Setting sights on Asia
West Melbourne student Elizabeth Smith says her career aspirations came into focus when she became the inaugural recipient of the Premier Fruits First in the Family Scholarship.
The small Australian company wanted to give more to their community by establishing a scholarship for students from low socio-economic backgrounds from the western suburbs of Melbourne.
“I have had the chance to pursue so many opportunities that have been made available to me,” said Elizabeth, describing how her scholarship transformed her experience as a Bachelor of Commerce student.
Rather than being overwhelmed with choices, the financial and collegial support provided through the Abernethy Scholars group – a network connecting scholarship recipients – helped Elizabeth zero in on international marketing.
Not only have I participated in many great mentoring programs and attended leadership forums, workshops and case competitions, I’ve also had the great privilege to complete some of my bachelor studies at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea and at National Cheng Chi University in Taipei, Taiwan.
“In both countries I was able to learn about the local history, culture and business practice. It was a unique opportunity to be at the intersection of history, studying at East Asia’s oldest university, and the future – in one of the most vibrant and exciting cities on earth. I was able to experience how these cultures use marketing to build their communities.”
None of this would have been possible without Premier Fruits. Elizabeth plans to use her growing language skills in Korean, Japanese and Chinese to pursue a career in international marketing with a focus on improving lifestyles and living standards. And she is also giving back. At the University, Elizabeth is a mentor and student ambassador, tutoring primary aged students from refugee backgrounds.
“My experiences have helped me in building strong relationships with the students, so they too can develop their own confidence in and out of the classroom and discover that no matter the circumstances they have come from, they can be anything.”