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Coffee with Irvina Paul

Continuing our series of short interviews, this week, meet Irvina Paul. Irvina studied at Swinburne University of Technology where she studied for a Bachelor of Information and Communications Technology. 

Tell us about your study experience?

Studying abroad has been quite an experience for me. I can easily say I have learned so much through studying abroad. I have met people from different walks of life, made amazing friends, learnt new skills and to push myself.

Can you give us a “top 3” for Swinburne University of Technology?

My top three favourite things about Swinburne would be (in no particular order):

1. The location: Hawthorn is a great location, it is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, bars and small shops. There’s also a nice park behind the campus to unwind between classes.

2. 24 hour library: my friends and I used to pull an all-nighter at the library or the 24 hour study area. I was surprised when I find out most universities don’t have a 24 hour library which made me appreciate the library at Swinburne even more!

3. The socials: there are always events for students and many clubs to choose from.

What advice would you give to someone starting your course?

Studying ICT isn’t easy but you will get there eventually. Try and make friends with the people in your class.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your lecturer and ask questions if you don’t understand (no such thing as silly questions when you’re genuinely learning). Most importantly, be organised! I know it can be hard when you have so much to think about but trust me, it helped so much to be on top of things. I used to note down every task, all the assignments and the deadlines. I would tick off every task once completed. It helped to motivate me to finish off the whole list and also to keep track of my progress.

Did you find it easy to find employment?

Personally, it is a struggle for me. Before graduating, no one told me job hunting can take a lot out of you! I am still trying to secure a full-time job in IT. At the moment, I am in the process of opening up a small business of my own.

What has your journey from Swinburne to the present day taught you?

I would say I have learnt a lot throughout my journey. Every day is a battle but you have to look at it in a positive way. I have discovered more about myself and what I am capable of when I am at a low point. It has taught me to be patient, strong and to develop my creativity!

Describe a typical day in three words?

Just have fun!

Have you been affected by COVID-19?

I was accepted for a job I applied for only to be told the next day that they have to reconsider due to COVID-19.

What have you learnt about yourself?

I have learned that I can be strong and independent. The two qualities that I never used to see myself as. I have also learned that I need to explore my creativity.

Three words to describe your life during this time?

Learning and developing

What about the future?

I hope to be successful with my business and to secure a full time job that I enjoy!

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

It is important to see it as a learning process. Take the time to get to know ourselves. Slow progress is okay. It’s the process that counts and with effort, we will get to a point we’re happy with ourselves.

We look forward to hearing more about your new business and what the future holds for you.


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