- Australia Awards
Farzana Chowdhury — Bangladesh’s first-ever woman CEO of insurance and financial sector.
Farzana Chowdhury's drive and determination have been plain to see, ever since she was selected from more than 1000 applicants in her home country of Bangladesh to gain an Australia Awards Scholarship.
Having previously worked in the banking sector, studying an MBA at Monash University allowed Farzana to leverage her insights into working in the insurance industry.
After achieving the MBA, she went on to become the first— and youngest —woman to ever become a managing director and CEO in Bangladesh's financial sector.
"Studying at Monash University really opened up a whole new world for me. It helped to broaden my perspective and look at life differently," Farzana said.
“I developed attributes like leadership, teamwork and presentation skills. Studying and interacting with people from a diverse range of backgrounds improved my networking to a great extent as well.”
As managing director and CEO of Green Delta Insurance Co. Ltd., Farzana has dedicated herself to providing innovative insurance products through the 'Insurance for Everyone' program. Their products include specialised micro-insurance schemes for rural citizens, garment workers, migrant workers and women.
Farzana and her colleagues are also working with Bangladesh’s Ministry of Health and Welfare to provide health insurance to people living below the poverty line.Farzana is a strong advocate for the value of programs like the Australia Awards in building cross-cultural and international ties.
"Moreover, after the courses are over and the graduates are spread across the world, they usually maintain contact with each other. All in all these programs have long-lasting social and cultural impacts, and also create opportunities for business and art," she adds.
Reflecting on her time at Monash University, Farzana says "I found many things amazing there, the Australian accent being one of them! It is entirely different from the rest of the world and usually takes a while for an outsider to get used to it, but once I got accustomed to it I found it to be not only unique but warm in nature."
"I found the Australian people to be very friendly and the food was amazing. Animals like the kangaroo and koala bear were a sight to behold!"