International Students Student stories MBA Vinola Rita Miranda (India)
Vinola Rita Miranda (India)
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What made you decide to come to JCU to study?
I was looking for more job opportunities and also to be away from my family to become more independent. There’s a lot of unemployment in Mumbai. I’m an only child, so I want to open up my career opportunities and be able to take care of my parents one day. When I went through the curriculum, I saw JCU offered corporate governance and conflict analysis and I’ve always wanted to work as a conflict resolution practitioner. The Master of Business Administration, majoring in Conflict Management and Resolution, also sits well my Bachelor of Law degree I completed at Mumbai University.
What is it about the North Queensland environment you think makes it a great study destination for international students?
I chose JCU because it’s in the Tropics and the weather here reminds me of Mumbai. I love the summers and the beaches – I love the sea. JCU also ranks highly both in world rankings and within Australia compared to other universities and the living costs are affordable. I live a 15-minute walk from the university in Douglas (with another international student from Nigeria who is studying Public Health). If I wanted to live on my own, I could also afford to do that here and have already been able to find a part-time job as a retail assistant at a department store. I also looked at the affordability of the fees and the quality of the education and JCU was able to offer both.
Tell us a bit more about your degree experiences – what are the classes like and is there a particular class you enjoy?
I like going to the university and sitting at my desk and listening to the professor teaching. I really enjoy that offline mode of education. Some of the classes offered are in-person, some are online and there are subjects that offer mixed-mode. My conflict analysis class is my favourite and it is mixed-mode. We had a fun workshop for this class at JCU's Townsville City campus two weeks ago, where we talked about the layers of conflict. The Director of the Conflict Management and Resolution Program, Claire Holland, also spoke to us about the group she is a part of – Mediators Beyond Borders Oceania. Claire is a certified conflict coach with Conflict Coaching International and spent a year working in refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border as a Mediation Specialist with International Rescue Committee.
Have you had the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in class to any real-life situations?
Whenever I see any real-life conflict I assess it through the framework of what I learned in the conflict workshop – thinking about who the primary parties and secondary parties are, so I can better understand the concepts.
Vinola Rita Miranda enjoying the outdoor spaces on the JCU Townsville campus.
What are some of the challenging moments you’ve experienced?
I had a bike accident where I grazed my arm and chipped my tooth. The international student support team was so great with taking me to the hospital to get my dressing changed and even helping me with dishes and laundry until I recovered. They also helped me find affordable treatment for my chipped tooth.
I’ve had great help with academic writing from a JCU Learning Advisor. I’m really good at speaking but I struggle with putting conflict resolution practitioner my thoughts into words. Now I send my assignments to my Learning Advisor for feedback before submitting them, which has helped me improve my grades.
Have you had the chance to participate in any activities?
I’ve been to Magnetic Island, which is a 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville. I loved the ferry ride and the big waves make butterflies in my stomach. I’ve also been on a sunset cruise around the Whitsunday Islands, leaving from Airlie Beach, which is a 3.5-hour drive from Townsville. I’ve also been to Cairns (four hours north of Townsville) where JCU has another campus. I have cousins in Melbourne and Adelaide, so I’m hoping to visit them in the future.
What are your future goals?
Another reason I chose JCU is that I would love to stay and work in Australia, after going home to visit my parents and pet cat Mickey. Ideally, I’ll be able to get some consultancy work at a company while I’m still studying and then apply for full-time work there when I graduate. A few of my friends, who are also international students, graduated recently and they have work. One is working in IT in Brisbane and the other is working as a research assistant here at JCU. I would like to apply my knowledge of company law and contracts, together with what I’ve learned about conflict management, to help companies resolve any disputes.