This week’s Human of MBSSA is Amrita Raja, a final-year student in the Master of Management. Having completed her undergraduate in King’s College, London, Amrita came to Australia on a holiday and immediately fell in love with the country.
Why did you choose the University of Melbourne for your Masters?
Back in 2017, I was studying a degree in Economics at Kings College, London. I went on a trip with my family to Australia and I instantly fell in love with the country. I decided it was time for a change from London’s gloomy weather to Melbourne’s sunny, spacious country and diversity in terms of geography. Once I chose Australia as my place of choice, Melbourne University was at the top of my list in terms of choices. I found out that 98% of graduates were employed immediately after graduating or within a couple years so I felt it was a great opportunity for me to just not study but also to gain industrial experience while I was in Australia and the Melbourne Business School gave me that opportunity.
Which activities have you been involved with at the University?
This is my third semester so some of my activities have tranistioned online but when I was on shore at the University, I was part of peer mentor programs. I did the Melbourne Peer Mentoring program where we had to guide and assist 10 undergrad students under us with their journey in the University. Then I ended up doing the MBSSA Peer Mentoring Program which was really interesting and fun, a lot of insightful learnings on both ends. I was also the student ambassador for MBS where I got to interact with so many people that I wouldn’t have been able to met otherwise in my normal course duration. We organised events around mental health and industry insights which was a really exciting time in my course. Hosting events also got my confidence levels up there. I also participated in case competitions in teams and the Unimelb Start Up which got the creative juices within my flowing.
Which events hosted by the University were most helpful to you?
Personally speaking, I benefited a lot from the networking events and the ones that built your skills around seeking employment and prospective employers. I think that got my confidence skills up. Because of those skill building sessions and networking events, I ended up securing an internship which was started by the Mayor of Victoria where start ups in Victoria were being assigned to different students of Victoria. I ended up being paired up with a tech startup where I got into algorithm building and tech stuff that I didn’t think I was capable from. I got the confidence from these workshops to then find a job for myself in the real estate industry. I ended up working for a property investment firm and I finally stopped questioning my self worth and made me realise that I’m on track to doing something tangible in the work force which was really exciting.
What challenges did you face during your course and how did you tackle them?
In terms of challenges, University life will definitely have some level of challenge because since it is such a rewarding experience and where there are rewards, there is definitely some level of challenge involved. As University students it’s obvious that we will go through some type of rejection, it’s very crucial to realise that rejection will be part of the process whether it’s applying for a job, internships or positions, you will face rejection. I went through quite a lot of those myself which can put you into an abyss because you go through a mental block and if you let it affect yourself, it will be detrimental to your own progress and well-being. The second challenge that we are all going through is how the pandemic has affected our lives. As individuals, the pandemic has scattered our plans and goals so its important to accept the challenge and work around them.
The way I faced my challenges was to realise which challenges were under my control and which weren’t. Once you figure out that distinction, you can get some control around it. I celebrated my small wins with the things I can control and started seeing the big picture for the things that I could not control. I tried not to fixate on the small details which was an important way in which I overcame my challenges.
Any advice for our students?
My advice for recent graduates would be to really understand that they need to get involved with their own self talk and understand what you want for your life. When you enter university, it’s so easy to get swayed by trends whether it be investment banking, consulting or entrepreneurship. For recent graduates, you should use these two years to figure out what you love doing, what you’re good at and what you can get paid for and something the world needs.
The second thing I want to point out for recent graduates is that this age is the time for influencers, entrepreneurship and freelancers. It’s very important to up-skill ourselves and give ourselves the time to learn these skills to put us in the position of financial freedom without relying on a particular employer. If students take charge of their own careers and realise that they can unilaterally change things for themselves, it is very important and empowering. In essence, just figure out your purpose and go around pursuing the skills you need to achieve this goal.
Connect with Amrita on LinkedIn to see more about her story and future career.