Monash Business School student awarded New Colombo Plan Scholarship

Monash Business School student Christopher Giagoudakis has been awarded a prestigious New Colombo Plan Scholarship by the Australian Federal Government.

MP Julie Bishop and Christopher Giagoudakis
MP Julie Bishop congratulates New Colombo Plan Scholarship winner Christopher Giagoudakis from
Monash Business School.

These scholarships provide opportunities for Australian undergraduates to study overseas and do internships in 40 countries across the Indo-Pacific. For 2019, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) awarded 125 scholarships.

As part of the scholarship Mr Giagoudakis, a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) fourth year student, will be attending National Taiwan University in Taiwan for a semester and completing an internship with an engineering technology firm.

He is one of five students to be successful from Monash University.

He attributes Monash Business School for enabling him to pursue his interest in both Commerce and Engineering.

“Monash Business School has provided me with the course flexibility to be able to pursue this opportunity for overseas work and study,” he says.

“The versatility of my commerce degree allows me to undertake study at National Taiwan University in areas such as international finance and commerce. Any international internship that I undertake will also be credited towards my degree.”

Mr Giagoudakis also says his double degree majoring in finance gave him a competitive edge in the process.

“My commerce degree helped set me apart from other applicants who also had a focus on technology and innovation,” he say.

“Rather than just being interested in technology in the Indo-Pacific, I was able to use the business acumen developed through my commerce studies to demonstrate how I was going to use that knowledge and experience to then add value to Australia’s own STEM industries.”

The Scholarship program is highly competitive with Australian universities running the initial application process to submit 10 nominees to DFAT. Nominees must then be interviewed by a panel in Canberra and address the four main selection criteria: academic excellence, leadership skills, resilience, and the ability to contribute to the New Colombo Plan goals.

Mr Giagoudakis says he choose Taiwan as his overseas destination due to its strong technology, cloud technology and artificial intelligence industry.

“It is a fantastic opportunity to gain technical knowledge that isn’t yet available here,” he says.

“Asia is a hub for innovation and technology and the University of Taiwan is very prestigious in this area and has some fantastic research output in engineering and technology.

“Because one of the key aims of the New Colombo Plan is to build institutional connections between Australia and the Indo-Pacific, it made a lot of sense for me to complete my study at National Taiwan University and use this as an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between our universities.”

Mr Giagoudakis also intends to volunteer with the National Taiwan University’s 180 Degrees Consulting branch – a student body that provides consulting services for social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations - as he has already volunteered for the Monash University branch.

“It’s a great way to meet future business leaders from around the world and it’s another avenue through which I can connect both universities,” Mr Giagoudakis said.