Elizabeth Phan tried nursing, pathology, and even make-up artistry before she found her true calling. Her ‘lightbulb moment’ came when she recognised she loved helping to empower people, especially women, and enrolled in a .
“None of my previous roles ever felt quite right. I got too attached to clients as a nurse. I didn’t like working in labs as a pathologist. And I heard a lot of women share moments of sadness and fear from their partners as a makeup artist.
That’s when I realised what I really liked was empowering others and became interested in feminism and social rights.
I have lived in Melbourne’s west all my life, and in 2016, I decided it was about time I chose the university of the west and enrolled at VU.
Everything just clicked once I arrived at VU. I’d struggled at other universities, but VU’s support and its focus on diversity helped me thrive as an adult learner.
I also participated in an intercultural leadership program, iLEAP, developed by VU’s Cultural Diversity Office in partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
When I graduated in 2019, I was ready to enter a profession I loved, but then COVID hit with its job losses and high unemployment.
I was getting lots of knock-backs, and after seven months, got only three interviews from 200 job applications.
I’m thankful I’m now using my social work training and my Vietnamese language skills in my new role.”