From Switzerland to Melbourne and the Cloud. Why I Chose Deakin.

There is nothing more inspiring than meeting a young person who knows where they want to go, and is able to navigate a multitude of opportunities and challenges to get there.

Meet Tobias Houdek. Tobias is studying a Master of Marketing at Deakin via Cloud, but interestingly, also spent six months of his program studying on-campus at Burwood, Melbourne.

I was lucky enough to co-present with Tobias at a recent Deakin event in Zurich hosted by Study Smart, Switzerland. Tobias took command on stage with entertaining stories and images from life in Melbourne. He talked passionately about studying abroad, and maximizing the opportunities that flexible learning can offer. Given his own innovative approach to study to include on and off campus study, I was keen to catch up with him after the presentation to find out more this experience.

Why did you choose Deakin?

Before I applied to Deakin, I compared all available material: websites, rankings, online comments from students, and so on. I even did an evaluation sheet with different factors and their priority for me.  In the end, four things were the deciding factors.

  1. I had a really good feeling when I was watching the youtube videos from Deakin – it seemed like a young, ambitious, caring, fun and professional university.
  2. The course program was exactly what I wanted to do.
  3. I was attracted to Melbourne: a place where I could see myself living to have a good student experience
  4. Patricia from studysmart, the agency which is co-ordinating applications from Switzerland to Australian universities, supported me in the decision making process by illustrating differences to other places and universities.

What is your educational background?

I initially completed a three-year commercial apprenticeship in a bank. Apprenticeships are very common in Switzerland. Later I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Major in Banking & Finance from the HWZ University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich. After some more work experience, I decided to go to Australia for half a year where I completed a Graduate Certificate of Marketing at Deakin in Melbourne. When I arrived back home, I enrolled into the Masters of Marketing via Cloud to make the most out of my already accomplished degree.

What is your professional background?

I have worked in the financial sector in different roles since the start of my career. My current role is called ‘Product Sales Specialist’ which is a cross-over function between a Product and Marketing Manager. I am responsible for the ongoing promotion of mutual funds, new product launches, and product campaigns.

How do you feel about your study experience?

Studying via cloud requires a lot of discipline. It’s often quite hard for me to sit down in evenings after work and watching recorded lectures or work on assignments. It’s also challenging to work remotely in groups and not having an exact feeling about the level of the other students in the class. On the other hand, online studying provides me with the flexibility that I need at this point to make the next steps at the same time in my career. It’s very helpful that some units are really entertaining. I did, for example, Marketing Law in T2/2014 and the lecturer was just great. She presented a variety of interesting topics which are internationally relevant and used real-life cases, many with references to current popular culture.

How was life in Melbourne?

Melbourne has for me the perfect combination of urban drive and the famous Australian way of life. There is so much to do (sports, clubbing, culture, sightseeing, tasting different foods, or simply enjoying the beach). I found some amazing friends at Deakin and in Melbourne, which I am still in regular contact with. For students heading to study at Deakin, here’s my advice:

  • Give yourself a little bit of time in the beginning and don’t shy away to speak to somebody at Uni about it, because it can be challenging in the first couple of weeks to adjust to a new country and university and to make it there on your own
  • Bring some warm clothes with you – winter months in Melbourne can be chilly
  • Travel as much as you can – it further broadens your Australia experience.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Definitely in a marketing role. I would love to work for an inspiring big brand or a passionate start-up company. And I really want to go abroad again. Australia or the US are on top of my list to get some international work experience.

You can connect with Tobias on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Interview by Ursula Lorentzen, Deakin International Manager (Europe).

For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page. Or ask us a question by visiting our international student enquiry page – we’re happy to help you get to know Deakin better.

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