Neethu Madhukumar (India)

1. Why did you choose to study at James Cook University - Cairns campus?

During my final year of my bachelor's degree in India, I figured out that I am interested in academia and planned for a Ph.D. After completing my master's degree in India, I looked for Ph.D. opportunities related to my master's research. I was fortunate to be awarded a scholarship from JCU and another university in Australia. However, I chose to study my Doctor of Philosophy at JCU Cairns campus because of the excellent research works done by the Internet of Things research group. Furthermore, during my Ph.D. application, I was well supported by my supervisors and the JCU admissions team, which made me believe that I would have an excellent support system during my Ph.D. candidature.

2.What have been the best moment/s for so?

The best moment was when I won the third prize in the JCU CSE Postgraduate seminar eight months into my Ph.D. Getting recognition for your work is always a great motivation. I think my Ph.D. momentum picked up from then on. I won the JCU CSE Postgraduate seminar prize again the following year. Subsequently, I was nominated to represent the College of Science and Engineering at the HDR division level 3MT competition at JCU Townsville. Another excellent milestone was my research getting published in the top IEEE Internet of Things Journal (DOI: 10.1109/JIOT.2020.3040736), succeeding news articles coming up in JCU News, international IT magazines, web-based publications, getting interviewed in ABC Australia and SBS Australia radio. These are all some of my unforgettable moments during my Ph.D. at JCU.

Neethu Madhukumar.

Neethu Madhukumar is in the final stages of completing her Ph.D candidature at JCU.

3. What are your career aspirations for the future?

I want to be an academic in the future. I want to continue my research and teach at a university. I feel the happiest when I teach and have always taken up any opportunities that offer teaching-related activities. The teaching opportunity I have received at JCU's Indigenous Education and Research Centre has often been a great source of happiness during the ups and downs of my Ph.D. Currently, I am in the final few months of my Ph.D. and am focused on finishing my thesis.

4. What is your best advice for an international student?

Student life is quite challenging, especially when you are away from home. JCU is a great place to study and the International Student Support team is exceptional. I have always found them very kind and helpful. They also organise many activities where you will be able to meet other international students. Getting connected with other students and making friends will make your student life enjoyable. JCU’s initiatives like Sonder, RiskWare, respectful relations provide great support for student safety and well-being. I believe JCU will truly help unearth your full potential.