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Linking Young Minds Together
   Volume 5 | Issue 42| October 30, 2011 |


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Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

Going Unconventional !

Salman Rob

“Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve.”
-- Mary Kay Ash (May 12, 1918 - November 22, 2001), one of the greatest female entrepreneurs in American history.

Messages like the one above should be passed around to all teenagers and young people, today, in our country. The hype about majoring in Business Administration (BBA) or Electrical Engineering & Electronics (EEE) is still quite big, yet vague when it comes to doing what one feels like doing. In all seriousness, do all young people in Bangladesh want to study the same subjects? What about young people who want to become artists, genetic engineers, language interpreters and culture specialists? Indeed, there are very few, in a land filled with 16 million people and counting. Let's look at a few subjects that young people can think about pursuing.

Students of Nutrition and Food Science doing lab work. Photo: Md. Sarwar Zubair

Nutrition and Food Science:
This is a subject which traditionally has been termed as a subject for the 'females,' generally relating it to food management and cooking -- supposedly the woman's area. However, over the last many years, developments in this field have proved that this is one subject that needs to be dealt with in a proper way to avoid malnutrition, obesity, not to mention, harmful diseases related to food and water. Mohammad Sarwar Jubair, a student of Dhaka University (DU), majoring in 'Nutrition and Food Science' says, “At first when I applied to DU and got in to Nutrition and Food Science, I researched on the subject and my sister helped me out a lot as well. She was actually the one who wanted me to study this subject. I think a student would struggle a lot in this course but if you try hard enough, the end result would definitely pay off. As the job sector for Nutrition and Food Science is in our country, positions in NGOs, health institutes or even multi national companies would always be open.” Jubair adds, “We have a total of five faculty members for the subject and other external doctors coming from outside to teach. I plan to make a difference in my very own way in Bangladesh with the subject that I am studying, eventually.”


Working on a crime scene., Photo: Amirul Rajiv

Why is it unsafe for young people, especially female students to go out after 8 pm in the evening, all by themselves, in Dhaka, or in any part of the country for that matter? Scarily enough, in our part of the world, crime rates increase every year almost to a double, and sadly, we usually have nothing to do about it. Adiba Fannana, a student of Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University (MBSTU) currently majoring in Criminology wonders about this all the time. “Criminology is not just a subject that is interesting but is very needed for our country at the moment. With the rate at which crime is rising, we definitely need a proper department to get a hold of this situation.” Fannana adds how she got into this course, “When I applied to MBSTU and was selected for Criminology, I honestly wanted to back off. But my father was the one who actually pushed me and inspired me to go forward. After meeting the faculty members and getting to know about this subject, I found it to be an interesting subject, especially if you genuinely want to work at making your streets safer. We have internal university teachers who take classes along with professionals from outside, for instance assistant judges and police department heads, who help us with evidence, facts and more." Adiba adds more on the activities that the students are involved in. "We do regular study tours to police training centres, file development centres, we attend seminars and get to learn more about the whole subject.”

Figuring out criminal behaviour. Photo: Amirul Rajiv

Fashion Marketing and Management:
“When someone tells me that learning fashion marketing is not for guys, I tell them to say the same thing to me after 10 years from today, when he is going to be wearing the product I will be selling,” says Maruf Ahmed, a student of Raffles Design Institute majoring in Fashion Marketing and Management. “I always wanted to study something different in my life, and thus I chose this subject. Initially, I did have my share of doubts and did plenty of research. But now, I am quite satisfied. All of our teachers here are professionally trained. The best part about this subject is the technology that we can use, for instance a Mac Lab, which is one of a kind in Bangladesh. After we are done with our graduation, the university will help the students to get internships in brands like H&M, Calvin Klein, Puma and many more.”

The MAC lab at Raffle Design Institute. Courtesy: Raffles Design Institute

A student of Graphics Design working on 'Photoshop'. Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo
A Graphics Design student trying to create something new. Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

Graphics Design:
Our country is filled with rich culture. How can we enhance that into building something great? Graphics Design, maybe? The demand of it is actually growing day by day and is a great subject, especially for someone who has the knack for arts. According to Shahan Kabir, a student studying Graphics Design and Multimedia at Shanto Mariam University of Creative and Technology in Dhaka, our country has all the culture and richness that is needed for a student of arts to go forward with it. “Our ancestors used to do arts with mud and sticks since they didn't have 'Photoshop' back then, but we have it now. And we should take advantage of the many resources that we have today and do something different. This subject is a big deal in our country now. With agencies, media offices and communication sectors developing every other week, the job market for fresh graduates is also getting better. But at the end of the day I don't think it's a subject you should study just because of the career, you need to love it, you need to love all forms of arts and be creative."

Soil, Water and Environment:
There was a time when Bangladesh was called the golden nation for its jute production. The richness of the soil of our nation is simply unbelievable. Shimanto Chokroborty, a student of Dhaka University (DU) majoring in Soil, Water and Environment says, “I had a few options for my major after I applied to DU. Since I was a student of science in high school, my options were mostly related to Geology and from there I chose Soil, Water and Environment. The subject has a lot to do with Geology and is very
interesting. We have many field trips through out the year and a lot of practical projects are always there for us to get a real experience. The career options for the subject are also sufficient in Bangladesh." This subject goes in depth and paves a way for students to be creative in their own ways, and take advantage of the rich nutrients that the soil, water and the environment consist of in Bangladesh. One never knows, a student might just end up inventing special breeds of seeds for agriculture, come up with better fertiliser or maybe solve the pollution issues that we face in the country today.

Agriculture is a excellent field of study in Bangladesh today. Photo: Star

And there are much more in Bangladesh that young students can think of studying, if they do not want to opt for the conventional subjects that have hundreds of intakes every year, if not thousands. The secret is to figure out where your interest lies -- music, painting, writing, agriculture, hotel management, the food business or building space ships -- what you do next all depends on the amount of passion you can show towards the subject you want to study. No matter what you do, if done with honesty and love, you can create a difference in Bangladesh, in your very own way.

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