Mr Nathan Eva
At University, good grades are important, but you should also try to focus on your experience. Many students broaden their horizons by joining a club or society, undertaking an internship or by going abroad. These experiences not only provide you with enjoyment, but will help shape your future.
Lecturer Nathan Eva from the Department of Management provides insight into what steps you can take to make the most of your time at Monash.
Regardless of which Monash University campus you’re on, you can expect to be spoilt for choice. The campuses are large in size, and present opportunities for students to get involved and meet new people. I would always advise students to join one (or more!) of the many clubs and societies we have on offer. Whether it’s based on sport, culture, music or gaming, you can be sure that clubs and societies will help develop skills applicable to your studies and social life, and will be advantageous when it comes to applying for that ideal job in the future.
While applying yourself socially is fantastic, it’s just as important to remain academically engaged. You are not expected to know everything, so it’s important to reach out and seek assistance from your tutors and lecturers. We can have anywhere between 200 and 1,000 students, and while we want to help every single one of them it’s up to students to take charge and build that relationship. I always love receiving emails from students about different things that link back to our material so I strongly encourage that you contact lecturers about extra things you can do to further apply yourself.
Strive to go abroad
Whether you’re a regular jetsetter, or you have never stepped foot outside of Australia, I will always encourage students to take their studies overseas if given the opportunity. I teach leadership development in Prato, which is a two-week crash course in your own leadership style. Students have raved about their experience and their feedback has been extremely positive, which is great!
I have also found that studying abroad gives students the opportunity to be much more immersed in the material they are studying. In Prato, for instance, students will learn about different leaders, analyse their own leadership style, and then lead their team through a series of challenges across Florence. An experience overseas will give you a unique opportunity to link the material to the culture that surrounds you.
Regardless of your destination, you will have the opportunity to do so much more learning and bonding than you can in any regular unit. My students, for example, have been very engaged with one another. Rather than head straight home after class, they'd head to Pisa to practice their leadership and then go out for a group dinner. It’s these kinds of moments that just can’t be replicated at home.
Before going abroad there are a few things you need to consider. While it can be considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the costs can add up. From flights to spending money, you will need to budget. However, don’t let this deter you, as it’s well worth the months of saving. I would also recommend that you strive to go to a destination that you’ve been dreaming of, as you never know when you will get the chance again. The long-term rewards for an experience like this can be immense as it really makes you stand out from the rest when seeking career options. While most people who apply for jobs have degrees, work experience and some voluntary background, not everyone can say they have the added dimension of overseas practice.
Success comes to those who work hard and take their chances. Spread your wings and drop into different lectures to get an idea of various areas of study. I began as an Arts student, and upon stumbling across a management class in leadership, I developed a new passion which has shaped my future completely. Remember that university is a flexible place and that change is common – so if you find enjoyment in something, don’t be afraid to move in that direction.
Most importantly, university can be quite stressful at times, so remember that it is not just a place to study. It’s a place to enjoy a whole new experience, meet new people and build yourself as a person.