Student stories

  • Thi Anh Hong Bui
    "The Andrew Gibson Award has provided me with invaluable support, encompassing not just financial assistance but also a source of motivation for me to further my academic and community goals. The scholarship has given me motivation to pursue my future career path in the education sector to inspire and empower future generations of students. The tremendous support I received from the Selection Panel, including professors and staff in the Faculty, as well as Judo Bank, further encouraged me to pursue my future goals. Additionally, the scholarship also opened doors for me to intern at Judo Bank, a prominent and rapidly growing company in the Australian banking sector. This experience provides an opportunity to network with enthusiastic and passionate professionals who will undoubtedly be inspirational in my journey. Being the recipient of this award is a deep honour, and I am eagerly looking forward to the opportunities that await with Judo Bank!"
    - Thi Anh Hong Bui
  • Anand Bharadwaj
    "I was privileged to undertake the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) program at the University of Melbourne in 2021, supported by the C. S. Soper and Joan Rydon Scholarship. The rigorous, intellectually stimulating academic training, coupled with the opportunity to undertake independent research, made the program an immensely enjoyable and rewarding experience. Under the guidance of my advisor, Professor Simon Loertscher, I wrote my Honours thesis on the competitive effects of vertical integration in supply chains. Motivated by the many supply chain disruptions that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, my thesis used tools from economic theory and mathematical economics to shed light on how to design supply chains to be more resilient to external shocks, particularly in environments with asymmetric information.

    The rich intellectual ambiance of the department and the outstanding mentorship of the Faculty cemented my passion for research in Economics, and it was a great privilege to graduate from the program with the William Noall and Son Prize (awarded to the top student across all disciplines of the Bachelor of Commerce Honours program) and the Jean Polglaze Memorial Prize for the best Honours thesis in Economics. The C. S. Soper and Joan Rydon Scholarship not only provided me with financial support for my degree, but receiving this award also gave me the confidence to pursue my dream of undertaking a PhD in Economics at a top US school. I am now in the second year of my Doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, which has been an excellent fit for my interdisciplinary research interests. Looking back, I am immensely grateful to the donors of the C. S. Soper and Joan Rydon Scholarship for supporting my Honours studies and thereby giving me an outstanding platform from which to commence my research career."
    - Anand Bharadwaj

  • Shizhe “Jade” Chen
    "I am incredibly grateful and honoured to be a recipient of the Honours Accounting Students’ Society Alumni Scholarship. As a student who was relatively new to research, the scholarship assisted me throughout my Honours year by providing the resources that allowed me to focus attention on my research essay, where I explored how Connectivity and information presentation can affect the relevance of sustainability as perceived by investors. The scholarship also enabled me to spend more time exploring additional educational opportunities, and this helped in planning for a future in Accounting after my Honours. Moreover, I believe this scholarship genuinely improved my well-being by allowing me to dedicate more of my time to supporting the broader community at the University of Melbourne, such as participating in student societies and organising student-led events."
    - Shizhe Chen
  • Endi Xu
    "This generous financial award granted by the donor has been instrumental in alleviating the financial challenges associated with my enrolment in the Master of Management (Accounting) program. I am profoundly appreciative of this prestigious award. Beyond the monetary benefit, the scholarship serves as a formal recognition of my prior academic achievements and professional experience in the field of Accounting. This recognition reinforces my confidence to excel academically and professionally, and fuels my unwavering determination to exceed the expectations of both the donor and the University. I will forever cherish this award and remain committed to making a meaningful contribution to society as an alumnus of the University of Melbourne."
    - Endi Xu
  • Dhanush Girish
    "The Alumni Leadership Scholarship was critical to supporting my career ambition to create broader social impact through business. The scholarship enabled to me to join a growing social enterprise supporting minority women groups in India as a volunteer strategist. Furthermore, the leadership recognition was a core part of my profile that aided admittance to the MBA program at Stanford and the MPP program at Harvard, where I am currently continuing to explore how to leverage business for social impact. I am incredibly grateful to FBE and the alumni donors who have made this scholarship possible."
    - Dhanush Girish
  • Sabre Konidaris
    "Receiving this scholarship was a strong motivator to pursue new opportunities and it provided me with an excellent base to learn from during my studies. The award recognised my contributions to our public and university communities, such as extensive involvement in student clubs including Cainz, Enactus, GCG and ESSA. This acknowledgement helped to me reflect on the importance of adopting a considerate and open mindset, and encouraged me to continue engaging in volunteering initiatives, such as supporting the Ukrainian Centre in London. For me, an important part of the scholarship was the opportunity to meet with Margaret Abernethy regularly in a less formal setting (such as for coffee in the Spot café) and learn from her wisdom. She acted as a sounding board, for example, and gave me advice on topics such as student exchange in the context of career development. These learnings, along with the scholarship's financial support, helped form my decision to study in London. This was an incredible experience which sparked my interest in the city and motivated me to move to the UK post-graduation. Ultimately, the scholarship has offered a range of highly formative experiences and has significantly inspired and supported my life decisions."
