Betty_Nairuba_International_Development_Management_MA_student_Westminster_Business_School

Hi Betty – can you tell me a little bit about your background?

I’m from Uganda and before I came to Westminster I was working as a project director for one of the Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) in Uganda, supporting vulnerable children in the community. Specifically I was supporting community development organisations to implement programmes. I was using my experience but I wanted to improve my skills and knowledge in this area and so I came to study International Development Management at Westminster Business School.

I believe that in order to achieve things in life you need to be determined and focussed. If you are determined, you can achieve every goal that you set in your life. My passion about development is that I want to see communities come out of poverty and I want to improve their livelihoods because back at home in Uganda many communities are suffering from abject poverty. The people need empowerment to help them to earn a living so that they don’t live on peanuts – they need to be able to support themselves and start small income generation activities and we need to mobilise communities to use the resources available so that they can escape poverty.

Why did you choose to study International Development Management (IDM) MA at Westminster Business School?

I chose to study IDM because I was working for an international NGO in my home country Uganda and my first degree wasn’t in development so I needed to gain skills in this area. I looked around at different courses and when I looked at the modules of IDM that were being offered, I saw that they were really good and relevant. I realised that with this degree I would be at an advantage to build a career in development.

What have been your Westminster highlights?

What I have enjoyed the most has been the content of the modules because I believe that what I have learnt is going to help me when I go into the field to work. My favourite module was managing international development interventions and I am looking forward to applying the skills that I have acquired from the course in real life. The lecturers are very helpful and whenever you need support they are always available. I like the one-on-one interaction between the students and the lecturers and I have really enjoyed the course and the facilities at the university.

Betty_Nairuba_International_Development_Management_MA_Westminster_Business_School
At the United Nations Headquarters, Geneva. Photi credits: Lorna Kamau

What has been the biggest challenge for you over the last year?

The biggest challenge was that the course was very intensive. It is offered over one year and in my country we do our Master’s in two years. It has been very intensive – there was a lot of course work, presentations and reading and sleepless nights. I overcame this and as time went on I got used to the intensity and was able to manage.

Where would you like to be in five years time?

I see myself owning my own NGO, supporting communities to come out of poverty and helping them to improve their livelihoods. I am still exploring how best to go about this.

What are you writing your dissertation about?

I am assessing one of the community development aid programmes in Uganda. I am looking at their capacity to plan and implement their work and then I am conducting an evaluation of the impact of the programme in the community.

How was your experience of visiting the United Nations (UN) as part of the International Development Management MA course?

The trip has been so amazing because before the trip I had a different picture about the UN – the type of work that they do and the interventions they support. I now have a very clear picture of how it works. This was my first time here in Geneva and I have enjoyed viewing the mountains and the lake – it has been good.

Betty_Nairuba_International_Development_Management_MA_Westminster_Business_School_United_Nations

If there was one word to sum up your experience of your time at Westminster, what would it be?

Fantastic.

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