Hawwa Rishda Mohamed

Hawwa Rishda Mohamed is from Maldives and studied her Master of Science in Strategic Project Management at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia. She was awarded for the best overall performance, and clinched the Departmental Prize for Strategic Project Management.

What appealed to you most about Heriot-Watt University?

After my undergraduate studies, I had been working in a private consulting firm which undertook several projects for various clients on a regular basis, and I was in charge of managing all the projects. This was what sparked my interest in project management. Since I wanted to study in Malaysia, which was closer to home, I began researching the programs offered at different international universities, located in Malaysia. During this time, an education exhibition was held in Maldives, which was when I became aware that Heriot-Watt had just opened up a campus in Malaysia, and they were offering MSc in Strategic Project Management. Knowing that Heriot-Watt is a leading UK university made the decision to apply for this program much easier. 

What tips would you give to an international student thinking of studying at Heriot-Watt?

Anyone looking to do the same degree must know that it is of utmost importance to fully apply yourself to the course from the first day itself. There are so many things to be learnt and to get the most of it, you will need to apply yourself on a daily basis to the lectures, tutorials, assignments and journal articles assigned for reading. In the case of group projects, taking an active role is important as these assignments will help you to apply the knowledge gained during lectures, which will in turn help you understand the concepts better. It can get stressful at times, but always remember to take a break. Meet up with your friends, catch a movie, do whatever you need to relax. University life is not just about studies, it's about enjoying yourself as well.  

What did you enjoy the most about studying your degree?

I greatly enjoyed my year at Heriot-Watt, due to a combination of great friends, excellent lecturers and a wonderful campus. As the campus had just opened, the number of students were few, and the campus was still in the process of being finished. However, I made good friends and was fortunate to have had some very enthusiastic and driven lecturers who motivated me to work harder. 

How do you think your degree will impact on your career prospects?

After submission of my final dissertation, I came back to Maldives and began searching for jobs related to the field of project management. As of now, I am currently working as a Project Coordinator at the Ministry of Finance and Treasury of Maldives, for a project funded by the World Bank. I believe that my postgraduate degree at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia has certainly helped this process.