    - Sabre Konidaris
  • Natasha Watkins
    "The Wilfred Prest Traveling Fellowship was a valuable source of support during my PhD studies in Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles. I am grateful to have received the fellowship, which allowed me to spend the summer after my first year working as a research assistant, furthering my progress in the PhD program and developing useful connections with the faculty at UCLA."
    - Natasha Watkins
  • Thomas Gao
    "The Flagstaff Partners Honours Commerce Scholarship supported me during my Honours year in Finance, where I was exposed to a vast breadth of research across various subfields of behavioural finance, market microstructure and corporate finance. Importantly, the scholarship was complemented by an internship at Flagstaff Partners, a premier corporate advisory firm specialising in mergers & acquisitions and capital raising activities for some of Australia's largest companies. Here, the generalist coverage model at the firm provided exposure to work with corporate clients covering many of ASX's largest sectors including natural resources, gaming, retail and financial institutions. The experiences gained through these opportunities provided me with insight into the scale of the corporate finance world, and simultaneously bolstered my passion for academia during my final year of Honours study."
    - Thomas Gao
  • Sofia Ahmed
    "The John D. and Dagnija Balmford Travel Grant made it possible for me to participate in the Global Management Consulting (GMC) program. The grant helped to cover the travel and accommodation expenses and relieved any financial concerns I had. This allowed me to fully immerse myself in the program’s offerings. I was very keen to participate in the GMC program so that I could experience daily working life in international settings and gain first-hand experience as a consultant. I am truly grateful to be a recipient of this grant as it has opened doors to valuable opportunities for my professional and personal development."
    - Sofia Ahmed
  • Christina Qian
    "As a BCom student I was passionate about employing my knowledge and capabilities to create tangible impact, and as part of the FMAA First Year High Achiever Award I received mentoring from the Macquarie Group which provided great support in allowing me to better connect with the professional world. I was excited to discover the different pathways on offer, especially those in the areas of consulting, finance and economics, areas which were closely related to my career aspirations. The mentoring also provided me with tailored advice on internship applications, offered insights into the day-to-day responsibilities of graduates at Macquarie, connected me with other industry professionals, and allowed me to better understand the sectors in which my skills and interests could be best employed. The financial contribution of the scholarship also supported me in meeting financial obligations, while allowing me more time to focus on my studies."
    - Christina Qian
  • Olivia Yin
    "The Pinnacle Women in Finance Award gave me an invaluable opportunity to explore a career in investment management. Being a Pinnacle Women in Finance scholar opens doors to opportunities to intern with Pinnacle or its affiliates, and I was fortunate to complete an internship with Antipodes Partners in Sydney, who actively manage a portfolio of global equities across developed and emerging markets. Working in the Financial Services team, I gained significant insight into factors that drive investor returns within this sector, as well as a nuanced appreciation for how the team's philosophy guides their investment decision-making and ultimate portfolio selection. Additionally, the financial grant assisted my study abroad as part of a business exchange program, where I studied Investment Theory and Behavioural Finance. These courses deepened my knowledge of theoretical and applied concepts in finance, from portfolio theory to understanding market anomalies. I am grateful to the Pinnacle Women in Finance Award for further inspiring my passion for a career in investment management."
    - Olivia Yin
  • Ben Ryan
    "The Robin D. Hocking Scholarship provided the financial support I needed to push my studies and understanding of Economics further than I ever thought possible. It gave me the opportunity to fully focus on my studies during the final year of my undergraduate degree, allowing me to explore more fully the Economics program at the university and many potential topic areas for my Honours thesis. Without the scholarship, I do not believe I would have been academically prepared to undertake an Honours year in Economics. At Ormond College I was able to surround myself with inquisitive people who pushed me to think extensively about the challenges facing Australia today, and I developed many of the skills there that have helped me achieve my career goals to date. Ormond also helped me to fine tune my public speaking and build confidence in debating topics that I am passionate about."
    - Ben Ryan
  • Nicole Marino
    "The Geoffrey Blainey scholarship was the starting point of what became a deep appreciation for the value of studying economic history. My essay was on secular stagnation and how ageing populations and the Covid pandemic would influence the effectiveness of fiscal policy. To do this, I combed through history to look for parallels, uncovering differences in economic behaviour post-wars vs. post-pandemics. This insight initiated a broader interest in where historical patterns show up today — a thread woven into my career as an investor. Reading about history gives me an edge in recognising and using these patterns to anticipate the future, for example how current US-China relations mirror that of the US & the Middle East or the USSR, and what this might say about the trajectory of the West’s relationship with India. I am grateful for the generous support of the donors, as the scholarship opportunity spawned a new curiosity that influenced my life and career."
    - Nicole Marino
  • Dr Rachael Weaver
    "I was so pleased to receive a Lockie Fellowship to advance my current writing project, Bird + Life. It has helped me take my colonial research on Australia’s native birds in a more personal, reflective direction and to think about cultural relationships to species in new ways."
