Discovering that “the more questions you ask, the better you’ll do,” required a shift in thinking for international students Khuslen and Zayed. They were pleasantly surprised by how their placement line managers challenged them to think for themselves and learn how to confidently ask questions – all in the pursuit of better outcomes.
As part of the Bachelor of Business (Professional), Khuslen Tsendbaatar (KT) and Zayed Al Kathiri have spent their year-long paid Professional Placement working in Swinburne’s Careers & Employability team and levelling up their career.
For KT, this experience led her to explore a new career track she has never considered before.
“I have grown to enjoy data reporting and analysis. I have been considering the possibility of choosing a career in data science so this experience has helped me understand what I would like to do as my career.”
Zayed encourages other international students to apply for placements that are out of their comfort zone.
“Studying at university allows you to build and gain different skills and qualifications, and having various other skills enables you to become adaptable and versatile when applying for a job,” he says.
With Zayed as a Marketing Administrator, and KT as a Junior Data Analyst, the students from Indonesia and Mongolia respectively aided the development of career resources for international students and featured as guest presenters in webinars and events. This was instrumental in fellow international students feeling nurtured, which broadens the possibilities for others study and work experiences.
As part of their placement experience, Zayed and KT learned how to use professional business analysis programs such as Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Excel and CareerHub.
“I am learning to be proficient in and understand how to use the organisation’s business analysis programs to perform data analysis and data visualisation that make sense of business data and draw insights. It also allows me to develop a deep knowledge of data sources,” Zayed says.
“These are all crucial software used in data science and it will help me as a technical skill in my future career pursuits,” says KT.
As part of the Victorian Government Study Melbourne International Education Resilience Funding, students like Zayed and KT are getting practical Australian work experience – relevant to their studies – while building their professional confidence.
Zayed says that one of the best resources Swinburne provides for Muslim students and staff is the prayer rooms. “They’re vast and spacious, and I am happy that they equipped that type of resource for their Muslim students.”
“I always enjoy talking about my own heritage and history as well,” says KT. “Almost everyone is curious and interested in the differences we had when we grew up. Everyone has been very welcoming to me and positive about our differences.”
Career Consultant (International) Olivia Doyle says an advantage of having KT and Zayed in the workplace was their “insider intelligence”.
“Getting their perspectives on work to better tailor resources and marketing to a diverse student audience was incredibly valuable.
“I am sure other organisations would benefit from similar insights which reflect our diverse Australian community along with the need to build bridges across the globe. Our team also enjoyed learning more about their cultures, meeting their families and sharing some delicious treats.”
As part of Swinburne’s real industry experience guarantee, previous students have had work opportunities ranging from robotics at Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions (BAMS) to IT at Media Links Australia.