From Bangladesh to Salford to New Zealand: Saif's Story

Peel Hall in the sun

Saif Rahman, otherwise known as Sonny, arrived in Salford from Bangladesh to study MSc International Business. His career journey after graduation took him from the UK across the world to New Zealand where he now works as a Senior Executive in DHL Global Forwarding.

Read on to discover how his time at Salford set him up for success.

Studying at Salford

"I decided to study at Salford because of its reputation for deep industrial connections. Throughout my course, I really felt that everything we did had some connection to industry, whether that was the projects we completed or the lecturers’ lessons which came from their experiences in the sector.

My course equipped me with a variety of skills which I still use every day in my current role. For example, during my time at Salford, I developed the ability to think outside the box, particularly when working in different countries where you need to adapt your mindset to consider cultures and traditions.

An example of this in practice was a project we did with Soreen Malt Loaf. They are a well-loved snack brand in the UK, but they had no presence in Spain. The UK packaging was not appealing to the Spanish market, so my team were tasked with making the launch of the company in Spain a success. We decided to rebrand the packaging which was mindful of the different traditions and cultures in Spain. We had to present back our concepts and reasoning to our lecturer as part of the assessment.

Another highlight of the course was our international trip to Almeria in Spain, which was a very interesting and fun experience. Whilst there, we visited several companies, ports and Chambers of Commerce to gain a deeper understanding of how businesses operate in Spain and how their approach to solving problems is different to the UK."

Beyond the classroom

"I found the best way to make friends and settle into life at Salford was to meet people who you had a common interest with. The best way to do this is to get involved with societies and events on campus. I was part of the Cricket Club and the International Students’ Association (now International Café). You would also often find me at the Sports Centre and Atmosphere.

During my time as a member of the International Students Association, I volunteered as a Student Host. I am quite an extroverted person, so I felt this role was really suited to me. I helped to guide new students during Welcome Weeks and organised regular meetups and meals for everyone to get together. This experience allowed me to meet people from all over the world and benefit from their experiences.

Manchester is a great place to live if you want to travel to other parts of the UK because it has fantastic transport links. I spent many of my weekends exploring North Wales, packed full of lovely scenery and only a few hours away from Manchester. Another good place to visit on the weekend is Liverpool, which has lots of culture and sites to see. Whilst it is a little further away, I would recommend to all international students at Salford to visit Scotland. It is a truly magnificent country and unlike anywhere else I visited in the UK."

Work experience

"During my time at Salford, I worked part-time for a retail sales and marketing agency whose clients included Sony, Panasonic and Canon.

This job provided me with lots of great opportunities including a three-day training event with Panasonic and Canon, where I was trained in-depth about all their different products and even received a couple of gadgets to take home with me. I also often visited Currys/PC World and John Lewis stores across the Northwest of England to give product updates to in-store colleagues.

The best part of this role was the opportunity to speak to customers and find out about their needs, before recommending the ideal product for them. I felt satisfied that they would be happy with their products. For my personal development, I felt that my confidence grew, and it made me realise that any future job I had needed to be a social one – I did not want to spend the rest of my life stuck behind a desk."

My advice

"My advice to other students from Bangladesh who are considering studying at Salford would be to do your research about exactly what you would like to study and what you want to achieve by the end of your time."