Celebrating International Women's Day 2022 with our students

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Torrens University Australia celebrates International Women's Day with some personal insights from female students who have joined our community from all over the world.

Torrens University Australia where women make up 63% of our entire student cohort, proudly joins communities all over the globe in celebrating International Women’s Day. We strive to create an inclusive environment free of bias, where everyone has equal access to education and opportunities. Today we celebrate the achievements of five women who are taking what they have learnt while studying with us to build better and brighter futures – for themselves and others.

Marjana Petrova

Meet Marjana Petrova

Born and raised in Macedonia, Marjana spent most of her professional life in Bulgaria as a doctor. Marjana is now studying for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Melbourne, where she’s been supporting the Department of Health’s response to the pandemic. Committed to cardiovascular health, Marjana hopes that the research she’s conducting for her thesis will ultimately improve the lives of others.

What achievements are you most proud of?
I’m particularly proud that I managed to complete vascular specialist training and went on to pursue a research degree while raising two beautiful girls. Getting the ideal balance between a career and family is particularly challenging for women, and I’m no exception. I hope to achieve many other goals – as a doctor, researcher, mother, wife and many other roles I have in my life.

Why is it important for women to pursue a career in health research?
Evidence shows that diverse research teams made up of different backgrounds, races and gender are more likely to deliver new ideas and perspectives that lead to innovative solutions. It’s crucial that women are encouraged to pursue careers in health research, to narrow the gender gap and ensure a diverse and talented workforce in the field.

Jade Gabriel

Meet Jade Gabriel

This Branded Fashion Design student is one of 125 Australian undergraduates to receive the prestigious 2022 New Colombo Plan Scholarship. Jade’s using this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study at Raffles Design Institute in Singapore. “I chose Singapore as my host location as it has a rich and electric fashion scene that is continuing to grow and evolve. This is to gain an elevated understanding of fashion systems in Singapore and how we can apply Singapore's level of innovation and fashion knowledge and bring that to Australia." 

What achievements are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being awarded a New Colombo Plan Scholarship. It was a very long and intensive process that, a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have even dreamed of signing up for as I used to lack confidence. Being awarded this scholarship has solidified that my current student journey for my career is on the right track, and that my confidence has continued to grow.

What does the future look like for you?
For me, the future looks like a world where everyone can be themselves without fear of judgement or discrimination. It is a world where women can hold more positions of leadership. A world that is safe and fair.

Layana Franco

Meet Layana Franco

Layana holds a degree in fashion and is currently studying a Master of Business Information Systems in Melbourne. Fusing her interests, the Brazilian native founded Swap-a-Porter (SAP), a clothing exchange business where customers swap fashion items to extend their lifespan while reducing waste and resources.

How will you use your qualifications to make a difference in the world?
I would like to use my skills to make a positive impact on our community. When I created my start-up, I was trying to fight fashion over consumerism while helping women to update their wardrobe in a sustainable and economical way.

What is the most important message you want to send out to women thinking about their careers?
I would tell women to align their career plans with their values and dreams. Bear in mind that to achieve a long-term career goal, we need to prioritise things in life – and our wellbeing and happiness should always come first.

Paulina Arreaga

Meet Paulina Arreaga

Paulina was 19 when she left Guatemala for Australia to study a Bachelor of Business (International Hotel and Resort Management). Now 23, her career is soaring as she preps for a new role as the Wedding and Events Manager at Kingfisher Bay Resort on Queensland’s Fraser Island.

How has studying in Australia changed you?
When I first applied to travel to Australia to study, I could never have imagined I would be leading the award-winning Kingfisher Bay Resort Events team only four years later. Studying in Australia has given me the opportunity to experience an entirely new culture, gain insight into my skills and ability as a leader, and make connections I will cherish forever.

What is the most important message you want to send out to women thinking about their careers?
Taking charge of my career and life has been the best decision I have ever made, and I could not recommend it more highly to other women who are looking to change their lives for the better.

Lina Yi

Meet Lina Yi

Raised in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia in China, Lina now lives in Melbourne where she’s studying a Master of Business Administration (MBA). From the age of five, she trained as a professional Mongolian dancer, earning several awards. Her dedication extends to other areas of her life – especially learning.

How has studying in Australia changed you?
Studying overseas is not only a way to gain a degree, but it is also a life-enriching experience. For me, I especially appreciate the diverse culture of Australia.

What is the most important message you want to send out to women thinking about their careers?
The world changes every second. Keep learning, keep your knowledge up to date, be a lifelong learner. You need to love your profession. Love not only the benefits you get from it, but love it as a whole, with all its challenges. You will thank yourself for years to come.

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