The student from Maharastra talks with us about his journey to UniMelb, how to be dynamic, and how to achieve success in MBS's multicultural environment.
Nikhilesh Chaudhari is a 24 year old Masters of International Business student from Pune, India. He completed his bachelors degree in Engineering (IT) from the University of Pune.
"I feel like I am evolving as a person, which is important when you are away from home"
Q: What’s something people wouldn’t know about where you grew up?
A: The city where I grew up is the most liveable city of India (Proud of it). Also, it doesn't matter whether you are history buff, nature lover or tech savvy; Pune won't disappoint you. Pune has historical monuments, parks, museums, educational institutions and IT parks. Pune is the fascinating city with a salubrious climate throughout the year. Pune is the place where past meets present.
A: Q: How does your native society value education?
A lot! (restricted to certain areas of study). In my personal view the importance of technical education is overrated in front of values education. I think in a zeal to cope with the development of science & technology, our technical education system has become primarily skill-oriented and almost deficient or casual in the education in human values.
Although social mindset about preferred areas of study is changing but the rate of change is slower than the speed of a snail.
Q: What have you learned about yourself being so far from home?
A: At first I thought I am kind of social person. But, when I came to Melbourne I realized it's the opposite way. I feel my mentality was limited to a certain bubble, when I meet people from all parts of world, it was difficult for me to adopt to the culture and interact freely. But, slowly a few of them broke the ice and the conversation began. I feel like I am evolving as a person, my personality is shifting from kind of an introvert to an extrovert, which is important when you are away from home.
Q: Growing up, would you ever believe you would be living in Australia?
A: Frankly speaking not really. But, as I remember once I had a discussion with my neighbour about the nature's paradise Australia. He was then moving to Sydney, So we were debating on Sydney vs Melbourne (same old love story) and I was wondering about living in Australia.
Q: You worked for Accenture back in India, tell us about that experience
A: Definitely one of those places where the scope to learn different things and breadth of opportunities available is huge. I understood the importance of visibility. As sometimes it is important to be visible or else you will be forgotten. After graduating with a software engineering major in bachelors, my short term goal was to experience the international work culture. Accenture one of the top 10 consulting firms in the world exhibited how exactly MNC's function in house. Working in technology division as a software engineer my interactions with multinational clients taught me importance of an open mindset for diversity. This encouraged me to pursue my masters outside India and learn more about multiculturalism in the International business environment.
"There will be lot of opportunities in front of you but you have to make the first move to grab them and if you don't someone else will do it"
Q: How do you find balance in the busy world of graduate studies?
A: Not really. I try hard to plan weeks earlier, but the brutal truth is I can't balance it all together. I feel being more focused and efficient helps me save my time for other activities. But, definitely it is draining in nature when you try to balance " 'Uni life' + 'Work life' + 'Social life' ". So, to manage everything sometimes I choose the first 2 (Uni & work) over the 3rd one (social).
Q: What philosophies or mantras help guide you?
"Change is the only thing which is permanent." So, be prepared for unexpected changes in the life. But, consistency leads to success. Hence, dynamic nature is necessary for success in life.
Q: Has MBS changed your outlook on what you want to do with your career?
A: Even after a whole year at MBS, I am unsure about it.
But, on a broader perspective yes MBS is helping me make choices and I think it's all about what choice you make in the end. The extremely engaging environment at MBS keeps me on my toes and the range of options available sometimes confuses me. As I want to do everything, but I can't manage everything.
Down the line I think I am moving forward in the direction I want to.
Q: What’s a culture that MBS has encouraged you to learn more about?
A: "Be proactive and inclusive"
There will be lot of opportunities in front of you but you have to make the first move to grab them and if you don't someone else will do it.
Also, in the business world there is no right or wrong answer it depends on the perception and logical support for the argument. So, leave the fear of shame behind and be proactive.
Second, include everyone and don't make opinions before personal interactions with the person. As, everybody in this world is trying hard to move forward. So, why not cooperate and help each other for the success. It helps you gain skills and knowledge you are lagging or uncomfortable with.
As, the power of networking is ruthless if you could use it properly.
Q: Do you make plans? Where do you see yourself in 1 year? 3 years?
A: Yeah I do plan seriously but unfortunately most of the times it looks cool on paper but when it comes to application it needs to be modified very often, I am trying hard to improve on it.
Hence, in nearby future I would love to be involved in leisure industry graduate work, as my ultimate dream is to have own business in leisure and entertainment industry(currently working on BMC). So, to fulfill this dream, I need insights of the industry and being involved in graduate role will help me gain the knowledge and skills with networks for future references.
Down the line somewhere around the end of 3 yrs mark, I feel the business will be in initial phase. Where I will try to manage work load depending on the industry environment and business success.
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