Quest for knowledge
For Md. Tanjin Amin, the decision to move far from his home and family to study at Memorial was a difficult one.
While the move from his home country of Bangladesh meant the spring graduate has had to overcome some challenges, he says his love of learning made it all worthwhile.
“Higher education has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember,” said Mr. Amin.
“It was difficult to leave my wife and family, but I soon realized there are some wonderful people at Memorial. These people helped me to overcome all the barriers I faced as a newcomer coming from another country. Even though I was thousands of miles from my home, I always felt St. John's was my new home.”
Recommended by a friend
When Mr. Amin decided he would complete his master’s degree, his good friend, who was living in St. John’s at the time suggested he come to Memorial.
“I knew Canada was a nice country in terms of social index,” he said. “My friend assured me that it was a nice city, apart from the weather. I also knew that Memorial had wonderful professors and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to live in an amicable environment with great researchers. I was fortunate to have worked with two of them.”
Friendly city and great researchers aside, Mr. Amin struggled with mixed emotions when he arrived in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“I was nervous because I didn't know what was going to happen in St. John's for me. I didn't know much about the culture and people in St. John’s and I was anxious about my education since I was entering a new field.”
Mr. Amin had also been away from academic life for a couple of years. He worried that he would not be able to transition to full-time studies easily, on top of everything else. His family was equally worried.
There was also snow … and lots of it.
“I had only seen snow in movies,” he said. “One of the things I was looking forward to was experiencing snow for real. I imagined sitting in a coffee shop watching the snowflakes gently falling outside.”
The local weather reality was a shock: on Mr. Amin’s second day at Memorial there was a major snowfall. He didn’t have a shovel to burrow a way out of his snow-blocked front door, let alone winter boots. Fortunately, his friends came to his rescue and shoveled him out.
‘Curiousity and willingness to learn’
Despite those initial fears and challenges, Mr. Amin thrived in his new country and school.
He worked hard and completed his degree ahead of schedule and with a 90 percent average. During his program, he published two conference papers and submitted papers to three journals; one paper was recently accepted to a renowned journal and the other two are under review.
Drs. Faisal Khan and Syed Imtiaz were Mr. Amin’s supervisors.
“When I met Tanjin, I could tell he was nervous and a bit frightened, like most students,” said Dr. Khan. “One thing that struck me about him, though, was his curiosity and willingess to learn and try new concepts. In fact, I learned a lot working with him, and I’m excited that he is thinking about returning to Memorial to complete his doctorate work.”
"Tanjin is the kind of student any supervisor will like to have in their research group,” said Dr. Imtiaz. “He needs only an inkling of information to get a task done. He not only pushed himself consistently, but also challenged me intellectually. He is smart, gets the work done, yet is very modest. Working with Tanjin was a rewarding experience."