Major: International Studies
Minor: Literature, Sociology
Why did you choose to embark on higher education?
My high school was very supportive of higher education and as students we were encouraged to begin looking for courses that suited our interests before we started VCE. I had multi-disciplinary interests but really enjoyed reading up on international affairs and social sciences in my spare time. My pathway to higher education started with me figuring out what I found interesting and by process of elimination I narrowed my options down to a combination of what my strengths were and what interested me most. I knew my interests in social sciences weren’t necessarily specialised so I hoped that during my university degree I would be able to further explore the industries related to international studies and social sciences and discover a career pathway that would best suit me.
What are the best elements of your university program?
Arts at Monash was my first preference for university because the course provided the chance to study abroad and offered a wide range of flexible study areas as part of the three-year course. Now that I am in my third year, I realise how valuable these extra-curricular opportunities have been. I was able to study abroad in the UK for a semester during my second year, intern in my third year and enhance my transferrable and industry-specific skills by joining societies on campus and participating in further development programs including international Model United Nations conferences and social enterprise engagement facilitated by societies at Monash University. These experiences have complemented my major and minors in international studies and sociology, helping me develop a broader perspective on the content taught in units.
What have you learnt that you didn’t expect? Are there any surprises?
During my first year at Monash I didn’t engage with any external opportunities beyond my degree and club socials. Despite being a full-time student I was only going into university for my lectures and tutorials, studying in the library and then going home. However, in my second year I took a greater interest in societies beyond the social faculty clubs and since then I’ve involved myself in so many extra-curricular activities that I’ve become a part-time student. In my first year I didn’t even consider how clubs could factor into my degree beyond a social element, now I see that the skills I’m gaining from a variety of programs complements my course with experience and sets me up for further opportunities. I was surprised how much you learn when you bring the content you’ve learnt outside of the classroom and into applied real-world projects.
What do you hope your degree will help you achieve once completed?
I understand that the job market is more competitive than it has ever been among graduates and hope that a well-rounded experience at Monash has provided me with a good basis to explore a broad spectrum of job opportunities. I hope the flexibility of my degree will also enable me to look beyond Australia into a career overseas.
What advice would you give to students considering higher education?
My advice would be to do your research and plan for your degree. Higher education is an investment you’re making in yourself for the future. While plans can change and you may run into some hurdles, it’s important to have an idea what you hope to gain from your higher education experience and where you would like it to lead you.