Monique Cassar is taking advantage of RMIT’s overseas study opportunities. She talks about the benefits of these global experiences.
Why did you choose to study the Bachelor of Business (Marketing)?
I chose marketing because it is not industry specific; it is a broad area that is essential to every business. I knew that marketing was right for me after completing the introductory course in my first year. It wasn't easy but it made sense to me because it was logical instead of theory based.
What are some of the best things about studying at RMIT?
For me, the best thing about studying at RMIT is the location, it is central to everywhere and has unlimited opportunities. There are also so many experiences on offer! I am involved in a number of different programs that will help me to find prospective jobs in the future. Some of these include: Future Edge program, College of Business Student Ambassador, Student Staff Council Committee and Global Ambassador.
You have taken part in a number of global study experiences; can you tell me more about these?
In my first year I went on a study tour to China, this was a month long program during the winter break which completely changed my outlook on university and gave me my first taste of the travel-bug! I highly recommend these first year study tours as they are a great way to make connections and friends from both RMIT and the host school SUIBE.
My second experience was a study abroad to RMIT Vietnam. I was there for three weeks and I completed two electives. It was an awesome way to tick off some courses and get a cultural experience. This tour focused on the business culture in Vietnam which gave me a fair idea of what it would be like to run a business and how difficult it would be as foreigner.
My most recent experience was a month long trip to Indonesia. We studied Entrepreneurship and completed one elective. We visited the two biggest cities Jakarta and Surabaya, in Jakarta we were on the international internship program and in Surabaya we were on a socio-entrepreneurship camp. Because it was a small group of seven from RMIT we really mixed in and made strong connections from all over the world. As it was my second year I took this trip more seriously and networked with a lot of Indonesian businesses.
I am still organising my next global study experience and it won’t be my last! I would recommend the short-term programs to anyone who can do them. It’s a condensed trip but it will make the biggest impact on your life - I loved every minute of it!
What inspired you to take up these opportunities? What do you see as the key benefits?
In addition to exploring another country and getting hands on experience in the business culture of that country, studying overseas gives you applied knowledge and great skills that will assist you when looking for work in your specific field. It also encourages you to build on your communication, adaptability and interpersonal skills and pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Is there one highlight that stands out from the global experiences you have completed so far?
One thing that impacted me the most is how many friends I have made. In Surabaya I met a girl from Iran who shared stories about her home life and what her culture expects of her. She taught me how to wear a Hijab and that patience is an important skill. This girl touched my heart and is such a beautiful soul; she helped me to be more accepting and improved my understanding of diverse cultures.
What are your career aspirations / what are you hoping to do when you graduate?
My goal is to visit as many countries as possible and immerse myself in their culture. I would like to be involved with a company that has world-wide exposure and offices in many locations around the globe.
What advice would you give to other students who want to work and study overseas?
My advice is to take every opportunity that university has to offer! I have done so much at RMIT that I am proud of and that will assist me when applying for graduate positions. Studying overseas will help you to stand out from the crowd and you will develop both your communication and leadership skills. I have noticed since returning from my global experiences that I am more organised and have displayed a more professional manner.
Story: Ainslie Logsdon