Learning to take the initiative and work effectively as part of a team are two of the key learnings Renuka Ranapal gained from her time at Victoria University.
Renuka, who's from the Nepali capital Kathmandu, graduated from VU with a Bachelor of Information Technology (Network and Systems Computing) in 2016.
She chose VU for a range of reasons: “I was looking for a university with a course that matched my career goals, at an affordable price. And I’m glad I chose VU.
The first thing I learnt was how to adapt to the multicultural environment and to interact with people from different backgrounds. Secondly, the course empowered me to self-learn new skills – including programming skills and new programming languages like Apex.
Renuka says her course co-ordinator, Associate Professor Hao Shi, encouraged her to get involved in a range of activities available through the University, not just those directly related to her course.
“Hao Shi encouraged me to enter the VU Hackathon. It’s a really exciting competition organised within the University. I was part of a team of five and we won,” says Renuka. “That’s how I met Gus Balbontin and Selvi Kannan, who introduced me to the European Innovation Academy and encouraged me to apply for a scholarship. I passed the interview and won the scholarship, which was another fantastic opportunity.”
The scholarship enabled Renuka to attend a three-week entrepreneurship and innovation program in France. It focussed on the process of taking an idea and developing a minimal viable product for testing.
Renuka says VU also helped her to learn workplace skills. Hao recommended that she volunteer at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).
“I was keen to gain IT experience at ASRC but that’s not all I learnt. I also learned about workplace culture in Australia and working as part of a team.” Renuka’s course co-ordinator also opened the door to another opportunity at a management and technology consultancy firm. “It was in my last semester. Hao Shi informed us about this graduate program by e-CentricInnovations and I applied for the position. That led to me gaining an internship and starting my journey of being a software developer. I’m now working as a Salesforce developer at Southeast Water.
“My ambition is very simple – to do what I love. I love programming and I want to excel at it, to a greater extent.
“I would certainly recommend VU to other students. It can bring out the best in you.”