, and validated later on through lectures and assignments, it is focused, relevant and comprehensive, and equips the students with the tools and techniques required to succeed not only in their careers but also in their personal lives. The eight modules are efficiently distributed throughout the academic year so that students, with proper planning and time management, can easily meet their academic obligations and fulfill their personal interests. If I have to describe the program in few words then I will say it is the program that helps the individual to learn and apply logical, analytical, critical, strategic and creative thinking in addressing different contemporary problems in order to come up with optimum solutions. Although it is true that concepts such as project planning, value management and risk management are taught in the context of engineering projects management, I noticed that they are of a great value in both micro and macro levels. One example is related to the value management module in which we studied that the value of anything increases as its functions increase or the required resources decrease. This simple, but important, concept stimulated my thinking to maximize the value of several items in my house by using them for different purposes. Another example is related to risk management module in which we studied how to identify and assess relevant risks in order to make better decisions which is a skill that could be used on the level of operation, project, corporate and even country.
Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed.
Each project has its unique learning objectives and might share some of the characteristics with other projects. The common characteristic among all group projects is the work within a team composed of members with divergent cultures and backgrounds which leads students to develop essential skills such as, but not limited to, effective listening, effective communication and constructive disagreement. The assignment of the value management module, however, requires students to demonstrate a very high degree of critical thinking by asking each student to critically appraise the outcomes of their teamwork and explain what should have they done to make it better. On the other hand, the assignment of the funding for projects’ module asks students to view a certain issue from the perspectives of all key stakeholders which represents an interesting exercise to enhance mind flexibility.
What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?
As an international student, I find the term “home sick” not applicable in the city of Leeds. While maintaining its heritage and traditions, Leeds provides a very convenient atmosphere for all students regardless of their cultures and backgrounds. The existence of many cafes, shops, and international restaurants makes the student feels as if he or she is a student and a tourist at the same time. The city centre is just a nice place for walking and shopping from various shops with famous brand names. In addition, the frequent weekend trips organized by different students’ organizations to different parks and surrounding historical places make the experience more interesting and increase the value of studying and living in Leeds.
What are your ambitions for the future?
Ambitions are limitless and life is full of opportunities and challenges. The aim is to explore all possible opportunities in order to identify the ones harmonizing with the personal values and preferences. Concurrently, maintaining the research momentum and appetite developed throughout the program is an important thing as it helps in widening the range of alternatives and opportunities in the near future so that the individual can perform in both practical and theoretical fields.
What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?
The list of contact of those who delivered the modules is a very important thing as they can be referred to for business and consultation. A more important thing that will help in the near future is the different thinking skills I had the chance to learn or improve via the interaction with the lecturers and classmates. One example of this is the shift in the focus from limited projects’ solutions to projects’ functions which results in opening the doors for creating more solutions that might outperform the previously listed ones.
What would you say to students coming to do the same course?
This course, although amazingly covers engineering projects management matters, is about improving students’ thinking skills and capabilities. Therefore, future students should keep this in mind so that they get the most out of this course. This requires them to read as much as they can and not limit themselves to the recommended reading list. Furthermore, they should benefit from lecturers’ enthusiasm to clarify ambiguities by raising questions and sometimes constructively arguing with them if the issue has several ways of interpretation.