I came to QUT in 2013 as a mature aged student. This was my second time at uni; my first time was back 2006 when I studied engineering in China.
I chose to study business because I have worked in business in Shanghai for the last seven years and I am passionate about helping businesses grow! I wanted to get the most out of my tuition so I chose the most solid skills for business: a double major in accounting and finance.
At the beginning, it sounded scary to not only go back to university, but to go to university in another country. I had been away from uni for so many years, could I pass this course? Maybe it would be too difficult? Despite all these negative thoughts, I told myself I never say ” no” to the things I want to do!
So I studied hard and I did four units during the summer, which is the first semester for my uni. To my surprise, I got a 5.75 GPA for these four units and in my data analysis class BSB 123, which is the most difficult subject for the whole Business School with a very high fail rate, I received a 7! I felt so proud of myself because I never believed I could that, but I had to keep ignoring all my negative thoughts and just keep trying. Since then I’ve started work as part-time tutor for data analysis and I helped a lot of Australian students pass this unit.
But the academic challenge is just one side of my difficulty in Brisbane. The other important thing is having to pay the massive tuition fee and living expense here. I come from a small village in China. My parents and grandparents are farmers and have no money. I paid some of my tuition through my savings which I earned in Shanghai. I also still have some small business over there which generates a bit of income, but it’s still not enough for the expenses here.
The financial struggle was stressful, but because I’d started my degree, I was determined to finish it. So I looked for different jobs in Brisbane – and I started doing anything from washing dishes, cleaning, being a kitchen hand and all kinds of labor jobs. I worked crazy hours and I also studied like crazy, but I still kept a balanced life style. I did Toastmasters at QUT and joined the Running Club. I participated in the Dragon Boat Race, Park Run, Brisbane Table Tennis Club and so on (I also do the Kangaroo Point stairs a lot!). My gosh, when I think back now I am so surprised by how much things I have been done in the last three years!
There is proverb: Where there is a will, there is a way – and I feel my last three years of uni life at QUT really demonstrates this. You can overcome so many difficulties!
I would highly encourage all students facing any academic difficulties, personal difficulties or financial difficulties, to say “no” to your negative thoughts – you can overcome them!
Now I am graduating from QUT and I’ve just started a contractor job with Flight Centre. Landing this opportunity was challenging as well!
I started my job hunt six months ago, printing off my resume and walking into difference offices relating to finance and accounting. Most companies said no when I asked about job opportunities – but even the “no’s” were opportunities to learn.
Every now and again I would get an interview, and even when I didn’t get the job the interview was still such a great lesson for learning.
Finally, I was offered a contract with Flight Centre. I will keep applying for any other opportunities that come up with them in the hope of getting an ongoing full-time role. And I believe I can, because I always say “ no” to the difficulties I’m faced with!
I am so appreciative of my three years with QUT: all the lecturers and tutors, and also all the friends I met from uni! I am also particularly thankful for my mother club: QUT Young Achiever Toastmaster Club. They have been like my family and I have had such a great and valuable time with them.