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"I love its diversity and the people here are very supportive."

Despite a catastrophic earthquake in his hometown of Bhuj (in India’s Gujarat) when he was still in secondary school, Chintan Pathak’s family ensured – as much as possible – that the devastating event didn’t derail his education.

With the support of his family, he went on to complete his final year with results that landed him in top eight per cent of the state’s graduating students before studying an electrical engineering degree and pursuing a career in the electrical systems’ industry.

‘I was selected into the renowned Indian MNC Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) – a major technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing & financial services conglomerate, with global operations for customers in over 30 countries … I worked on projects from planning to execution and also had the opportunity to experience a diverse range of people, situations and systems.’

Now living in Australia, Chintan is completing his final year of a Master of Business Administration (International) at Deakin’s Melbourne campus and is preparing for his next career move as a business development manager.

‘I want to be involved with challenging roles in an organisation - fields such as strategy formulation, foreign affairs, business development and policy making. While I’ve always been able to contribute significantly to technical discussions, I’d like to enhance my business knowledge and career growth,’ he explains.

Chintan researched universities around the world before deciding that Deakin’s MBA program was the best fit for his career goals.

‘A master’s degree from Deakin gives me a deep understanding of the business dynamics, complexities and opportunities within industry. One of the other benefits of studying at Deakin is the many international students who have really helped me experience a wider range of culture, society and business,’ he explains.

Receiving a Deakin Bursary Award for academic excellence, Chintan says that he’s received ‘far more than expected’ from his MBA studies. As well as working as a research assistant with Deakin’s Feedback Project, he’s especially enjoying his internships with the Faculty of Business and Law’s Department of Management.

‘I’m currently working on new and creative alumni project that’s helped me explore my interest in data collection, analysis and interpreting the results holistically to develop business. I now understand how I can apply theories of analytical skills for managers in the real-world scenario.’

Chintan also rates living in Melbourne as one of the highlights of studying at Deakin.

‘Melbourne has a clean atmosphere and good temperature range which I really love. Further, I love its diversity and the people here are very supportive. It’s a city that has good coffee, a wide range of international foods, arts and street theatre. Visiting new places and exploring the city has also become my hobby!’

As an international student, Chintan is making the most of his Australian study experience by taking on as many voluntary and networking opportunities as possible.

He has held a secretariat role with the Australian Federation of International Students (AFIS), is president of Deakin Graduate Business Society, completed two trimesters as a mentor to new students and is also a retail assistant for Australian Red Cross.

‘I’ve also been an emcee for a large event called “Info Day 2016 for international Students” and participated in a marketing video,’ he adds. ‘In my intern role, I try to help any of Deakin’s international students - and alumni - who need support or information. I love volunteering.’