After completing my Bachelor in Commerce from a reputable university in India, I decided to take a step forward and explore global opportunities to further my career. I came across universities in Melbourne and was fascinated with the advancements in their infrastructure, faculties and the support they provided to students from diverse cultural backgrounds. I chose to study in Melbourne to explore everything it had to offer and all the interesting people that call it home.
I landed in ‘one of the most liveable cities’ in July 2018 and I knew that there was no looking back. I started student life during the Orientation Week at the University. I was captivated by the different clubs and committees that supported students in charting their career pathways and provided guidance to improve their skills. The Orientation Week also enabled me to meet students from various courses and make new friends.
When lectures and assessments started in Week 1, I found it difficult to cope with tight schedules across group assignments while participating in Uni activities and searching for part-time work. To overcome this, I started preparing schedules on a week-by-week basis and set aside time to pursue my hobbies. Apart from studies, I also participated in various workshops and events to build my leadership and problem-solving skills. The workshops organised by student clubs have been a great experience for me to learn to work in groups, be co-operative and professional. I had the opportunity to build a wider network and make connections with industry professionals.
Although my studies was a big part of my life, it was not the only aspect of my ‘Melbourne experience’. I began exploring the CBD as part of an International Students Group that I had joined on Facebook. I met students from various countries such as Germany, Ireland, China, India, Korea, Japan. I also took part in various extracurricular groups on Meetup and I looked for new ways to make connections to develop my professional interests as well as follow my passion.
To me, Melbourne’s CBD resembles the layout of a Tic Tac Toe game where each street intersects another. It’s geometry appealed to me. I spent most of my time walking around the streets of Melbourne observing shops and the people around. I familiarised myself with the necessary stores and brands for groceries, clothing and pharmacy. I gradually stopped using Maps on my phone to become more confident of the roads and directions. I also made sure to track the weather for the day before heading out, as it is rightly said: ‘Melbourne has unpredictable weather. It is normal to have 4 seasons in a day!’
By the end of my first semester, I managed to find a part-time role in the finance team of a mental health counselling services firm. There I applied my knowledge and skills acquired at University and immersed myself in the local work culture.
Each day of my life in Melbourne is never the same. I look forward to more opportunities to grow as a person and continue to build trust-based relationships with the people I work with.