Network software specialist Karam Ali says university students should prioritise their studies and their long-term goals, including obtaining experience through placements and industry-related employment.
"A bit of sacrifice now will reap much better and bigger rewards in the future. You have to be optimistic about your future. My suggestion is to focus on your studies now and get relevant work experience – that is invaluable."
He also cautions students from placing lower tuition fees ahead of the quality of tuition. "My advice is do not sacrifice the quality of your education for a small difference in fee. It is ultimately the quality of your study that will help you in your career."
Karam credits Victoria University (VU) with helping to develop his leadership and creative skills, as well as building his project management and industry experience, as part of his Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical and Electronic Engineering).
Karam was born in the Pakistani city of Sialkot, which is famous for producing high-end soccer balls, surgical equipment and leather products. He graduated from VU in 2017 and is now working for Telstra, Australia’s oldest and largest telecommunications provider.
"Victoria University offered a platform for a curious optimist like me, who needed room to be creative. I was able to excel at that in my Problem-Based Learning (PBL) subjects.
"In my time at VU, I was able to be a leader, curious and an ‘ideas’ person - which are traits that Telstra really values in an individual, in my opinion."
Karam explains that he started working at Energy Australia while he was still at VU and he also undertook a final year project with one of VU’s industry partners. "I was able to see the theory applied in the real world. It gave me a good understanding of practical considerations before I left university.
"VU has more to offer than what is on paper. It is an experience and a learning curve that will set you up for life. I would like to assure international graduates that there are a lot of opportunities to upskill and to work in the area that you love. You just have to look and be open to what is out there."