Rana Aman began her career working in international aid. Now, she’s come to Melbourne to in the first step of a life changing educational journey.
Rana Aman grew up in the Gaza Strip under a challenging and difficult socio-economic and political environment. She finished her schooling there, studying accounting, and went on to begin a promising career in humanitarian and international aid.
‘I initially started working as a volunteer in community services, helping victims of war and conflict in the Mercy Corps. Then I moved to another organisation, the National Agency for Family Care, where I worked as an accountant. Eventually, I went on to join Doctors World Wide Turkey, where our work was based largely on helping people with disabilities. I was there for the organisation’s startup phase, so I helped to establish work forms and internal systems, and was overseeing project operations and managing HR processes.’
This last experience made Rana realise that she wanted to continue working in a role that was more people focused. She applied for the Master of Management (Human Resources), and was granted a place with scholarship support from the Australia Awards.
‘It was actually the first time I had applied for a scholarship of any kind. I had a friend who suggested it to me, so I decided to go for it, and I’m just so happy things came together. I’ve wanted to come and study in Australia for the last 15 years, so it’s amazing to finally be here. It’s my first time travelling internationally, and now I’m living here and studying. The Australia Awards have been really crucial for that, they helped me to get here and settle, and provided lots of support in terms of language training for the first 6 months. I’ve studied English since secondary school but getting it up to the level that’s required for academia was something they really help me with.’
Now, Rana is in Melbourne, immersed in her studies.
‘It’s a fascinating field. I’m drawn to work that’s about inspiring and influencing others, and there’s so much of that within HR,’ she says. ‘The learning style is Australia is different to anything I had experienced before. It’s much more based on taking what we learn in terms of theory and applying it in a practical setting. It’s about looking at case studies and forming our own ideas about how to implement things, as opposed to trying to retain knowledge for an exam. I’ve particularly enjoyed my classes that are really HR focused, like ‘Emerging Issues in work and HRM’ and ‘HR Fundamentals’. I can already see how I can apply what I’ve learned here to the real world.’
As part of the Australia Awards, Rana will return to Gaza upon completion of her degree, taking the knowledge and skills she has gained in Australia back to her community. Rana also wants to pursue her PhD studies, researching something in the area of the gig economy, or the blended workforces, and how they have been impacted by COVID-19.
The Master of Management (Human Resources) provides specialist training in human resource management, while also covering a broad spectrum of management activities, including people management, motivating and rewarding employees, dealing with stakeholders, data analysis and HR policy development.
Coming to Australia, and Melbourne Business School in particular, has really made me eager to continue learning. It’s the entire environment and vibe of this place. You want to read more, to engage critically and challenge and advance old ways of thinking. I think that’s the appeal of a PhD for me. This opportunity has been a huge breakthrough in my life, 15 years in the making. I don’t see graduating from Melbourne as the end of my educational journey at all, I look forward to continuing my studies, contributing to my community, and making my family proud.