I would be lying if I said I wasn’t drawn to the Master of Cultural Heritage/Master of World Heritage program for the international component. The chance to live in Germany for six months, eating all the leberwurst and bretzn I could fit in my stomach while completing not one, but two Masters – it was a no-brainer.
Living and studying overseas, I experienced all the highs and lows that were expected, and that I am sure all international students have shared at some point. Incredible friendships were formed, I got a little homesick, and I (probably) spent a little too much money!
What has surprised me, in the months and years that have followed my German winter, are the ways in which I have been able to translate that experience, and the knowledge I acquired, into the real world and my own professional development.
I can easily attribute my employment in the heritage and museum sector to my studies and travels in Germany and greater Europe, whereby my cohort and I delved into the world of memorials and the role they play in social memories. This enabled me to write a fantastic cover letter and landed my employment at the Shrine of Remembrance.
Working at the Shrine grounded me to Melbourne and Victoria. Since starting there, I have sought to actively strengthen my own understanding of the region’s unique cultural heritage. This passion and deep desire to expand my repertoire helped me land an amazing internship at the Gold Museum in Ballarat.
This paid internship, made possible by the generosity of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has been an absolute highlight of my degree, and has been a truly wonderful way to round off my studies. Through this internship and the support and independence afforded to me by the amazing team at the Gold Museum, I have gained priceless industry experience, greatly bolstering my expanding CV. More importantly, through this experience reignited my own enthusiasm and commitment to my industry and has allowed me to explore some of the similarities between my own hometown of Bathurst (in regional New South Wales) and Ballarat.
I am currently planning a second trip to Germany, to take part in an alumni event for the Dual Award – an unbelievably exciting prospect that has really helped me to understand what I value most from my studies and my relationship with Deakin. Across all of my experiences, without realising, I have built an amazing and diverse network of friends, colleagues, peers, and mentors. Fostered by my degree, this network is something that I cherish and will no doubt take forward with me into my career.