I grew up in Tabriz, one of the historical capitals of Iran. I studied software engineering at Tabriz University and at the turn of the millennium, I followed in the footsteps of my father by moving to Denmark to obtain a master’s degree. My choice of Denmark was deliberate. However, it was by pure coincidence that I ended up in AAU in Aalborg. In my search for the right Master’s degree program I browsed through the websites of different universities. Suddenly I stumbled upon the key words that made all the difference: problem-based learning and group studies. I could not wait to apply.
Hands on, creative and innovative
Aalborg university became more than ”just” a place of study for me. Having left my home, friends and family behind, I had no network in Denmark so I was thrilled to meet an amazing group of people coming from various parts of the world at university. We developed a good team both for study as well as for social events. I spent most of my waking hours at the university either working with my team on our project or just socializing with other students. I enjoyed the problem-based project work and the method of teaching, which was very different from my education in Iran. It was more hands on, creative and innovative and always dealt with real life projects. I especially enjoyed the informal and friendly environment. It was okay to make mistakes and there was always someone to help and guide you along the way.
Diversity pushes you above and beyond
However, being in a multicultural setting was a big challenge in terms of communication, differences in styles of work and of reaching agreement on how to solve problems. We often had constructive conflicts and debates in the team about the project work and I had to adjust in terms of my way of working, learning and understanding my new surroundings. I think it has shaped me into being more open-minded. I have learned that being in diverse teams brings more conflicts. It challenges you to go above and beyond and see and resolve an issue from a different perspective.
A global work place
I hold the position of it-technology consultant specialized in software testing and quality engineering. In Accenture I get different assignments working with clients. Typical project work can be a large implementation project where I am operational test manager. In other types of projects, my role is to coach and advice the client’s team on a more strategic level improving overall testing strategy and roadmaps. In either case, I work closely with Accenture as well as client teams and my daily place of work is at a client location for the duration of the project. No two clients have the same culture or way of working. I have colleagues from all over the world each with different background, family set up, age etc. I love the fact that when we are working towards the same goal, our differences are being highlighted and challenged. I often think about how well-connected and global our world has become as I drive my daughter to school in Copenhagen while I, at the same time, do status calls with my colleagues in India.
Software Systems Engineer without the coding
Today we are experiencing the ramifications of digitalization in almost any field. If I could go back, I might have chosen a different Master’s program. I would have liked to specialize in digital transformation in order to be able to advice companies on how to overcome challenges related to this issue. However, things often turn out differently than you plan. Back then, graduated with a master’s degree in software system engineering, I expected to be developing terabytes of code in my future carrier. As it turns out, I have not developed a single line of code yet.
Facts about Rasa Bonyadlou
Title: Test Engineering Manager and Testing Capability Lead for Technology Intelligent Engineering Services practice (Denmark) at Accenture, Copenhagen.
Degree: Master’s degree in Software System Engineering at AAU Aalborg. Graduated in 2003.