Working for an international development organisation based in Bangladesh, Judy Phuong is passionate about improving access to education and health, and eliminating gender inequality.
Since completing a Master of International Development at RMIT, Phuong has worked in health, policy and facilitated adolescent and youth programs in various non-government and development organisations across Australia and Asia.
She is now based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where she works as a Public Health Officer in the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Program at the international NGO, BRAC.
What did you find most stimulating about undertaking your Master degree?
Whilst there were core units, the program offered sufficient flexibility to tailor the courses so I could follow my passions and interests in development.
The lecturers really inspired me through their own experiences and passions. It was great having them share their insights, experiences and networks in the development arena.
The program provided a great foundation to develop my passion into skills that I could use in real life situations within the field of international development.
If there was one piece of advice you could have given yourself before commencing studies, what would it have been?
Manage your own expectations in terms of study load - for example, working full-time while having a full-time study load isn’t so easy.
Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Everyone is on their own journey of development and discovery and it’s not a race.
Make an effort to attend various program events, this will give you the opportunity to extend your network with amazing speakers in the development arena, as well as offer new perspective on your program and career.
What was your secret to successfully navigating classes in this degree?
Never being afraid to ask for help. The lecturers really invest time into their students. I am grateful for many of the lecturers who supported me and provided me with guidance over the whole duration of my program, which has given me the confidence and led me to where I am today.
What's your best memory of this program?
I learnt something different from each course and each person that I came across during my study. I would say that the best takeaway message from the program, which was ingrained by the lecturers was that ‘you never stop learning from others, no matter where you are in the world’.
Be true to you: Study the Master of International Development in 2016.
Story: Leo Ribeiro and Jaclyn Lombardo