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Coffee With Ash Rahman

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Ash Rahman from Bangladesh has completed a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Melbourne.

Tell us about your study experience?

Back then, I always had this idea of how to make more money and which career path will lead to faster employability. I ended up in choosing Electrical Engineering at Uni Melb – Engineering skills are broadly transferable. When it comes to more engineering-specific skills such as electrical engineering candidates can often move straight over. Hence the decision of me going into this field. Then, over time, I realise that I may have gotten more than what I came here for. Studying at the University of Melbourne and RMIT has developed me professionally and personally. There are massive opportunities outside the class that have nurtured me to beyond than what I thought I would be. For example, there are public seminars, conferences, workshops, conventions, competitions, projects, internships, and other types of exciting activities that are easily available around the university and the wonderful Melbourne city itself. However, what really matters from all of those adventures is the engagement with many brilliant people from a diverse background. Such engagement had forced me to put what I have learnt into practice, as well as driving me to explore several topics that I would never think about before.

All in all, my experience at the University has taught me that life is a continuous learning process. And one shall also stay humble in the pursuit of it. Because, essentially, we are all similar – A lifetime learner.

What advice would you give to someone starting your course?

Seek to be practical in what you learn and don’t be afraid of asking questions and making mistakes.

Whilst getting H1’s/HD’s are important, it is not the only attribute that employers look for, a well-rounded individual is every bit as important as the grades you attain. As you progress through your course it will tend to get difficult and tough. These tough times are the ultimate examiner. They bring to the surface character and give us an opportunity to sink or swim, fight or run, learn or grow bitter. The sooner you accept that life is brutal, and challenges will come in abundance, the sooner you’ll pull yourself out of any slump and go searching for the lessons from the challenging experiences. If you switch your mindset during difficult times, from one where you complain about the cards that are dealt, to one where you look for the lessons in what you’re experiencing, you’ll start to see yourself in a whole new light. Always remember that you have the choice.

What is your job now?

Customer Service Coordinator.

Did you find it easy to get a job after graduation?

Yes!

How did you get from your institution to where you are now?

Well while I was at university, I always volunteered. During my summer/winter break, I worked for fundraising companies for different charities. There I realized that I prefer to be out on the streets talking to people rather than sitting in labs trapped doing coding or talking about maths all the time. I found that extremely boring as I progressed throughout the years.

Then while staying at UniLodge on A’Beckett student accommodation, I got a part-time job as a Residential Advisor where the job was even more fun – I get to talk to all the residents and carry out and plan events in the building. Gradually, I was given more responsibility and slowly started to learn the admin side of residential management. As a result, I was able to help different properties at Unilodge when needed. This gave me the opportunity to meet other RAs, tenants and the staff members and make friends all around UniLodge. And then it hit me that I enjoyed being in the real estate than being an electrical engineer! I saw an opportunity opening up at the place where I stayed and I immediately applied.

Describe a typical day in three words?

Live for others!

Have you been affected by COVID-19?

With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, we didn’t get the chance to work from home in our company. However, being in a real estate industry we constantly have to keep ourselves updated with the legislations from the Government (a lot of reading!). Through this crisis, managing expectations has also become even harder. All of a sudden, we’re workers, we’re teachers, we’re providers, we’re cleaners. Meetings have shifted to zoom and any chance of me having community events have totally come to a stop! 🙁 But thanks to God that so far my team and myself are well and healthy even though the situation has become worst in the last couple of weeks!

What have you learnt about yourself?

That my life before Covid 19 wasn’t that much different from my life during the lockdown. I must really enjoy solitude, haha!

Three words to describe your life during this time?

Struggle, learn, adapt.

What about the future?

My future goals involve learning as much as I can until I eventually take on a leadership role such as General Manager for different Melbourne Portfolios in the Real Estate Industry. I prefer to work with others, and I believe that I could thrive as a leader if given the chance. I would love the opportunity to manage a team and shape them into successful workers.

What positives can be taken from the changes in our lives?

With all the tragic things that are happening in the world as a result of the coronavirus, now might seem like an unusual time to talk about being positive. Yet staying positive is a core ingredient in the recipe of coping in a crisis.

Even during lockdown you still have many small moments to savour. The smell of coffee, the feel of the warm shower on your back. Also, the fact that now you can order delivery of food without any delivery charges (big yes for me)!!!

If you are into gaming like me, more friends of mine are online and we can now team up and play together – this helps strengthen our connections, some of which were lost a couple of years back! 🙂

Now, more than ever, is the time for us to be proactive about creating small moments of happiness in our days.