Volunteered to create impacts
I did attend some of the events. I supported my teachers, supervising students from other schools who came to VU to participate in an engineering competition. It was small scale, but a good experience.
I also attended the V4U event (Victoria University’s largest community volunteering event, held over a full day every year) and joined the ‘Vollies’ program – a very well-known volunteering program all over Melbourne. There were about 300 people and we helped different communities: doing gardening, sorting clothes for Vinnies, (A charity shop operated by the St Vincent de Paul Society): things like that. The fun thing about the Vollie program is that you meet different people with different skill sets and knowledge and you learn so much from them. It was a great choice for me and the other good part is that you choose the hours you want to contribute, but if you do 30 hours, VU consider it as a volunteering experience and count it as a Unit. It also built up my leadership skills in a very natural way.
Your greatest achievements?
Coming to University in Australia was a very big decision for me and I got my first class honours, engineering degree, while doing my part-time job. I would like to encourage other students, who want to come to Australia to seize every opportunity and pursue their dreams. Working part-time is not only a way to financially support your student life but a wonderful opportunity to go out of comfort zone, meet new people and apply the skill into practical working environment. I think that was the biggest achievement for me, because without hard work, I would not have been able to complete my studies.
The second achievement is that during the time studying at VU, I also got a research scholarship.
The third achievement: I was already working as a supervisor before I graduated, but it was not really an engineering job so I got another job in another company. Those opportunities gave me a proven track record and helped me develop practical skills. It was difficult-especially for an international student- to get that job. That’s one of the things I like to tell VU students – if you try to use all the resources and support at VU, you will find a lot of opportunities.
How did you find your first job after graduation?
If you have your Degree and good GPA (A Grade Point Average is the average result of all grades achieved by a student during a course of study at a tertiary level.)it is easier, but if you don’t have those advantages, you need to spend more time on applications and find other things that contribute to the position. For example, if you don’t have the related experience, then you need to include the things you do know, like the program or software, and participate in different workshops, related to your major.
I learned a lot from VU, as they hosted many seminars, such as: helping students develop a high level CV: interview practice: how to apply for jobs. VU also had a mentorship program where they matched alumni with students, to advise on study and choosing subjects. I got my first job via my mentor, who is a VU alumni; I went out to dinner with him, met his friend and then invited them to dinner, sent my resume to them and got my first job after graduation. My point here is that NETWORKING is important! Make sure you have a strong network: go to events, dress professionally and meet people.
For international students, it is also important to have the right visa. I applied for jobs many times when I was studying but because I only held student visas, I was not able to get one. So please don’t be discouraged if you applied many times and did not get invited to interview – try and wait until you have a work visa.
Top 5 things you love about Victoria University?
VU is best in many aspects.
- It’s full of diversity: you will find – and learn about – people from different cultures.
- VU library is open 24 hours a day, which makes it easy to study any time.
- The teachers are very attentive and approachable. There is always a good response from teachers in tutorials and after-class consultation sessions.
- All facilities at VU are world class, all the labs are advanced and fully equipped, which make it great for practising your skills.
- VU also organises social and cultural events so it’s not always about study: you get to have a movie night each month and can get involved in various events, fortnightly. VU also plans picnic days and trips to various locations within Victoria.
Top 5 things you love about Melbourne?
- Melbourne is one of the best cities in the world. It’s multicultural and you will get to promote your own culture and be welcomed because people here like learning about each other.
- The food is the best! You get to taste food from all over the world, in one place, and it is affordable.
- There are many places you can have a fun day out in Melbourne, for example Victoria Market, Federation Square, the museums, Saint Kilda Beach, etc. Many of the best locations in the world are in Victoria: within 2-3 hours drive out of Melbourne, you can go to Phillip Island, Great Ocean Road and National Parks like Grampians or Great Oatway Park.
- Melbourne is connected by a loop of trains and the Public Transport Road network. You can live in an affordable place outside the city and can make your way into the city by taking public Transport. Everywhere is easily accessible. The rent is cheap in suburban areas and the facilities within the state are good.
- Melbourne is good for finding a job: it has a long list of businesses where people from Hospitality, Nursing, Engineering, Music, etc, can find a part-time job very easily.