Jeshreena now has an MBA as well as a beautiful son

Date posted

15 July 2020


Business student Jeshreena Palakkal had a good excuse for failing to turn up for a crucial exam – she had just given birth.

Jeshreena Palakkal in park with graduation scroll, husband and son out of focus in the background

Jeshreena was due to sit the test as part of her MBA in Leadership Practice at Edinburgh Napier University.

However, she had to change her plans after the exam was scheduled for the day she was due to become a mum.

In the event, the heavily-pregnant student felt feverish and her unborn baby’s pulse was high so medics at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary decided to bring him into the world by emergency C-section 10 days early.

And by the time classmates were sweating it out in the exam room, Jeshreena was already getting to know her new son.

Baby Elan recovered well from his premature birth in April 2018 and is enjoying good health.  And now, more than two years on, his mother is celebrating becoming a graduate.

Jeshreena Palakkal and son Elan

Jeshreena, 25, originally from Kerala, south-west India, but now living in Leith, said: “I couldn’t believe it.  I only had one exam in the whole year, and it turned out to be the day my baby was due.

“Fortunately I was able to delay the exam until the following April, and I was also able to secure extra time to complete written assignments. It has been hard but I have finally made it to the end of my degree journey and I also have a lovely little boy.

“I feel so proud of myself for getting to graduation and also extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to study here and meet such wonderful people. I am planning to stay in Edinburgh.”

Jeshreena found out she was pregnant just days after getting a visa to come to Edinburgh Napier to study for her Masters after taking her first degree in India.

Her husband Hashim persuaded her she should not give up on her academic dream and they came to Scotland together, Jeshreena battling through morning sickness, giving birth then postnatal depression while safety adviser Hashim – who has since then began his own MBA course at Edinburgh Napier - worked night and day to support them.

Jeshreena said: “There were times when I was in extreme pain due to my C-section stitches but I didn’t rest even for a day, with housework and university assignments to do as well as looking after the baby.

“There were days when I had a feeding baby in one hand and with the other I was typing out an assignment on my laptop, but I finally did it with the support of my husband and my wonderful tutors.”

Dr Paul Langford, lecturer in financial services at Edinburgh Napier, said: "Jeshreena has shown admirable resilience in overcoming the obstacles in her way to graduation - gaining her MBA Leadership Practice is an impressive achievement and we wish her well in her future career!" 

Jeshreena Palakkal in the park with husband, son and graduation scroll

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