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CQU international student makes most of wait with NGO cadetship

Published:07 February 2022

CQU Project Management student Kunavathy Pajandran is looking forward to completing her studies in Australia.

CQUniversity student Kunavathy Rajandran chose Australia as her study destination because she wanted a global career – and while she waits for borders to open, her degree is already helping her to build it.

The passionate student began her Graduate Certificate in Project Management in Term 2 2021, studying remotely from her home in Malaysia due to pandemic border restrictions.

Now she’s juggling the studies with an internship, through the Australian-led Career Catalyst Cadetship program, supporting female empowerment and refugee resettlement NGO Saras Care.

The social innovation opportunity, available for Malaysian students studying remotely with universities in Victoria, was created by Study Melbourne and supported by the Victorian Government.

“(CQUniversity Associate Vice-President – Victoria Region) Will Alderton emailed me about the program, and mentioned it was a great opportunity that would emphasise design thinking methodologies, which I am passionate about,” Kunavathy said.

“After a round of interviews I was selected to intern as a Project Manager, supporting the work empowering refugees and people with disadvantaged background, and upskilling of women.

“We are now in the midst of using technology to develop a UN-standard tracker for displaced people and I am working with a team on the development process, so it is very exciting!”

At the same time, Kunavathy is excitedly preparing to study at CQUniversity Brisbane in Term 1, as international students are allowed to return to Australia.

“I check the Department of Home Affairs page every day for the travel advisory!” she said.

“It has often felt very frustrating to miss out on face-to-face interactions with other course mates and lecturers, but I can attest that CQU has one of the best online programs I have ever seen.

“When I chose my course, it was because it directly related to my profession, and I did extensive research on many universities before deciding on CQU, because the admissions staffs were very helpful and friendly, and also because CQU is ranked as top 650 universities in the world.

“I believe I will achieve my full potential with CQU, and I look forward to meeting my lecturers – they’ve been instrumental in helping me to get where I am with the Career Catalyst Cadetship.

“I also look forward to connecting with like-minded people at campus and in Australia who are passionate about social innovation and disrupting how things are done.”

Mr Alderton congratulated Kunavathy on her progress in the cadetship, and thanked all of CQU’s international students for their patience as they waited to travel to Australia.

“The past two years have been really difficult for international students with no certainty on when they would be able to enter or return to Australian to commence or resume their studies,” Mr Alderton said.

“But their patience has paid off – and the whole CQU team is very excited to welcome students onto our campuses across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane for Term 1 in March 2022.”