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Turning dreams into reality

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Have you ever dreamed about going to Paris? For marketing and international business student Karen, it was the experience of a lifetime!

Before coming into uni, Karen was unsure of the pathway she would take. She decided to go ahead with Commerce because she knew the wide variety of areas she could get into.

Being an international student originally from Hong Kong, Karen always wanted to see the world and travel while studying, even before she started university. The idea of immersing herself in new cultures, experiences and a new environment was at the top of her list.

However, starting her degree in 2020 meant that COVID prevented her from travelling in her first year. But this did not stop her from trying. Karen made sure to put her hand up for travel every semester to try her luck with going on exchange. After much inquiry, she landed the perfect opportunity to travel to Paris and study luxury marketing.

“It was the best decision I’ve ever made in my entire life. I met so many people there, it broadened my horizons, I was able to take on subjects that I’m interested in, I somehow learned a new language.”

Karen loved being exposed to different experiences in Paris, like learning about luxury perfume, wine marketing, and the Parisian culture. As her first time travelling to Europe, she was nervous about making friends in a new city.

To her surprise, Karen made many valuable connections from students all over the world who were also participating in the program. She says this was her favourite part about the trip. Not only did she have the opportunity to immerse herself in a new culture, but she also got to experience this with new friends who were on the same journey as her.

Karen admires how many different opportunities like this were available to students at Curtin, from extracurricular activities to international exchange opportunities. Curtin has also given her the opportunity to gain real life work experience in the industry she wants to pursue through internships. Which she found to be especially important for her as a final year student.

Beyond her studies, Karen also treasures her experiences with the FBL (Faculty of Business and Law) team and the clubs she’s been involved in, including Curtin Marketing Association, Curtin Consulting Group, and the Consultative Representative Committee. Being part of these different committees has helped Karen’s uni experience to be more enjoyable. She also highlights how this experience has made her feel welcome, especially as a newcomer to both the university and a new country.

Karen encourages students to make the most out of their time at university by making friends in classes and by making the extra effort to build connections with people you may work in the industry with.

“Being in commerce especially, it’s very important to make connections and network. Check in with your peers and tutors, and see what potential opportunities are available to you.”

After graduating, Karen is excited to see where her degree will take her around the world. She hopes to work outside of Perth and continue her love for travelling. Karen believes it’s important to normalise not knowing exactly what you want to do after university and be open to different opportunities to broaden your horizon.

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