Anna Chiappini - “Can you work while studying?”
Anna Chiappini is an Italian MBA student at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. Somehow she's balancing her studies, a job AND a social life!
My friend Zie, has been one of the first students I've met at Flinders University. We have often advised each other on academic topics, therefore during her last semester she suggested me to undertake a placement experience at Flinders International Office. I decided to apply for it immediately!
Et voilà, this is my sixth month of placement with the communications team, formed of Kate Silkstone and Marcella Smyth.
Working for the Flinders University communications team
Working here has been an intensifying and formative experience, since I had the possibility to work in my field, but in a different country, sector and type of institution (public rather than private).
The project that I liked most during my placement has been the organisation of a focus group (basically an interactive group interview) with 8 international students in order to understand how they perceive and use the Flinders website whilst deciding to study abroad. Having a marketing background, I really enjoyed both the creative and analytical components of this project; I liked to work with other international students and to make a valuable contribution to the office's website and work through the use of my skills and insights as an international student.
Working while studying
Beyond the placement at Uni, I also had other part time jobs, since international students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week, during each semester.
Being financially independent and experiencing a still flourishing and meritocratic working system in Australia has been very important for me. It counterbalanced the hard-time that I am still experiencing due to the economic crisis in my country and therefore the months of insolvency of one of my last employers. It gave me new energy and hope in order to start my next job-search in Europe with a great attitude!!!
Furthermore, I have to say that working and studying has been challenging, but strongly rewarding! It gave me the chance to train further my English skills and to be familiar with all the essential bureaucracy in order to work abroad: job contracts, TFN and ABN, payrolls system, tax office declarations and so on. As my next move, will be again abroad, into Warsaw (Poland), where I will initially work using the English language, I will for sure use what learnt until now.
I wish everybody the best of luck during your studying and working experiences, in Australia and back in your country.
Take care everybody!!!