    - Dr Rachael Weaver
  • "The scholarship has me hopeful about the future and meeting with the sponsors helps me feel connected to the faculty and university community. The financial support means I can spend more time on campus and focus on my studies."
    - Joseph Alkarra
  • "I've been able to spend my time focusing on university and being involved in the community. If I could give advice to future applicants: stay true to who you are, stepping out of your comfort zone is such an important step so let your personality and passions show."
    - Victoria McKenzie
  • Ruby Sakarintr
    "In addition to the financial support offered by the Cbus Super Mavis Robertson Scholarship, I was able to gain first-hand experience through an internship. Interning at Cbus – one of Australia’s largest industry super funds – was an invaluable experience. It not only gave me an insight into the inner workings of a super fund and how they operate, invest and strategise in a way that maximises outcomes for members, but it also allowed me to apply the knowledge I’d gained in my studies and provided me with clarity as to the direction I’d like my career to take and for my wider professional aspirations. Over eight weeks I rotated through different teams within the Investments division, such as Equity Portfolio Construction, Risk and Compliance, and Strategy and Innovation. I found myself in an incredibly supportive culture, where I was lucky enough to work alongside passionate professionals who were eager to share their expertise to help me build my skills and knowledge of investment management. The Cbus Super Mavis Robertson Scholarship has been paramount in supporting my professional development and university studies, while connecting me to a dynamic, high-impact industry."
    - Ruby Sakarintr
  • "Being the first in the family to leave for university was definitely a little nerve wracking for me – however, mostly exciting. I’ve known from a very young age that I wanted to go to university and move away from home. As much as I love the farm, I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to do forever. I was also really excited to live in Melbourne, as it was a completely new experience for me as I had only been part of a small-town community. Since attending university in Melbourne, I have developed so much as a person and really found who I am and what I want to do in my life. I’m sure I would not be the same person I am today without this amazing opportunity. This scholarship has made attending university possible for me. It has taken so much financial pressure off my parents and myself. It is so nice to have been able to lift some of the pressure off my shoulders so I can completely focus on my studies. This scholarship meant that I didn’t have to work as frequently during my degree and got to attend a college where I found all my friends, whom I could not be more grateful for. In the future, I hope to move overseas to do my masters or graduate work. I haven’t narrowed down the details just yet, but I know that I want to see more of the world while studying."
    - Claudia Cox
  • Angie Lu
    "I became highly invested in the Kerry Landman Scholarship in the hope it would gift me two types of freedom. Firstly, financially, so that I could commit wholly to achieving my highest potential in my studies. But secondly, personally, so I could prove to myself that what I've always wanted was possible and purposeful. The Kerry Landman Scholarship was my dream all neatly packaged and waiting at the MGSE."
    Read Angie's story
  • Rhiannon Simpson
    "As someone who grew up in a low-income household, the sheer amount of financial freedom the scholarship has provided is life changing. This is the first time in my life that I have been able to study without working full time concurrently, which has allowed me to solely focus on getting my academic pursuits to a higher standard."
    Read Rhiannon's story
  • "Our project ‘Glimpse of Hajj’ aims to facilitate community engagement with manuscripts of the Middle Eastern Collection of the University of Melbourne through digital technologies. As early-career academic conservators, we have been able to translate our research into tangible avenues for wider engagement, including the research and the production of a video on Muslim pilgrimage. The Willem Snoek Scholarship has provided opportunities to connect with the Muslim communities and has allowed us to share this significant and under utilised collection of manuscripts more widely."
    - Leila Alhagh and Sophie Lewincamp
  • Heather Berry
    "I believe that the field of maritime archaeology is ready to be jump started in Australia, and what a perfect way to do it - with a focus on Australian maritime archaeological conservation. This scholarship will allow me to undertake and focus on my studies to the fullest, without fear of distraction. I will be focussing this PhD on the conservation of degraded Australian waterlogged wood such as blue gum and banksia, which will not only provide some variation into the current maritime conservation sphere, which focuses primarily on oak and pine, but will also hopefully provide benefit to Australia beyond merely a maritime focus."
    - Heather Berry
  • Dominic Enter
    "I am currently studying a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne majoring in German and Psychology. I am learning German as Germany offers numerous master programs in Psych. With this in mind, if I became fluent in German I could potentially study over there in the future. It is also a really fun language to learn. I feel an exchange would benefit me in many ways. It would broaden my life experience, step me out of my comfort zone and provide so many rare opportunities that one could only experience on exchange."
    - Dominic Enter
  • "I am honoured to have received this scholarship from the University. It has not only been an immense financial help for my family, but it has also provided me with the ease of mind to pursue my Bachelor of Science to the best of my abilities. It truly means so much to me that I am following my passion at one of the most esteemed universities in the world on a scholarship."
    - Gautam Puri
  • "I am both honoured and grateful to receive the Asia Institute PhD Scholarship. I am a middle-aged father of three children, so the financial assistance this scholarship provides is a necessity in order for me to undertake full time studies. My utmost commitment to excellence, and contribution to society, would not be possible without the aid of this scholarship."
    - Murie Hassan

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