Tapping into your network is a valuable tool for any working professional and Rakin Hasan is the perfect example of how rewarding networking can be. A Golden Key Alumni, former President of the Macquarie University chapter, and currently a Senior Analyst in the Technology & […]
Tag: Golden Key Spotlight
Aloha. My full name is Gabriele Angelo Ciminelli and it has given people enormous trouble over the years! Though it might be a name that sounds like it is from the renaissance era, I can assure you I do love my name. To make things happier […]
It’s not uncommon for students to take a study abroad year. It’s just that I was 37 when I took mine. I completed my first bachelor’s degree in 2001, joining Golden Key at that time, and then completed a second bachelor’s degree part-time by distance in 2008. Postgraduate study was always on my mind, and one day I saw a course at the University of Glasgow that looked to be exactly what I wanted to do. I applied, was accepted on scholarship, and suddenly I was moving to Scotland!
Moving abroad is difficult at any age, perhaps more so when you are older and more settled in life. Finding accommodation and making friends were also more difficult as an older student. I felt too old for student accommodation and all the university clubs and societies were full of much younger students, so I had to search outside of the university for friends.
But there are also definite advantages to waiting until you are older to study abroad. For example, I’d learned the value of networking, taking advantage of all learning opportunities, and also project management, which I was very thankful for when I came to write my dissertation. I also think I was much more grateful to be there, having waited for so long, versus my younger classmates who perhaps took the opportunity a bit more for granted. This made me value the whole of the experience more, rather than just going to class, submitting the assignments, and getting the degree.
Throwing myself into a new situation at age 37 was also a great personal challenge. You can become a little set in your ways as you get older. I’d lived in the same city my whole life, had worked for the same company for ten years, lived in the same apartment for seven years, and most of my friends I had known since at least my twenties. To have all of that taken away and have to navigate a new city, get out and meet new people, and be stretched intellectually was a big step outside of my comfort zone.
There were times it was difficult, times that I doubted myself or was lonely, and many times that I suffered from imposter syndrome. But as they say, the best learning happens outside of your comfort zone, and overall I feel that the experience made me a lot more confident and resilient. I also really enjoyed re-engaging with academia and the experience opened my eyes to different paths and career options. It was a very fulfilling experience and I’d say to others who have the same dream that you are never too old.
Bio: Claire Baxter
Claire became a member of Golden Key since 1999 during her Bachelor of Sports Management. She then completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and Archaeology, and has been working in the travel industry for the past 13 years as both a product manager and business analyst. During this time she took a sabbatical to study a Masters of Conflict Archaeology at the University of Glasgow.
As the sole Founder and Director of Clinics For Kids (CFK), I am proud to have grown CFK to include more than 20 professionals and health students. This includes researchers, doctors, medical students, dentists, dental students, optometrists, and nurses, including 4 Aboriginal Australian members. At […]
Perhaps the truest sign of real passion is what someone chooses to focus on whilst facing a life-threatening illness. My name is Michael Cowling, and I joined Golden Key in 1997, having been invited during the first year of my Bachelor of Information Technology degree […]
“As an international student, what you really crave for is home away from home, and my university and the whole committee of Golden Key has been my home away from home.”
Malavika Kanoria began studying a Master of Business Administration (International) at Deakin University in 2019. As an international student, Malavika first learnt about Golden Key from her Mentor, who spoke of Golden Key’s inclination to the upliftment of society.
After receiving her invitation and joining Golden Key, she joined the Deakin chapter committee as Treasurer.
Malavika says moving away from home for the first time was a daunting experience which was eased thanks to the connections she made in Australia.
“I was just so glad that I chose Deakin, because Deakin University has been there through the journey and has supported each international student,” says Malavika.
“Given that the international student numbers at Deakin University is huge, I really felt like I did not mingle with a lot of Australians. I then joined Golden Key and I just saw that it was very diverse.”
For her degree, Malavika says it’s very important she diversifies her cultural knowledge. This is something she was able to do while acting as Treasurer of the Deakin Golden Key Committee.
“The fact that I am an international student, I don’t just want to excel in my studies, I also want to learn about different cultures,” she says.
“The whole point of my course is that I know what countries are like. You have to be a global citizen. You have to be knowledgeable about each and every culture and that is something Golden Key really helped me with.
“The people I work with, the committee members, they are very diverse. I am working with people from all over the globe, and that was something that really made me happy.”
Malavika encourages new members to take their chance and step up to give back in whatever way they can.
“The thing is, we are so used to the normal way of life, whenever a curve ball is thrown at us, we tend to just step back. The advice I would like to give, is to take that leap of faith.
“I wouldn’t have known there was a family waiting for me, the Golden Key family as I call it, had I not taken my chances.”