Design Manufacturing & Engineering ManagementShurouq Ahmad Murqaten

Shurouq arrived at Strathclyde to study an MSc in Lean Six Sigma for Process Excellence. Find out more about her thoughts on life at Strathclyde.

Tell us a little about your background prior to coming to study with DMEM:

Before coming to Glasgow, I worked at the Palestine Standards Institution in Ramallah which is a local certification body concerned with the quality of infrastructure and conformity assessment activities in Palestine. My role was to support local Palestinian products by improving their quality and supporting emerging industries. I am an alumnus of the TechWomen programme for emerging female leaders working in STEM fields. I was selected for the prestigious Chevening scholarship because of my ambitions and leadership activities in my community.

Why did you choose to study at DMEM?

I spent two years searching for a programme that would meet my academic and professional requirements and I finally found it at the DMEM!  I am very fortunate to be studying in one of the highest ranking Engineering faculties in the UK. The MSc programme is research focused but also closely linked with local industry which has enabled me to have access to the latest studies on process excellence and the unique opportunity to conduct research and draw comparisons between the UK and Palestine. As such, I believe I will be well placed to serve my country upon my return.

Why did you choose to study your course?

I have always been passionate about learning how to improve things. Lean Six Sigma was the perfect choice to learn more about techniques and methodologies applied in this field, although it was not easy to find such programme as I mentioned earlier, until I found the University of Strathclyde. DMEM was the best place to obtain such a degree as the department’s aim is to “deliver total engineering” in terms of developing technical skills as well as the necessary soft skills. Being part of the Lean Six Sigma programme, I am gaining the knowledge required to assist local industries in Palestine. One aspect I particularly like about my current programme is the link between research and theory, and the practical application of such knowledge within industries here in Scotland. This has been extremely beneficial and has given me a fresh perspective.

Have you faced or overcome any challenges or obstacles in the pursuit of your studies and/or career?

My journey has been full of challenges. I am very proud to have made it to where I am today, coming from a small Palestinian village and having ambitious career aspirations. Now as an international student living abroad for the first time, I have a new set of challenges. It is hard sometimes to be away from friends and family and studying in a foreign language. The weather here sometimes doesn’t help either. But what really helps is the diversity within the department and university and the opportunity to communicate and share experiences with others. I am also very thankful to the support services at the university such as the Study Skills Service and the In-sessional English Language courses. This support helped me tremendously to understand how things work here and how to be more proactive and engaged in this new experience.

What have been the highlights of your course to date?

In striving for excellence, we need to constantly change. Learning how to improve is key in order to manage the challenges we face every day. What I have learned from my course is that change doesn’t happen in an instant but it is a journey of incremental and accumulative actions which enable you to reach the ultimate goal. This applies to business but also to personal development.

What are your ambitions following the completion of your course?

My long term personal goal is to be one of the leading professionals in my field and to have the influence, experience and education to contribute to my country's industrialisation and development. Ultimately, I hope to support Palestinian products in such a way that allows my country to open the door for free trade with international markets. Thus, developing our local economy and creating more employment opportunities for Palestinian men and women.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to study at the department of Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management?

I had already advised some of my friends to come and study at this department. This is a whole new experience: the exposure, being part of an international environment, having all the resources to get the most out of this one year of study, the lectures, the group work, the progressive education system, networking, and exploring Scotland. All of these factors are why it is definitely worth studying in DMEM. It has been an incredible experience.

I know that this experience will be one of the major turning points in my life. Going back to study after many years of work outside of academia was a real challenge. Within one month of starting my course I was able to settle, thanks to the facilities and services that enhanced my experience. Despite challenges and stress relating to assessments and deadlines, I truly believe that the effort is really worth it. I am really looking forward to enjoying the rewards of my hard work.