As they say, the combination of beauty with brain is rare! It is stereotypical, you may think – yes,Rakhi Mahbuba is a perfect example of that. Along with her grand title of being one of most of beautiful women in Bangladesh, she is a brilliant student, a talented structural engineer who has glorified the name of Bangladesh in Australia. Even after facing lots of odds and challenges in her life, Rakhi battled and eventually, rose to the peak of glory which makes her an epitome of empowered females. We had the opportunity to delve into Rakhi’s mind to explore the stories behind her challenges, struggle and ultimate glory. Hope after reading all of her story, you can borrow some inspiration too!
About Rakhi Mahbuba
Rakhi Mahbuba is a Bangladeshi Actress, Model and Structural Engineer. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1993 in an affluent family, Rakhi is the youngest of four siblings. She has two older brothers and one older sister. Rakhi got publicly recognised when she won the title of the most prestigious beauty pageant in Bangladesh- ‘Lux Channel I Superstar 2010’. She worked in the Bangladeshi creative industry from January 2011 to July 2013. Rakhi was schooled in English medium and she completed O levels and A levels (equivalent to year 10 and 12) from a private institution under British Council. In school she was a straight ‘A’ student and continuously stood first place from 6th grade. Rakhi loved science subjects the most and her love for physics and mathematics sparked the idea of seeing engineering as a career option. On the 25th of July 2013, Rakhi came to Australia for higher studies and completed Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) with a first-class Honours from Edith Cowan University in December 2017 in Perth, Western Australia. Now working as a Structural Engineer in a multinational oil, gas, and mining company Wood, Rakhi looks forward to a brighter future.
What/who has been the biggest inspiration in your life?
My biggest inspiration in life is and has always been my father. He was one in a billion. He was a pioneer, motivator, achiever, and an inspirer. My father started his journey as a businessman at the age of 18 and took care of the whole family. He was the oldest son, and even though his parents were alive, he took the responsibility of all his five siblings – helped them to become educated, settle down in life and finally getting married. My father was the one of a kind. He was the hardest working, honest and kindest man I ever met in my life. He had a dream that all of his children may get higher education abroad, which we could fulfil, and I am so glad about that. We lost him in 2012, but he still remains as an idol and role model in my life.
What were the major challenges in your life?
Coming from a conservative society and being a female, I faced many challenges. While working fulltime in the creative industry as an actress, model, and television host in Bangladesh, I was also completing my A level studies. That was one of the most challenging phases of my life; not to mention- winning the beauty pageant was an enormously challenging too. My challenges did not end there – coming to Australia and studying one of the toughest degrees, striving to be the best student in the class was a lot of mental pressure. Engineering studies are really time demanding, as one must consume a vast amount of knowledge in a very short time. While doing a full-time degree, I was involved in various voluntary activities. So, balancing personal, social and study life was the toughest.
How did you overcome those challenges?
I managed to handle all the hurdles through the support of my family and relatives. I am eternally grateful for all the love and encouragement I received through all those years. My motto was to never give up. During the times of adversity and when I feel like giving up, I take a deep breath and ask myself why am I here? Why did I start this in the first place? And when the answers become clear in my mind, I start rewiring my brain and say to myself- ‘I know this may be one of the hardest moments in my life, but I know it’s a good thing, because life is always teaching me something and I am growing a lot as person through these challenging experiences’.
How do you handle mental stress?
Well, stress comes when we are unsure, confused, worried about something or not accepting the current situation. Stress is such a huge topic to discuss. I would like to divide it into – day to say stress and long-term stress. The best way to handle the first kind is by organising your day, prepare for the next day the night before and try and follow through the list and get things that needs to be done first. I always start with the most difficult one in my to do list, because once I finish that, I feel a lot accomplished. For the long-term stress, such as life goals, future plans etc., it is best to know what you want first of all in your life? Make a very clear goal and work on it. In our societies, women set goals based on family’s expectation and that is very challenging. We cannot fulfil all or make everyone happy. It would be very wise to make own choices and just do what your heart wants, because that ultimately will make you happy. As an overall tips, I suggest doing at least 5 mins meditation a day and having a 30 minute light exercise, having a healthy diet and keeping in touch with family and friends, having a hobby. If you try and have a balance of all those in your life, you will see stress going out of the window in no time
What is your favourite quote?
This is my own quote- “Life is a journey, it will take you places you never planned for, so just enjoy the ride and make the best of it”.
What advice do you have for Bangladeshi women who want to thrive and become a role model?
I have three advice for Bangladeshi women who want to thrive –
– Have courage in yourself and believe in your strengths
– Never hesitate to show them who you are
– Always remember girls run the world!
Please provide your feedback about Starmums initiative.
This is a fantastic initiative to empower Bangladeshi women. I wish good luck to the people behind Starmums!