Friday, May 29, 2009

Career Advice

So dear people, I need some help figuring out my life. After graduation last year, I started working for an energy start-up in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I love what I do and I like living here (except for the fact that I'm living in an isolated area between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and I don't drive). The people at work are wonderful, I'm learning lots of new things and it's very comfortable alhamdulilah. I also like the fact that I'm close to Pakistan and, at the same time I can travel to Europe or the US without too much hassle.

They're also offering a Masters' program which is 2 years long starting in September 2009. The faculty is great, but the campus doesn't quite exist yet. I'd be part of the first class to graduate from this program- also, it's fully funded (I don't have to pay a single fils). The downside is that there's no alumni network, it's not really famous and the other students are, well, not that fun :p

Option two is Imperial College, London. They have a really good program (one-year) and I was super excited when I got in. Plus, I have lots of friends and family there and I've always wanted to live in London. It's just really really expensive... I'd be using my entire life savings plus borrowing from my dad :p. I could defer for a year, work some more and save up enough to go but that would mean finding another job and perhaps moving back to Pakistan. I don't think I'm ready for that right now :S.

Option three, University of Toronto or McGill in Canada. The programs are one-year long and pretty decent but Canada's really far from home and I wouldn't get to travel as frequently. The visa procedure is also pretty intense and I don't know too many people there. Also, it's more affordable than the UK.

Advice would be appreciated... !


  1. i would do london !!! and imperial definitely rocks !!!!

    a lot of people do have to take a huge loan and pay it off for a few years duringh jobs...

    if you can manage it on your life savings and a bit from your dad i think you are real good specially assumin you start working here !

  2. It might not mean much coming from someone who's going to start his undergrad. But I would not want to study here..the schools ( including AUS/AUD) lack SOMETHING ( I'm not sure what ahha).

    McGill is great and hopefully i'll end up there provided the visa people don't think i'll blow myself up:D. But isn't the enviroment course taught at the macdonald campus?

  3. thanks for the input guys... i'm still trying to figure this out :S

  4. well, one factor which can be very important is where do you want to work after your higher studies! In case, you want to start working in Canada, then McGill and U of T would be more suitable...If you want to start working in london, then Imperial sounds more suitable...
    As far as money etc. is concerned, I think it is eventually payed off and should not be considered a sole basis for decision...Besides it doesn't matter if you spend all your "life" savings now since you haven't really spent any significant percentage of share of your life working and earning (assuming normality here :P)..
    Among the three, I would rule out the one which is just starting,isn't popular, has no alumni and its TWO years..(the only plus point is money at the moment)..
    That leaves you down to Canada and London....For a moment, leave aside the money factor and then think over it as to which one is suitable considering where you want to work after your studies...
    Also, if you can start studying immediately, that might eventually turn out to be a better decision than waiting for a further one year and saving up...
    The problem with these decisions is that there will always be uncertainty plus it will be a matter of weighing different options and you have to take a shot somewhere eventually :)
    all the best..

  5. I wish I did more adventurous things – like studying abroad – when I was younger and did less worrying about how much they cost! I agree you should think about where you want to work afterwards, as well.

  6. Thanks a lot everyone! I decided on Imperial in the end :)