Engineering Management MSc
September 2019 intake
Tell us a bit about you?
My name is Hamza Migadde and I am from Uganda. My passion started for engineering at undergraduate level, where I completed a Telecommunications Engineering Degree from Makerere University. Afterwards, I joined the Telecommunications Industry, starting my career at Alcatel and moving to Nokia, where I currently work. It’s not the Nokia you might be familiar with, but the network side, providing network infrastructure for providers like 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G technology.
Why did you choose the course?
I am a Customer Service Engineer working for Nokia. To advance in my career, I decided to further my studies with an online Engineering Management Masters. Whilst most of my colleagues opt for a traditional MBA, I wanted to stay true to my profession and passion. In terms of the university choice, I believe that a Masters should be an upgrade from the undergraduate degree course; therefore, I wanted to study a course at a university in the Top 150 globally. The University of Leeds met these criteria as there is a prestige about it. However, I made my final decision based on the modules that were available; there are nine clear modules that precisely showed me what I would learn, and it was relevant to the engineering sector.
How far through the course are you?
I have completed all modules on the course, and I am about to progress onto my Engineering Management Project. I’m excited applying my skills to investigate a live business problem and I feel accomplished about completing the course.
What is the best thing about learning online for you?
The first thing is mobility. Taking a year off work can be very taxing and is not feasible when I have a family to provide for, so being able to take the course from Uganda is great. Also, to pay for the course I had to continue working in different global locations, so the course being online allowed this mobility. The second thing is flexibility. We have weekly tasks and deadlines, but the hours are very flexible. This allows me to fit my studies around work and personal life. I had one initial worry that my certificate would state ‘online’ and that would reduce the credibility of my qualification, but the online course has the same value as an on-campus one, also the certificate does not state the mode of study.
Tell us about the support you received during your studies?
The Student Success Advisor has been wonderful; I receive calls asking how I am doing with my studies, if there is anything I need help with, and generally checking to see how I am. At the end of one of the modules, due to some unforeseen circumstances my assignment was impacted. My Student Success Advisor took me through the process and gave me all the paperwork required. I ended up not being penalised for my late submission, so I have my Advisor to thank for that. Prior to starting the course, I was assigned an Enrolment Advisor to take me through the application process. She was on hand to answer anything I wanted to know about the University of Leeds or the programme, before I even started the course.
Support generally at the University of Leeds online is fantastic!
What has the networking experience been like learning with peers across the world?
From group work to discussion forums on the virtual learning environment, I can network with professional engineers from all over the world. The time when I really appreciated my cohort was during a group assignment in one of the modules; it was great to work with engineers from different backgrounds to share knowledge. I would love to have more opportunities to work as a group or team across the course.
And finally, if you were talking to someone who was interested in this course, what advice would you give them?
I would say it is a fantastic course. I have developed a lot intellectually and intelligently, I understand things better in the wider business workplace, and I can look at things with a more mature perspective. We’ve studied so many current issues such as Safety and Corporate Social Responsibility, Emerging and Disruptive Technologies and Decision Making for Engineering Managers. I would say that the course is very doable, it’s interesting, and explained very well through lectures and reading.
I would advise someone interested to go for it, but time management is the most prominent skill required. Completing an online Masters alongside a career, especially with the added factors of family, brings more boundaries in your life. Therefore, managing your time to ensure you meet deadlines is vital.
The course has made me more confident when seeking promotions and looking to apply for new jobs especially more senior roles!