‘Do you like the Melbourne weather?’ my host asked me as soon as he picked me up from the airport. I was quiet because I was still trying to come to terms with the fact that I ACTUALLY did it – I was in Australia!
‘If you don’t, give it a few minutes and it’ll change!’ he said as he chuckled, bringing me back from my trail of thought. We had a good chat that day about how erratic Melbourne weather can be, and how important it was to pick a footy team to support! I felt less anxious about being in a whole new country on my own after that conversation. While it can be scary and intimidating to pack up your whole life, move to a new country and start a whole new life, I have found that great things are often on the other side of fear!
My name is Moreen and I’m from Kenya – one of the most beautiful countries in the world (seriously worth a visit if you’ve never been – from our beautiful beaches to the amazing expanse of the savannah, and the people – you’re in for a treat!) I’m studying a Master of Marketing with a focus in Digital and Customer Analytics.
My journey of coming to Deakin to pursue my masters has been nothing short of divine providence and is something I will eternally be grateful to God for. My faith is something that is of great importance to me, and despite the hurdles along the way, the move here was honestly one of the best decisions I ever made. I have been exposed to so many different cultures and several opportunities in the time I’ve been here.
Even now as I step into my final semester, I find myself in a reflective mood as I look towards what the future holds for me. The most pleasant surprise I have found while studying at Deakin is how willing my lecturers have been to help me not just with my coursework, but by providing career guidance and mentorships on many fronts. My classmates have also been instrumental to my success thus far.
I have had the opportunity to do two internships (both of which I got on recommendation from one of the amazing lecturers here, Dr. Michael Valos) and work with some of the most talented and incredible marketers in Australia, something which has added so much value to my career progression. I have better clarity on what I want to focus on in the next few years of my digital marketing career.
I’ll admit that the first 6 months were challenging for me; from trying to find a place to call home and building up a support system, to going through my studies and ensuring I excelled in my coursework. It was quite the test of my mental and emotional resilience, but thanks to God and the support of my family and friends back home, I managed to push through, and I can honestly say I’m better for it.
It may have taken me a little longer than I expected, but over time I have made some incredible friends while experiencing new things. I found an amazing church community in Box Hill and it’s been great having a place to serve others in the community here. From my interactions with people from different corners of the world, I have found that we have more things that unite us than those that divide us. Also, I made friends with a kangaroo, so I guess that now validates my time here in Australia, right?
So, if you’re thinking of coming to study in Australia, here are a few helpful pointers; connect with societies in school from the beginning – Deakin has so many resources to help you get started and settled in, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask! Secondly, open yourself up to new people and go after the opportunities presented to you. Make your lecturers your friends, they really do want you to succeed. Travel as much as possible and make memories – even if you’re on your own, don’t be scared to book some tours alone, you’ll meet incredible people along the way.
To sum it all up, change is never easy, but sometimes change is the best thing that can happen to you! Good luck as you journey on, and hopefully we bump into each other on these Melbourne streets! As for me, the future looks bright, and I am entirely grateful to the entire Deakin fraternity and all my exceptional friends-turned-family – you have made this experience so much more worth it!