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Pegah Jafereh - UTS: Engineering international student profile

Master of Engineering Management

Pegah JaferehPegah Jafereh is from Tehran, the capital of Iran. Pegah originally studied accountancy but is now keen on expanding her knowledge in other professional areas by studying the Master of Engineering Management.

“I finished my accountancy course in 2005, but have actually worked in my father’s sport complex as part of the administration team from when I was 16. From age 18 I’ve worked in different accounting positions where I also finished the Microsoft Networking Degrees (MCSE). I continued in accounting in a multi-national oil company for another five years before deciding to explore my options more. Now I’m enrolled in the Master of Engineering Management/Master of Business Administration and would like to eventually use my knowledge and experience further in the field of international projects.

I chose the MEM because I wanted to improve my knowledge both in Engineering and Management and the MEM/MBA looked like the most suitable program between both faculties; although it is engineering management, the program is open to non-engineers because there are no technical subjects involved. I didn’t want to do just an ordinary MBA which is what everybody does these days.

The main reason for my life-changing decision was this interesting article I read which said if you want your life to be exciting and fulfilling, you need to change professions every 10 years and not get stuck in one job for eternity. So I started talking to my old professors and bosses about my decision to do something different and they were all very encouraging.

I chose Australia simply because I’ve always loved Australia, even from a distance. It may sound like a cliché but we had these Australian series on our National TV showing a glimpse of life in Australia. The landscapes were always beautiful, sunny places where people were laid back and relaxed. I just fell in love with coming and living here one day. I did learn a lot about Australian culture mainly from my old boss who is Lebanese but was brought up and lived in Australia for a long time. He used to tell me that my attitude matches that of Australians really well! If I want to be happy for the rest of my life I should move here. I’m open-minded, warm and frank just like many others around me in Australia.

The course was a bit hard at first because of my non-engineering background, and of course the lecturers do use a fair few engineering phrases but now it’s good - I’ve talked to the lecturers and this has boosted my confidence. I’m learning more about the things that I really care and want to know about. I have no regrets, even though sometimes it’s a bit hard, especially because not a day goes by that I don’t meet people who support me in my bold decision.

I live in student accommodation which allows me to mingle with other students – which I love. It’s called Geegal which is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘shelter’. There I have my own bedroom in an apartment which I share with five other students. I can hear the birds singing on the balcony which reminds me of my old bedroom at home.

There so many events all around Sydney that I have missed some, but I’ve gone out and watched the City to Surf Marathon; I love wandering around in the lovely neighbourhoods but of course my studies are my priority.

I really want to work in international projects after the course; I’d love to get an internship in this field; a ‘good project’ leader – that’s what I want to be.”

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