‘I’m here to stay – that’s the extent of my love for Melbourne’

Originally from India, Nikita is studying a Master of Business Information Systems and Management at our Melbourne Campus.

She completed a Master of Management at the University of Warwick in the UK and worked in health insurance consultancy for four years before deciding to undertake further study.

Choosing La Trobe

‘I have a business management background and these days successful managers need to have a perfect alignment between their business and IT strategies. It was at this point that I decided to change my career direction and enter the field of data analytics. I did some research, talked to my peers who were doing something similar and realized that the best way to get into IT management is to study it in-depth since I have no prior knowledge about this field.

‘Once I decided that I wanted to move to Australia, I knew it had to be in Melbourne. I began researching the best places to study and of course La Trobe University’s name popped up. I got in touch with the La Trobe representative in my home country, Mr Amit Malhotra, and he turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We had a detailed talk about what I had done and what would best suit me. I came home, studied the course guides in detail on La Trobe’s website and that’s how I ended up choosing to study a Master of Business Information Systems and Management.’

A bumpy transition

‘As luck would have it, my visa got delayed and I ended up missing registration, Orientation and also the first two weeks of my classes. This made the transition tough because I missed all the need-to-know sessions, two weeks of classes and the fun activities during Orientation.

‘It took a little bit of extra effort on my part to acquaint myself with my lecturers, my peers and catch up with all that I had missed, but the entire La Trobe community helped me transition smoothly.’

My lecturers helped me adjust my schedule, the accommodation team organized emergency accommodation for me and people helped me find my classrooms when I got lost. Ask La Trobe answered all my questions, the Glider looked after my transportation needs around campus and security staff helped me feel safe in case I felt uneasy walking by myself in the evening.

Campus life

‘La Trobe has a multi-cultural community with students from all walks of life. The University environment is very vibrant and full of life. Agora is always abuzz with activity and events. The Student Union has societies that represent each community, country and culture and everyone has equal opportunity to celebrate their diversity. I find that this freedom of expression and equal representation gives us all a feeling of oneness and makes it very easy for new students, especially from overseas to settle in the life on campus.

I’ve been involved in a lot of volunteering work in and around the campus. There is always something happening at La Trobe and the staff encourage student participation.

‘I’ve been a part of the Language And Cultural Exchange (L.A.C.E) Program by La Trobe International, which facilitates language and cultural exchange amongst students from diverse cultural backgrounds.

‘Most recently, I volunteered as an International Host for Orientation. This fabulous opportunity helped me meet new students from all across the globe, share my experience, resolve their queries and assist the International office in the general management of the registration event. I got to lead a team of nine commencing international students to victory in the Amazing Race, a treasure hunt expedition organized for new students. It was an amazing feeling for me since this role allowed me to experience all the events I had missed because of late arrival.’

Living in Melbourne

‘I’ve been a student in India, UK and now in Australia. So I carry a little experience in me from everywhere I’ve been. But I find that studying in Australia has broadened my outlook and made me a well rounded individual. Melbourne especially, is a city that welcomes people from all backgrounds, cultures, genders and ethnicity.’

I’m here to stay – that’s the extent of my love for Melbourne. People are very honest and friendly … freedom of expression is a way of life here and everyone is encouraged to speak up. These are the qualities that resonate the most with my soul. As a nature lover, close proximity to the beach fills my heart with happiness and calm. Melbourne is also an art-lover’s haven!

The study experience

My course is very dynamic and the program director, Dr Mei-Tai Chu, makes a constant effort to incorporate current relevant topics in the structure to make us career ready and employable by the time we graduate.

‘This dedication from the program director and her entire team is very inspiring. This semester we will visit a corporate office to see how data analytics are used by businesses to transform their daily operation.

‘We cover topics like Enterprise Business Intelligence (EBI) and cybersecurity. With the subject Managing IT Projects, we were made to develop a product from start to finish over a semester and present it to our teacher’s panel at the end. This was a very learning experience as we learnt about the challenges IT project manager’s face in terms of budget, time and resources; how to turn roadblocks into opportunities, how to use various IT softwares to our benefit, etc.’

Looking towards the future

‘La Trobe focuses on making its students global citizens. I believe that my experiences from three countries together with my current degree here at La Trobe will give me a wide range of career options to choose from, including data analytics, cybersecurity, IT management and advisory and consultancy roles in Australia and across the globe.

‘My time at La Trobe has prepared me well for what is out there. In the coming five years right after my degree, I see myself working with one of the top IT consulting firms where I would thrive and grow in experience and skill. After that, who knows? As they say, sky is the limit!’

Visit our website to learn more about studying as an international student at La Trobe, or discover more student stories.