She talks with us about her source of inspiration, how to succeed at UniMelb, and how Australia helped her embrace her roots.
Aashka Vaidya is a 23 year old Masters of Management (Marketing) student from Muscat, Oman. She completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of Pune in Pune, India.
"Any act of kindness, no matter how small, never goes wasted."
Q: When you think of home, what comes to your mind?
A: Through life, I’ve moved locations so many times that I’ve now realised that home to me has always been the people in my life. No matter where I go, when I meet the right people, the place starts to feel like home.
Q: Who is someone who inspired you from a young age? What did you learn from them?
A: My constant and biggest inspiration has been my Dad! I learnt from him how strength and humility will take you a long way, to always treat everyone with love and respect no matter who they are, where they are from or how old they are and always to unapologetically be myself.
Q: What’s a phrase or saying in your native country (and language) and why is it important to you?
A: ગમે તેટલી નાની હોય, ભલમનસાઈ વ્યર્થ નથી જતી - It translates to – Any act of kindness, no matter how small, never goes wasted.
One day I was in a tram on my way home after having the worst day and a lovely woman just smiled at me and said, “have a good night”. It truly turned my entire day around and I didn’t go to bed upset. That’s when I knew, there is nothing more fulfilling than showing kindness to a loved one, a not so loved one or even a stranger!
"Placing young leaders who are eager to learn in an international environment will make them aware that the globalised societies are the new normal."
Q: How has UniMelb challenged you? What have you learned about yourself through that?
A: I think the biggest challenge (and I’m sure I’m not alone in this) was increasing my tolerance for and learning how to navigate my stress! My biggest takeaway– It’s OKAY to ask for help! From your peers to the University’s support services, when you’re not in it alone, it’s a lot easier to overcome.
Q: What do you want to get out of Melbourne University by the time you’ve finished your degree?
A: With all the opportunities and subjects that are offered as a part of my degree, I’m hoping that by the end of it I find some assurance and clarity of what direction I want to steer my career in and if it will be something I can see doing for the rest of my life.
Q: What does a global education mean to you?
A: I think a global education is the future of all education, placing young leaders who are eager to learn in an international environment will make them aware that the globalised societies are the new normal. This can make them more accepting, open-minded and culturally aware and we all know that these attitudes can really solve so many problems that the world is facing.
If you enjoy this piece on Aashka, we think you might also enjoy reading one of our other profiles, like Francesca Pujatti. Click here to read.
Q: You've worked in marketing as a brand consultant and social media manager, what have those experiences taught you?
A: Marketing is constantly evolving and you’re always learning something new! Since marketing is the backbone of any business you’ll never be bored and will always stay relevant as a working professional too !
Q: What is a place you have travelled that’s changed your perspective?
A: I think my travel to Australia has changed so much for me, it’s helped me understand what an important role embracing my culture and roots has on the journey of self-discovery.
It has also helped me understand that most stereotypes and prejudices are simply because of cultural unawareness and I can’t help but feel proud that I am able to help break those barriers sharing one experience/memory at a time.
Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?
A: Plans don’t always work out the way you want them to, but when it doesn’t, 9 out of 10 times something better is coming your way!
Q: Where do you want to be in 5 years?
A: I want to be happy, I really don’t think it will matter where I am or what I am doing as long as I’m happy inside and out!
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