Life After Graduation: Pallavi Verma, Western Sydney University Masters Graduate

September 16, 2019
By Aaron O'Farrell

Today we are meeting with Pallavi Verma, a graduate of Western Sydney University and the winner of our “Best Presentation” Award that our Wester Padd Games with EnergyAustralia back in July, 2019. Pallavi completed her Masters of Information and Communication Technology this past year and is an extremely hard-working and ambitious member of our community. We wanted to catch up with Pallavi to learn more about her experiences and share them with the rest of our community, because we really believe in Pallavi and think she’s a great role model who others can learn a lot from.

Hi Pallavi. Can you start by telling us more about yourself?

I was born and brought up in India. In 2017, I came to Australia as an international student. This year, I graduated with a Master of Information and Communications Technology (Advanced) from the Western Sydney University. Additionally, I have also been honoured with being included on Dean’s Merit list for academic year 2017 and 2018 as I attained a GPA of 6.87 (on a 7.0-point scale) in my course.

I am a high achiever and strive to give my best in everything I do. In 2016, I graduated as a gold medallist (university topper) with a Bachelor of Computer Applications from India. In addition to my studies, I love to engage myself in various other activities. Thus, apart from excelling in academics during school and college, I have outshined by winning various literary events (such as turn coat, extempore, British parliamentary debate, poem recitation, group discussion), and several cultural events (including solo dance, choreography, nukkad natak, and group dance). 

One of the best experiences of my life had been getting awarded with "Wg. Cdr. H S Gill Memorial Gold Medal” for being the best all round student of the year 2015-2016, at the annual convocation organised by PCTE Group of Institutes. Achieving this was not easy, but this award always motivates me to be confident, trust in myself and believe that hard work definitely rewards us with fruitful results.

I love to interact with people and deliver presentations. My greatest passion is public speaking. I am highly motivated to use my passion for a purpose; to help, encourage and inspire people. So far, I have delivered various speeches, webinars, podcasts and conference talks on topics related to international students, Women in Science and Engineering, getting a job, life in Sydney and many more.

Some of my hobbies include reading books, dancing, yoga, travelling and playing Sudoku. I am a nature lover and I love to spend time with nature.

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What do you hope is in the pipeline for you since graduating?

I am an ambitious person and always keep myself open to learning new skills. I always engage myself in activities that helps me grow both personally and professionally.

In my short-term career, I see myself working as a business analyst and later as a project manager. Currently, I am working as a junior business analyst at Western Sydney University. I consider this job as a great learning opportunity for me. I am confident that the experience, knowledge and skills I am gaining while working at WSU’s IT projects are definitely contributing to my aim of becoming a successful and inspirational leader.

Furthermore, I find the decrease in the number of females studying and pursuing STEM related professions very concerning. In my career, I am particularly interested in communicating my technical skills through my communication skills and encourage women to participate in careers related to ICT and other STEM related careers. I believe that we should use our skills and passion for a purpose through which we can influence people and make a difference in the world. Therefore, I am highly motivated to use my passion for public speaking to encourage women into STEM related careers.

Do you think your peer group/fellow students are actively planning ahead for their futures? 

I have met a few university graduates and students who have decided what their career goals are but does not know where to start from. 

Most graduates find it hard to find the first job in their relevant fields because of not having any local work experience. This is where participating in alternative activities and innovation challenges helps students to develop skills that could be directly transferable to their profession.

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Being a student, I had faced some challenges too, but I am grateful to God that I understood the importance of engaging in co-curricular activities in the last few years of school. I continued participating in several activities in my college and university which has helped me a lot to boost my confidence and enhance various skills of mine.

My generation wants to become self-dependent, work in a rewarding profession and achieve goals to live an ideal life. For this, it is crucial to believe in yourself as well as have a positive mind-set and attitude in life. I believe, being grateful for everything you have in your life, is one of the best ways to add positively in your life.

Source of inspiration is different for everyone. Some people get their inspiration from work or home, some from YouTube videos and others get theirs from role models such as Nita Ambani and Oprah Winfrey. For me, my first inspiration comes from my family; my parents. I think when you work hard and achieve your goals, a time comes when your achievements become an inspiration for you which inspires you to achieve more in your life.

