From the womb to the classroom, twins Zahra and Fatemeh Sayahi have been through the highs and lows of life together.
We chatted about their career dreams and the common misconceptions people have about them.
A pathway to a dream career
Why did you choose this study pathway?
Zahra: We decided to begin with TAFE studies and work our way through, beginning with the Certificate IV in Business [BSB40215]. We loved the TAFE environment – it really suited us straight out of school. The teachers are so supportive and interactive e-learning is a great way to study.
How’s your experience at uni so far?
Fatemeh: We’re always sharing ideas and studying together. With Block Model you finish your subjects faster. We’re used to studying all the subjects at once, but Block Model allows you to focus on one unit at a time; and three classes per week gives you time to study outside of uni.
I’m really looking forward to doing the work placement in second year – it will help us build connections and get experience in the workforce.
What does getting the scholarship mean to you?
What do people get the most wrong about you?
Fatemeh: They assume we’re the same but we’re totally different – our appearance is where the similarities end. Zahra is calm – but she’s so innocent, people take advantage of her! Whereas I’m more feisty. We fight a lot but we balance each other out. It’s hard for people to tell us apart – at school teachers made us wear different clothes; but our personalities always come through.
What’s your dream career after uni?
Fatemeh: We both want to work in law enforcement. There are a lot of options – and we may take different paths – it could be policing, special agency or even border control.
Practising Taekwondo is teaching us self-defence and confidence to prepare us for a career in law enforcement.
Zahra: Oh that’s another thing people get wrong about us – they don’t realise how tough we are!
What’s it like to be the first in your family to go to uni?
Zahra: Our whole family is so proud – our parents, uncles and aunts. It’s particularly meaningful for mum; she would have studied in Iran, but women are not allowed to get an education. She’s made a huge sacrifice for our family, dedicating her life to raising us and our younger sister.
Fatemeh: If we were in Iran now we wouldn’t be permitted to study. Our lives were at risk – as Arab people in Iran our cultural traditions were in danger, and so were we. So we came to Australia to be protected. From secondary schooling in Broadmeadows and gaining our valuable higher education, we know the sky’s the limit.
Find out more about studying, pathways & scholarships
Pathways & alternative entry
mean your ATAR or previous qualifications are no obstacle. You can study at TAFE or higher education level and work your way towards your dream course and career. You can also get , so you can complete your studies faster.