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University of Cyprus Postgraduate Studies and Fellowships Changed Their Lives, Students Say

(This is sponsored content produced under Al-Fanar Media’s Spotlight service).

Two young people who came to the University of Cyprus (UCY), one for postgraduate studies and the other for a post-doctoral research fellowship, tell Al-Fanar Media how the experience changed their lives.

Milad Shahvali, a postdoctoral research fellow from Iran, is a control engineer working with a University of Cyprus group on a high-profile Water Futures Project funded by the European Research Council. Gina Korek, from Lebanon, earned her MBA degree at the University of Cyprus and is now a senior supply chain analyst at Loblaw, Canada’s largest supermarket retailer.

Both had strong original degrees from their home countries and are currently employed in senior positions, crediting the University of Cyprus for their successful careers.

Sophisticated Environment

Gina liked the whole experience of completing a postgraduate degree at UCY, as she says “when you do a bachelor’s degree, most of the students don’t work at jobs outside their studies. A postgraduate degree is a different experience. Everyone is more mature definitely.” She also appreciated the diversity of the student body and the campus’s location in Nicosia, the cosmopolitan capital city of Cyprus, mentioning that “it is very diverse, not only Cypriots and Greeks there. I was impressed by the level of the students, to be honest.

University of Cyprus Postgraduate Studies and Post-doctoral Fellowship Changed
Gina Korek, a Lebanese MBA graduate from the University of Cyprus, currently serves as a senior supply chain analyst at Loblaw, Canada’s largest supermarket retailer (Photo courtesy of Gina Korek).

“They are all very well-educated people who graduated from top universities around the world. I really enjoyed the fact that the learning experience extends beyond the classroom.

“We did learn a lot from projects dealing with real life situations. Most of my lecturers were Cypriot but with experience from abroad, especially the United States – mostly Ivy League graduates. I loved every single instructor there. I really loved the university’s hospitable and supporting environment and I hope it becomes more popular because it truly deserves it.”

Gina also had the opportunity to accumulate her knowledge and gain further diversification through an exchange programme offered by UCY which allows students to choose courses at foreign universities, with which the university collaborates. Many more such opportunities are offered while studying at UCY, providing its students with further international exposure.

World Class Research

Milad was a senior engineer at the National Iranian Oil Company for two years after earning his master and doctoral degrees in Iran. He is now in the second year of his work as a postdoctoral fellow researcher at the KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence at the University of Cyprus. “Working alongside outstanding professors such as Professor Marios Polycarpou, who is the director of our research group, has not only expanded my knowledge but also enabled me to publish my research outcomes in impact journals,” Milad said.

Describing his work with the Water Future Project, Milad pointed out that “over 80 per cent of the world’s population faces significant threats to water security because of climate change with 70 per cent expected to live in urban areas by 2050. His group’s research aims to develop a high-quality system that can be applied everywhere ensuring clean, safe water.”

University of Cyprus Postgraduate Studies and Post-doctoral Fellowship Changed
Milad Shahvali, an Iranian postdoctoral research fellow and control engineer, is currently working with a University of Cyprus group on the high-profile Water Futures Project funded by the European Research Council (Photo courtesy of Milad Shahvali).

Milad’s main task in the group is developing fault diagnosis algorithms to detect leakage and contamination. He says his postdoctoral time at the University of Cyprus “has played a pivotal role in shaping my career trajectory, equipping me with the skills, experiences and networks necessary for continued growth and success.”

Job Market Prospects

“I had a master’s degree from a widely recognised institution, whose business school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), so this helped with my move.” Gina said.

Her University of Cyprus MBA also helped her in the job market, she says. “I think that Toronto, like any major city, is very competitive. My UCY degree and entire student experience in Cyprus equipped me with a variable skillset including leadership, communication, critical thinking, and strategic planning. These skills are valuable to any company.”

Gina is positive that these acquired skills will help her remain competitive in the constantly evolving and demanding employment arena in the future. As she states, “you can also shift careers. This transferability and flexibility provide you with a sense of job security and a safety net. My target was supply chain but I was moving to a new city. I wanted security and needed a job, and this gave me the confidence to apply to all these different jobs in different industries.”

A Modern, Evolving Institution

The University of Cyprus is a modern, diverse, and evolving student-centred institution established only three decades ago. Aspiring to function as a beacon of scientific thought, diversity, inclusiveness, equity and creativity, UCY envisions its future as a leading institution in the greater Euro-Mediterranean area.

University of Cyprus Postgraduate Studies and Post-doctoral Fellowship Changed
University of Cyprus campus (Photo courtesy of the university).

UCY is a rapidly expanding university and the biggest employer in Cyprus for young graduates and researchers. It currently employs 706 young scientists using external research funds. Its eight faculties and 22 departments offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, whilst its numerous, highly cited researchers give UCY a cutting edge.

For more information about the University of Cyprus and/or for admission criteria, visit: or send an email to: [email protected] or call +357 22 89 3632.

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This is a sponsored Al-Fanar Media story.


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