Meet alumna Michelle Kaukonde

Zimbabwean alumna Michelle graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2022.
We chatted with her to hear about her experiences and insights, from balancing the challenges of adapting to Australian university life to graduating with a global education and making a positive impact in the world.

Michelle Kaukonde

  1. Tell us about your study experience.
    My study experience was a long ride. It was a journey full of mixed feelings. I started off studying on campus which was really fun, and I got to study in the Learning and Teaching Building (LTB) which I loved. Due to COVID, we had to use Zoom meetings which was hard. It was tough not being able to socialise with other students, but I also enjoyed the flexibility. My favourite part of my study experience was the fact that I could meet different people from different cultural backgrounds, and exchange cultural learnings and stories with them.
  2. What was the highlight of your Monash experience?
    My highlight was having a diverse friendship group as I got to meet people from different cultures. They were so lovely. Sometimes, we’d go out after studies to eat together and try each other’s cultural dishes. This was definitely my biggest highlight - I will treasure the friendships I have made for the rest of my life.
  3. Why did you choose to study at Monash University?
    I chose to study at Monash University because of its impressive rankings. Additionally, my brother who is located in Australia did a Master of Banking and Finance at Monash. He would always tell me about his study experiences, so I was very much drawn into wanting to study at Monash too. I researched a lot about the uni, and loved how it offers so many services. I felt like I would be very supported.
  4. Was there someone you met at Monash who impacted you/ helped you change the way you see the world?
    I met Dan King who was the leader of FOCUS, a faith-based student club, and his chats really helped me to remain focused. It was fun as well, as it was a community with people from different cultural backgrounds. Dan King impacted me positively and I looked forward to gathering with friends from the club every Friday night. It was a break from the university study pressure and I would leave FOCUS feeling very confident and positive that I would ‘make it’. FOCUS helped shape who I am today.
  5. Did you have a favourite spot on campus? Why does this place stand out to you?
    My favourite spot was the Learning and Teaching Building (LTB). I loved the colours in the building, the buzz, and the overall feel of LTB. I also liked the vending machines within - I was able to take a walking break and grab a quick drink whenever I felt stressed out. I loved studying close to the window, looking at the Law building and green grass.
  6. What change would you like to help make in the world with your Monash degree?
    I would like to specialise in mental health and make a positive impact to those around me, especially in my home country, Zimbabwe (in Africa).
  7. Would you recommend studying at Monash to a prospective international student?
    Yes, definitely! Monash is full of services, such as getting help with studies, counselling when feeling lonely, sports and clubs - allowing international students to easily make new friends and share experiences that they’ll treasure forever. Monash is also very highly ranked, so attaining a degree from Monash stands out on resumes.
  8. What advice would you give first-year Bachelor of Arts students?
    Be yourself, run your own race and remain focused on the end goal. Never look down on yourself and set high goals, because nothing is impossible.