What made you choose Australia as your educational destination?
I have a completely different reason behind coming to study in Australia. It all happened to me as an experiment. I had a good profession back home as a Fashion Designer. I used to see big advertisement of IELTS almost everywhere that fascinated me to know what it is all about. I then gave IELTS exam and scored a decent result. After that, I was like why not attempt Australia? That’s how I and my hubby landed Sydney on Feb 2009 without any solid plan. Today, I have seen people do a lot of research before coming here, which turns out to be remarkably helpful for them during their transition stage.
As a student, what were the major challenges you had experienced at that point in time?
It was not an easy transition and on top of that I had no solid plan like getting PR. I felt like an outsider. The agency enrolled me in DIP taking Childcare with wrong information. After 6 months, most of my classmates changed their course towards different subject. I was challenged by thoughts of what and where I will study further but I continued with the same course. When we first arrived Sydney in 2009, it was recession period. I remained jobless until 2011 and my hubby for 7 months. Later, he got work which paid poorly however we had no other choice. We were not able to rent under our name as we were new and had no reference. We stayed with my hubby’s cousin for 3 weeks initially in Central, Sydney. We were living on a tight budget and were always looking for ways to cut our expenses. My hubby wanted to extend our visa as we had no good reason to return. We were in a dilemma in choosing subjects. In 2012 I was offered a sponsorship in Perth and we were all set to relocate there. But just a day before my flight, I denied to fly. It was like my right time was yet to come. Agency gobbled up my $5000 cash for refusing to fly which is a lot of money. That was the moment we both felt very sad. I almost ended up going back. Then again my hubby encouraged me to get back. There were several times I felt like it's wasn’t a right decision to come Australia.
Was there a time you messed up and felt like you’d failed? How did you bounce back turning all those adversities into opportunities?
Whether you make a minor glitch or a major mess-up, how you react matters much more than what you did. I have faced different challenges in my student life and career. I would say that the time I felt like I’d failed was in my current role at my initial week of beginning stage. I had to face few concerns that were created on the fabricated story by my teammate. I stood up to them to my full potential. I personally felt frustrated. We had a respectful and positive conversation about it. It ended up being a lesson for me how to handle tough situations. Although I am not proud of this callousness, it has improved me professionally as well as personally. I discovered fresh confidence. I think it was important for it to happen. Do not feel low about the mess you face but take it as an opportunity to improve.
How did you learn to embrace risk-taking?
After deciding to go overseas and living in Australia, I learned that everything around me is because of me and thus I was responsible for everything that happened next. As a result I took courage and ventured forth to put myself out there. I learned to appreciate small things more. I became responsible and driven. I follow the mantra that if you want to succeed in any endeavor ahead, you must get comfortable with fear and failure. I look at myself every day and say, I am in charge. I might not have control over every phase of my life, but I have more control than I realize, and I am responsible for my own happiness and success. No pain no gain, simple as that.
What was your defining moments (Pre/Post Journey as a student)? Like an incident, experience or an action that have Impacted your values and beliefs and steered you throughout your life’s journey and defined your personalities, and your outlook of life.
Moving to Australia leaving my one-year-old child, family, career, relatives was not an easy decision to make and personally it was the biggest challenge of my life. There are so many moments in Australia. Some are small and some are huge, some are glorious and others aren't. I mentioned above how I had to handle the challenges that was made on false base. These moments are all a part of what makes the experience so dynamic, and in my opinion, worth it. They are also what makes me grow.
Think back to 10 years ago. Did you envision your career as it is today?
I would say that my career path is such that my career serves me, and I serve my career. I’m looking to grow and become more and contribute more and be more than what I am today. It’s a growth role that will benefit me professionally because I will learn and develop more skills. It’s a stepping-stone to the next role. It’s an opportunity to hone my skill set. I discovered this profession the way I had visualize in my mind but certainly a bit more challenging than I thought.
What is the most memorable and worst incident in Australia?
I pictured Australia as a beautiful and welcoming country. In these 11 years of experience, I quickly learned not everyone would easily welcome you. When I left Nepal, I gave up a good career. It was hard, initially; especially when I didn’t know how to look for a job in a new environment. Homesickness hit harder than expected. I missed my little child so badly that I cannot express in words. All the challenges helped me to grow better and now I do not regret coming to Australia. It took me 2 years to get a proper job and that too was casual not permanent! The most memorable incident was when I was offered my current position as a Senior Educator in 2014. That not only taught me so much about Aussie workplace culture, it gave a whole new group of friends and established our lives. This role taught me to put my inner perfectionist aside and be flexible so that when gale force winds blow, I bend-not, break-not and adjust to cope with the situation.
What is your secret recipe for a successful Student and professional life?
I believe in myself. I learn and grow as I go. My hubby was always there to encourage me. I keeping trying and focus on the things that I can control and let go of the things that I can’t. I stay motivated and view failures as learning experiences. I think Australia has changed how I think; I have more confidence to speak out and just be myself. As a student I focused on study because it was my first priority. Now I focus on my job.
As a mentor, what are the suggestions you would like to give to the new students?
I feel a bit comical to consider myself as a mentor :-) Anyway, my 11 years’ of experience says success is all about doing the best you can with what you have. Moving abroad and starting over in a new country is one of the most terrifying yet exhilarating adventure ever! It's a totally different environment and you are required to stand for yourself. On a day-to-day basis, you might just feel numb – uninspired initially, but do not feel low. Take it as your learning step. Speak up. If you do not speak up no one will know what is happening to you. Look for support, be persistent and learn new skills. I think it’s much easier than it used to be as there are a lot of information available online and easier to get in contact with Nepalese community. Eat well and sleep well. Don't underestimate the importance of those 8 hours of sleep every night! Surround yourself with positive thoughts, like-minded and smart people.