Above and beyond a VU degree

Reflecting on the past three years at Victoria University (VU), Janice Ashwin says she will return to the Solomon Islands with so much more than just a degree.

Aside from developing a strong global business acumen through her Bachelor of Business, having majored in international trade, Janice has gained friendships, confidence and leadership skills by immersing herself in the diverse facets of University life.

With a long list of extracurricular activities added to her resume, Janice has taken part in VU’s Lead2Change student leadership program, volunteered in V4U Day – the University’s largest one-day annual volunteer event, and was a Student Transition Mentor.

“In my first year I was settling in but in my second year I took part in the Lead2Change program which helped me build leadership skills,” Janice, who graduates in December, says.

“Dealing with students as a Student Transition Mentor, I’ve also been able to improve my communication skills and employee capabilities, which will be useful for finding a job when I go back home” she says.

“I loved my classes and all the academic support I received, but the best thing about VU is the community life.”

This community life extends to VU’s 60-plus student clubs and societies, including the VU Pacific Students Association, of which Janice is treasurer.

“Coming from home and not being with my family, I’ve been able to maintain a connection to my culture and meet other people who have the same interests as me.”

Janice says she chose VU – which ranks in the top 2% of universities worldwide by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 – because of the course structure and extra learning support.

“Having common first year units made my transition from high school so much easier.

“The University also provides academic support through the Learning Hub, which was really useful for me with English being my second language.

“I also enjoyed the group assignments because you get to work with students from all different backgrounds – this has helped me build the skills to work with people from different backgrounds in the workplace.”

As she prepares to return home to Honiara later this year, Janice says she will always be grateful to the Australian Government for offering her an Australia Awards Scholarship.

“Through my hard work and dedication I was offered the scholarship, but without it I never would have been able to study at VU.

“Now I can go back home and use my knowledge and skills to contribute to the development of my country.”

Courses studied

Bachelor of Business (International Trade major)