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Feeling at home a long way from home

"This course will help me hone my skills further and give direction to my future goals".

As an international student at Deakin, Rupa Subramaniam says that she’s always ‘felt right at home’ studying in an environment that’s extremely supportive.

'The infrastructure and resources at Deakin are amazing. I absolutely love the library – it’s my favourite place in the entire campus – and also how Deakin is designed by the students, for the students,’ she says.

Coming from a defence background in India, Rupa is the recipient of the NDTV-Deakin Vice-Chancellor’s Meritorious Scholarship after she was unanimously chosen by a selection panel to undertake a Master of Business Administration (International) at Deakin’s Melbourne Burwood Campus.

NDTV is a pioneer in Indian television journalism and through its innovative programming aims to address real-world problems. In 2015, it partnered with Deakin to launch the NDTV-Deakin Scholarship Program.

Rupa says that although the scholarship application process involved a two-month gruelling series of interviews, it provided her with a platform to turn her ambitions into a reality.

‘I was competing with the best and most talented people from the entire country and it was an amazing experience. I learnt a lot from the other applicants – their professional and personal backgrounds – and realised that we all had one common factor which was the zest to excel.’

With a range of interests spanning marketing, drumming, writing, travel, and community development, Rupa says she wanted to study at Deakin because the MBA International program offered her a strong business education with an international context.

‘I feel that this degree will equip me with the skills and knowledge required to manage, sustain and grow an enterprise in either a domestic environment or internationally. With the practical knowledge and exposure I possess, this course will help me hone my skills further and give direction to my future goals,’ she says.

Although only in the first year of her degree, Rupa is already enjoying the program’s units and its teaching delivery.

‘The faculty lecturers are extremely knowledgeable which makes it all the more interesting because of the conversation and debates we have during sessions. I am also looking forward to the practical-based application of all my units.’

Already planning for her career beyond graduation, Rupa is considering further study or possibly starting a travel company that could empower local communities back in India.

‘The company would focus on organising authentic, unique, private and customized tours based on the different kind of travellers. Part of the proceeds from this venture would be directed towards empowering the local community – whose members could teach craft and lead activities for the travellers – providing an alternative means of income.  Another part of the proceeds from the tours would be streamed into establishing an NGO,’ she explains.

In the meantime, Rupa has settled into her studies and appreciates the extra support and guidance that Deakin provides to its international students.

‘This ranges from writing mentors to student mentors and it’s been really helpful, especially as a new student who comes from a very different learning process,’ she says. ‘Deakin is such a supportive environment. As an international student, I’m really happy to be studying at a university where we aren’t treated any differently and are on the same footing as domestic students.’

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