“It is all about adapting. Be flexible and always stay hopeful”.

MBA student Niloofar Peyravi tells about the financial support she received from the Nyenrode Corona Emergency Fund.

Niloofar Peyravi was born and raised in Shiraz (from the grapes!) in Iran and moved with her family to Dubai for her father’s work when she was 10 years old. Although the situation was not too bad for the Peyravi family in Iran, her father wished for a better education for her and her sister.

She finished high school in the United Arab Emirates and completed her bachelor’s in hospitality and international marketing at Middlesex University Dubai, the overseas Campus of Middlesex University London. After finalizing her studies, Niloofar started her career at the prestigious hotel chain, Jumeirah Group (including the Burj Al Arab!). She then found her passion for marketing and communications and was successfully promoted to marketing manager for the cluster team. Meanwhile, her parents moved back to Iran as the costs of living in Dubai are extremely high.

Home

Niloofar never considered Dubai nor Iran as home. Her primary ambition therefore was to move and find a place that she could call ‘home’ and has a high education level. A friend of hers studied at Nyenrode Amsterdam and when she visited him in 2018, Niloofar knew that this was the place for her to pursue her MBA ambition.

She started her full-time MBA in September last year and was able to pay for the tuition fees with savings from her job and financial support from her parents.

Challenging times

However, at the start of her MBA journey, Niloofar’s father fell sick and was diagnosed with cancer. This was an extremely difficult time for her, being away from home and starting a full-time MBA. Niloofar had to help her parents financially with her savings for the medical treatments he needed to undergo in Iran. “Cancer treatments are not covered by the regular insurance plans in Iran”, she explains. “These savings were meant for my studies and living expenses in the Netherlands”.

At the same time political tensions between the United States of America and Iran made it impossible for Niloofar and her sister to transfer money. Bank accounts from Iranian Nationals in the UAE were put on hold. Partly because of these restrictions and partly because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Niloofar could not travel to Dubai to collect her additional savings there in person.

Another serious issue Niloofar and her family are dealing with is the devaluation of the Iranian Rial.  In order to partially help Niloofar with the remaining and still outstanding tuition fees of her MBA, her parents sold land they owned in Iran. Once a good investment but, because of the currency exchange rate, the value has diminished enormously.

Subsequently Niloofar was not in the position anymore to even pay for her rent and is living on the last savings on her credit card.

Nyenrode Corona Emergency Fund

In spring of this year Niloofar reached out for help from the Nyenrode Corona Fund set up by Nyenrode Fund which received donations from alumni. She was granted a revolving payment to help her in this worrisome situation. “I have never been in a situation like this before and I felt depressed and even had anxiety attacks for quite a while”, Niloofar says. “

“The Nyenrode network is amazing and I am so grateful that this network exists. When I received the help from the alumni I was overwhelmed, I am so grateful for this support.  It is true that students at Nyenrode Business University really feel the support and existence of alumni.”

Future

“My father has to undergo new surgeries in the next few weeks. It is difficult that I cannot be with him now, but I must focus on my studies and be hopeful, because that is all I have now. I am finalizing my ‘company project’ with Nestlé and will graduate in September.

Niloofar really believes in the Nyenrode LES-values which are practiced in every aspect of the university.

“I have learned to be a better leader in the future. The LES-value ‘entrepreneurship’ is most valued by me. I learned so much from it, not only professionally but also on a personal level. It is about taking responsibility”. She studied with students from eighteen different nationalities which widened her view and opened her eyes for new ways of working.

“Every day is a blessing to learn something new from the world around you, from your colleagues, your neighbors, your community or your friends. I take this chance to learn new skills from my classmates who are so diverse and talented.”

After finalizing her MBA in the next few weeks Niloofar wants to stay in Amsterdam and make it her new home that she was always looking for. She will look for a permanent job where she can apply her new gained knowledge and skills and contribute. Once a Nyenrode alumna, she hopes she will be able to support a student like herself and join this amazing community. 

Nyenrode Corona Emergency Fund

Do you want to support Niloofar, or students like her, where Corona has had an impact on their financial situation, please contribute to the Nyenrode Corona Emergency Fund by donating via our bank NL11ABNA0566993201 (BIC ABNANL2A), Stichting Nyenrode Fonds by mentioning ‘Emergency Fund’ or ‘Scholarship Fund’. Your help is greatly appreciated!

The Revolving principle according to which Nyenrode Fund works, applies to both the scholarships and the emergency fund.