Celebrating graduate Zeynep Kaya

Celebrating graduate Zeynep Kaya

Zeynep embarked on a transformative journey that would lead her to the proud moment she finds herself in today—on the brink of officially becoming a graduate of RMIT.

Zeynep’s (Zee) connection with RMIT began with a simple visit to Building 22 opposite Melbourne Central. 

The diverse student population and the welcoming atmosphere left an indelible mark on her, convincing her that this was the right place for her son, Berat, to pursue his studies. 

Little did Zee know that the warmth and inclusivity she witnessed would later become the bedrock of her own educational journey, completing a Certificate IV in Community Services in 2022 and Diploma of Youth Work in 2023.

“Once I had started to think of the possibility of studying Berat was very supportive and asked what options I would consider, I didn't even think of anywhere else as I was already familiar with how supportive and inclusive RMIT was,” she shared.

I was extremely nervous to go and ask if there was any chance for me to start a student life and improve myself for a career change. When I went in to get more information I was surprised and extremely emotional about how supportive everyone's reaction was.  

Like many returning students, Zee faced challenges that tested her resolve. The initial nerves surrounding her age as a potential barrier were dispelled by the encouragement of her teachers.

As she navigated the intricacies of being a student, Zee found solace in the supportive environment that RMIT provided. Challenges such as mastering assessment writing were met with the gentle guidance of dedicated educators who recognized and celebrated her progress.

"I wasn't sure how other students would be before I started but I was pleasantly surprised to make a few lifelong friends during my time as a student.  

I didn't imagine the teachers to explain the sometimes very dry content in an engaging and understandable way and due to my subjects the sometimes-heavy content in a very professional, educating way,” she shared. 

Zeynep graduate in text image Zeynep embarked on a transformative journey throughout her time at RMIT.

RMIT educator Ani Vellaramkunnel shared how well Zee adapted to studying during her time at RMIT.  

“Throughout the course Zee demonstrated passion, commitment, hard work, and resilience which helped her to complete the course in flying colours. 

Zee is an excellent example and role model to show that age or such circumstances is not a barrier to engage in education and pursue your dreams,” said Ani. 

What’s next for Zee?

Zee’s journey has not only enriched her own life but also imparted valuable lessons she generously hopes to share with others as she takes her next steps in her career.  

“I'm hopeful about the possibility to find work in the sector that would feel like I'm adding a positive impact and making a difference in people's lives.

I'm also really looking forward to giving back to my community with additional volunteering work when possible,” she said.

As Zee awaits her official graduation in December shares her top tips for new and returning students to get the most out of their university experience:  

  • Be open to meeting people! You could make friends with great people and hear amazing stories.
  • As one of my friends from the first year suggested, create study groups and work together on assessments. It helps you to reach your study goals as well grow your relationships with your fellow students.
  • Attend activities your course/subject is offering, you never know what you will learn or who you will meet!
  • Have good communication with your teachers.
  • If you don't understand something in class don't be shy to ask, most likely someone else is also shy and isn't asking.
  • When you have time, explore your surroundings, there are so many things available on campus.
  • Overall, enjoy your time as a student and be proud of where you are and what you have achieved to make it there, and if you're ever in doubt remember – you've got this!
01 December 2023


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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.