My experiential learning experience in Australia

My departure date and the inevitable twelve hour flight was fast approaching. Twelve hours, 4,854 miles and I was feeling unprepared for the reality of life I was soon going to bump into. The realisation had dawned upon me that I was heading to Australia for the next three years. Bye bye friends, homemade food and lazing around. Sigh.

But despite my initial hesitation, I found myself hitting the ground running and I quickly made the most of my time at Deakin. When I first began studying my Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance) degree at Deakin, my main goal was to shape my personality in a better way and become a more organised and confident person. I was very shy and naive at first but I soon overcame this challenge, and I began to explore the whole new world of opportunities Deakin had to offer, and I strategically planned out my university years.

First Year

Mentor individual

My first year – volunteering with my faculty as a mentor to other students

The first year was about fostering meaningful friendships, networking and immersing myself in the new Australian environment. One of the first steps was to join the Deakin University Student Association (DUSA) Red Shirts program, where I helped to organise on-campus and off-campus events for students. I also joined the Faculty of Business and Law Mentor Program as a volunteer mentor, where I assisted new students to make a smooth transition to the university life. During my time with the Red Shirts and the Mentor Program I made new friends, many whom I now consider family.

Second Year

Amnesty club

My second year – getting involved with Deakin’s student clubs and societies

In the second year of my studies, I focused on gaining leadership skills, and I joined the Cloud Mentor Program as a team leader. In this role I help to manage parts of the University website, developing information tailored specifically for Cloud (online) students. During this period, I also joined the Amnesty International at Deakin Club, and the local City of Whitehorse Youth Representative Committee, volunteering as treasurer, putting my commerce skills into practice. I also launched my own website to help network and improve my employability.

Third and Final Year

My final year: Participating at the G20 Youth Summit in Germany

My final year – participating at the G20 Youth Summit in Germany

My final year at Deakin has been all about honing skills like global citizenship and professional development to help accentuate my future career aspirations. I was fortunate to participate as the Minister of Finance at the G20 Youth Summit in Germany in 2015, which was a great learning experience, allowing me to make my mark on such a prestigious global platform. I also involved myself in the Deakin Finance Association as both a co-founder and executive member. Whilst being involved in numerous extra-curricular activities, I remained focused on my studies and was awarded Golden Key Membership, which is an award conferred to top 15% students of their class.

Deakin offers various opportunities such as Me in a Minute, which helps students to create a professional video to act as a mini-resume (you can watch my video below). The Deakin University Jobshop assists students to improve their LinkedIn profiles to further enhance their employability. I also intend to apply for the Deakin Hallmarks for Accounting major, which involves the granting of digital credentials to recognise outstanding achievements of Deakin’s Graduate Learning Outcomes.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRF4a7qcdKg]

Currently I am working on the Deakin IBM Watson program (a service designed to assist student enquiries) as a content analyst and I continue to work as a Cloud Mentor Program Team Leader.

I think throughout this time, I have embarked on a journey less travelled and I am well equipped with the right mindset to figure out the path to success after I graduate. Deakin has an array of opportunities to choose from and I often reflect on the famous saying by Sun Tzu ’opportunities multiply when they are seized’. This is true of my experience in Australia.

Past, present and future Deakin students are welcome to connect with Shriya on LinkedIn.

For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.

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