It is very important to maintain a healthy balance in personal life and professional life. However, sometimes, devoting quality time to different things in life such as; study, work, hobbies, health and family becomes challenging which stresses some people. In such times, spending time on peace giving activities such as; your hobbies, yoga and meditation is very helpful. To students and graduates, I would recommend: stop procrastinating, prioritise tasks and utilise your time wisely on activities that adds value to your life.

Do you think it’s important for students and graduates to keep seeking alternative experiences, like Paddl Games, to grow as future professionals that their studies don’t offer them?

University education is just 3 to 5 years of study of a person’s life. However, a person should keep learning throughout life in order to achieve his/her goals and success in life. 

“Studies can help us to learn various concepts in our fields, but for better understanding, students need a platform to practically implement those learnt concepts. Therefore, for students, it is highly important to engage in productive activities outside their studies that could help them in their personality development and to develop various transferable skills.”

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In addition to my studies, I had been actively engaged in various committees, conferences, webinars, podcasts and competitions like Paddl Games. From my experience, I would say, the more you engage yourself in additional activities, more will be your chances to grow as future professionals.

Yes! According to me, students and graduates should definitely partake in innovation games challenges such as Paddl Games. Paddl Games provide a platform for students and graduates to practically implement the knowledge gained during their studies while solving some real-world challenges. Moreover, Paddl Games are a great way to develop teamwork, problem solving, innovative thinking, communication and presentation skills. All these skills are in high demand in the professional world.

We met you at the launch of the Western Sydney University Paddl Games series in July, 2019. How would you describe this experience? Have you participated in anything similar before?

I loved being a part of WSU’s first Paddl Games. The positive vibe of the event was so energising. Paddl Games group participants from different backgrounds in teams and encourage them to come up with an innovative idea, while working alongside a local business, that could practically be implemented to solve real world challenges. This is such a fantastic approach to help students to build their professional experience. In addition to getting participants to develop an innovative solution, the idea of having employability booth at the Paddle Games was highly valuable. I must say, Paddl has made learning very engaging and fun.

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Yes, I had participated in a similar competition ‘Interchange’ before. It is an entrepreneurship and employability skills competition for international students only. In Interchange, students from different universities are grouped together in various teams where they pitch a project idea that would benefit international students in Australia. Just like Paddl Games, participating in Interchange was so special for me because our team won People’s Prize in that competition.

You took home one of our main individual prizes: Best Presentation. Congratulations again! Your presentation was brilliant. The judges were so impressed by how direct, clear and passionate you were while pitching your team’s solution. Did you enjoy the experience of working with other students from different backgrounds to create a solution? Was it difficult to gel as a team?

Thank you so much! I am highly passionate about public speaking and winning the ‘Best Presentation’ award (that too at my first Paddl Games) made my day.

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My experience of working with people from different educational, cultural and professional backgrounds was really amazing. It was so surprising to see what amazing things could happen when people from different backgrounds collaboratively work towards a single objective.

No, getting on as a team was not difficult. In fact, it was so interesting especially when everyone was coming with different ideas from their own perspectives. That’s where I would say, “Participating in Paddl Games can help you become a better team player”. I think, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a team where each and every team member was so energetic, enthusiastic, focused, helping and hard working. Though we all met each other for the very first time during the Paddl Games, but the way we all came together as a team was really nice. I think, the work becomes interesting when you work with people who are passionate about what they are doing.

We’re coming back to Western Sydney at the end of September for another innovation challenge with Westpac. Will you be applying to participate again, and what would you tell fellow WSU students considering applying?

Thank you. Definitely, I would love to join the Paddl Games once again.

Paddl Games are so unique in the way it brings university students and graduates together to work with small businesses and industry mentors on an innovation challenge. It is a great platform to develop various transferable skills and network with like-minded people from different backgrounds striving for success in their careers. Paddl Games are making a wonderful contribution in helping students’ and graduates’ grow both personally and professionally.

“If you are looking for professional development, you must participate in Paddl Games. It makes learning so engaging and fun. Investing your time in Paddl Games is worth it.”

Get Involved

If you are a student or graduate who is interested in participating in the next Western Paddl Games, sign up for Paddl today and keep an eye out for all future announcements to see when we will be coming to a city or region near you! 

If you are a small to medium business interested in learning how you can get involved and work with a dedicated innovation team, please contact Caitlin at 03 9514 3000 or caitlin@paddl.co

Join Paddl today,  create a profile, and  see how you can unlock your professional potential in an innovative way.

https://www.paddl.com/