Almost There

Sponsored Every international student lives on borrowed time. Our university and career activities are overseen by a ticking time limit – often, we have to think decades into the future to be able to plan for today.  Here, we have three iDibs representatives sharing their struggles, their dreams, and their almost-there stories. --- Javier Javier has always known he would get into marketing. When I asked why he was so interested, he pointed out the billboards across Melbourne.  “You can see them everywhere!” he says excitedly. Advertisements, according to him, are an integral part of our lives. “We used to run a business back in Singapore, and from there I see that marketing is the part customers will see first.” His family ran a laundromat – while helping out, Javier noticed that marketing could be used to help people connect with a business.  A month before he graduated, Javier was accepted as iDibs’s Cultural Ambassador. Even with his previous experience, Javier found it challenging to adapt to a corporate setting. “The presentations you do in class, it’s different in the corporate world. We talk to clients and they ask questions pertaining to your business, unlike in the classroom.”  Still, he loves what he does and wants to stick with his job for a while.    Bryna “I’m a very career-oriented person,” she says, now a second-year undergraduate at RMIT. Bryna majors in Public Relations, and her biggest hobby (and strength, I’d say) is talking to people. She was quite vocal about her challenges as a new student. “My first semester,” she recalls, “I was lucky enough to get job offers, but turned them down because I’d be so overwhelmed.” Now, though, studying while working as a Marketing & Sales Strategist, her whimsical and bubbly energy is hard to miss in any room. When asked for her best career advice, Bryna didn’t hold back.  “Talk to as many people as you can,” she says. “Talk, listen, absorb - be a sponge!” She recounts her shift from an 85% introvert when she was younger, to the 90% extrovert she proudly is today.  “Invest in stories of other people, and learn from other people’s difficulties.” When I asked about her plans, she didn’t seem the least bit worried. “I’m open to travelling, to going away,” she states. “I’ll go wherever it’s best for me.”   Natasha Set to graduate at the end of the year with an economics degree, Natasha’s main focus is also to try different things. “For now I’m just looking for jobs in different industries to get more experience,” she said. She is currently working a part-time job that allows her to engage with international students and learn from a variety of cultures and life experiences. In the distant future, though, she is thinking of starting her own business.  “I’ve just found out I’m interested in fashion and the makeup industry,” she said, sporting a Pink Floyd T-shirt, and fresh pink hair dye. “So I’m considering doing further research into that market.”.  It is this diverse range of interests that tie into her advice for other students wondering about their future. “Just go for it, just take up the opportunity because every failure brings a lesson.” Natasha is excited to see what the future holds once she graduates, and might want to stay elsewhere for the rest of her life. “I enjoyed Melbourne life, but it’s not for me for the long term,” she says. Still, she wants to hang around for a couple more years and hopefully spend it with iDibs. “No matter how much I enjoy my time here, there is still this void that is empty,” she admits, “and that can only be filled with going back home.” --- As individuals, there is no telling what paths we choose to venture on. Some seek new things, unknown territories. Others find their way back home. Being an international student is an experience that defines this for many of us – navigating through a change in space, in identity, in our work. To assist us in that very process, platforms like iDibs work as a guide. iDibs provides support for internationals finding their way – whether to make Australia the next step in your career, or making it your home.  This is to the dreamers, the go-getters, the talented, the figuring-it-out. Perhaps of all seasons, this one is yours. To finally take that leap, and to do it together.