BHOS Alumni

Success stories

Mehriban Aliyeva

Chemical Engineering, 2019 graduate

- Why did you choose BHOS? Is there anything you would like to highlight regarding your experience at BHOS?

I chose BHOS quite randomly - my best friend was applying to go there, and back then I had no plan of what I wanted to do in life, so I followed. It was a new university back then, but had such selling points as education in English, good lecturers and two diplomas. I can say right now that it was a good decision. First year of my studies was a foundation year, which means that we only learned English and IT. It gave my a good break after the entrance exams. It left more time for self development, hobbies and student clubs. I founded a music club with some friends, joined intellectual games clubs and so on. My social life began with BHOS which I value a lot. It brought me many new acquaintances, interests, skills and let me understand myself and who I was better.

- What is the most valuable lesson you have learned during your studies at  BHOS? How do you apply it in your daily life?

The actual profile studies at BHOS were quite challenging, but they taught me to trust myself and believe in small steps. They also taught me that nothing could beat togetherness. There were many instances where my classmates and I joined forces to succeed.

- Can you please tell us briefly about postgraduate study?

I think it would make sense for me to answer the job question first and then the postgraduate studies one. After all for me this was the order of how I did things. Already in my first years at BHOS I realized that petroleum engineering wasn’t exactly my thing. I also started to research about things like climate change and environmental degradation and how the fossil fuel industry was a big contributor to that. It left me a bit depressed, to be honest. I was studying petroleum engineering, but already feeling misaligned with my principles. Soon enough I decided that I wanted to do something sustainability related in the future. I didn’t drop out though. What BHOS was giving me was beyond formal education - it was presentation and analytical skills, networking and leadership opportunities and many more. I started complimenting my studies with self studying sustainability and climate change. There was also a course at BHOS with a similar content, and a workshop carried out by a big four company (EY). Needless to say, there was still enough opportunities to learn what I wanted. As a result, when I graduated I was offered a challenger position in BP - as an environmental challenger. I worked on site in Sangachal Terminal, making sure environmental compliance was in place. That experience taught me many things. - And the knowledge I gained at BHOS played a big role: it was easier to understand the processes and operations. I also acquired many transferrable skills.

- Can you please tell us briefly about your current job (functions/company/industry)?

I was good at working with spreadsheets, preparing presentations and reports. - I didn’t graduate from my challenger program in BP, I left after 2 years. Even though I technically had an environmental job, I still didn’t feel like I belonged in the fossil fuel industry. I wanted to be on the other side of the barricades. I had a lot of transferrable skills thanks to my BHOS experience, but I had no actual formal education in environmental sciences and sustainability which would land me a proper environmentalist job. So I decided to get a Masters's Degree. I started researching and after some time decided to choose Germany as my destination country. Even though the whole application process was super unclear due to Covid, it all worked. I am now studying Global Change Ecology at the University of Bayreuth and about to start an environmental student job soon. I am in my third semester and very happy with all the choices I have made so far. I don’t regret coming from the fossil fuel industry- it was a valuable experience for me. I changed a lot since my first year at BHOS when I was figuring myself out and deciding who I was. Now I know exactly what I want to do and where I want to be. And BHOS had a role to play in this transformation.

- Do you feel that BHOS well prepared you for the position?

I changed a lot since my first year at BHOS when I was figuring myself out and deciding who I was. Now I know exactly what I want to do and where I want to be. And BHOS had a role to play in this transformation.

- Would you want to share any tips or advice with students interested in applying to BHOS?

My main tip is to never think that what you are doing now is what you are gonna be doing the rest of your life. If you guys suddenly realize halfway through your studies that you want to do something else - believe me you can do it. You will have enough knowledge and skills to transition. My second and last tip - make use of your student years. I am not gonna tell you these are the best years of your life, but this at least is the time when you can try and fail and experiment. Join student clubs, do sports, learn languages, make friends. This is the best time to make mistakes and learn from them.