Al Mamoon was the Bangladesh Deputy Commissioner of Taxes when he applied successfully for an AusAID scholarship. He was accepted into the Carnegie Mellon University in Adelaide, South Australia to study Master of Science, Public Policy and Management (MSPPM).
‘My time in Adelaide and Australia was fantastic,’ said Mamoon. ‘The amount of work I produced in terms of assignments, projects and exams was astounding. It was the most prolific year of my life. It was not so much by choice as by necessity.’
As a civil servant, the Public Policy and Management course suited Mamoon’s career ambitions. An executive rather than a planner, he regularly applies the lessons of the MSPPM to manage the complexities and crises he encounters at his workplace: empirical methods, financial analysis and organisational management, to name a few. He proudly declares, ‘These courses greatly improved my critical and analytical abilities.’
Mamoon held two of his teachers - Professor Terry Buss and Professor T. K. Lim - in particularly high regard. The former taught him to follow directions and to produce small, well-researched and accurate documents, imbued with clarity and brevity. Professor Lim used empathy and real-world examples to drive points across infallibly, teaching students the art of calculation, presenting own numbers and the science of analyzing other people’s numbers.
He remembers Adelaide as a multicultural and harmonious city that placed much importance on arts and culture. The hospitability of the people of Adelaide is something he remembers fondly.
Before he returned to Dhaka, he saw a number of plays and musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera. ‘They were incredible experiences,’ Mamoon recounts. ‘You get to know a culture better by observing its art.’
Mamoon believes his experiences at Carnegie Mellon shaped what he is now and what he is going to be. The experience and opportunity changed his life for the better. He recommends the program to anyone who values education.