I did not come from a wealthy country rather my country can be considered as one of the poorest. I often struggle to establish Bangladesh as a country in the eye of my American friends where most of their first guess about me was that I am from India. The truth is truth and it is naked. The truth is according to World Bank GDP rating Bangladesh ranked 56th among the countries of the world though this 30-year-old country is making a constant economic growth even in these hard times. When only 35% female of the country is literate, one can imagine that how uncommon and rare it is to study architecture will be for a girl there. Well, I am not from a wealthy family, but fortunately I had the advantage of going to the best school of Architecture in my country because of my mother’s foresight who herself could not even complete her high-school education because of her early marriage.
Me and people around me thought I was creative. I always had the passion for building things through which people’s lives can be changed. Architecture seemed to be a perfect match for that and this passion got reflected in my academic record too. I finished my bachelors I would like to say “with flying colors”, I stood 5th in the merit list in a class of 72 and had a promising career ahead. I joined in a local architecture firm and my supervisor Shamsul Wares was a renowned academician as well as a practicing architect there. I was deeply influenced by him, after working with him for one year; I joined the Architecture Department of a university in Bangladesh as a lecturer. The two years of my life which I spent on teaching far more developed me as an Architect and a person than my education life. At that time, I decided to pursue masters of Architecture; I wanted to be more informed about what is happening around the world and wanted to see the world with more clear eyes.
I got exposed to the hospitality industry at the time when I worked with architect Wares. Many of his projects were hospitality related and he always inspired us to work more in this field. The reasons were obvious; Bangladesh as a developing country has good potential to be a great place for tourism; among many other remarkable things it has the longest beach and largest mangrove forest in the world. Also Bangladeshis are often called ‘Italians among Asians’ because of their food loving nature. In 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, Bangladesh was one of the hosts along with India and Srilanka; this industry got flourished a lot at that time. I did projects like vacation house, restaurants, convention center and mixed used high-rise during my academic years and my job. After graduation I want to stress more on this industry; I want to work in this country for few years and I may stay if I get proper exposure. Eventually I want to start my own firm. I want to build such a career through which both the countries Bangladesh and USA can benefit. I believe the knowledge learned here can be brought back to my country and a collaboration of entrepreneurship can be formed.
As I mentioned I am not from a very wealthy family but I always tried to manage my resources well. The way I pay my tuition here is by saving from the on-campus job I have here and I have been working 20 hours/ week which is the highest number of hours permitted for working to a full time student like me. My friends always jokes with me that I am living on the edge which is actually true. This semester I could not save all the money I needed to, which is very natural when someone ‘lives on the edge'.
I have always tried to live my life with initiative. When I found out my current financial scenario and financial service office of my university started pouring tones of emails warning to pay tuition at due time and mentioned about the penalties I have to pay if I don’t, I decided to try everything within my limit. Hence, this scholarship is extremely important for me to get, if I don’t I will have very few options left for me. Either to apply for a credit card or loan which is also very difficult to get and then pay the debt slowly.
And if I get the scholarship I will be able to concentrate more on my studies and perhaps will be able to make more contribution to this field.