“Studying in Australia means conquering fears, breaking paradigms, overcoming prejudices and defeating limitations.”
These were the words Maria Agredo used to describe her educational journey, and win herself a $3000 grant towards her tuition fees in our last scholarship competition.
Maria grew up in Colombia, completing a Bachelor of Communications and landing a prestigious job in the marketing department of a large pharmaceutical company before she graduated. “I enjoyed it – I loved everything related to consumer research, consumer behaviour, and advertising,” she says.
After awhile, she decided she needed to broaden her horizons and her professional skill set, and started looking into completing an MBA to gain administrative and business knowledge. She knew she wanted to study in English, having learned it throughout school and becoming fluent after a six-month trip to England. After some friends told her about the life and culture in Australia, she decided to further her education here, enrolling at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne.
The adjustment was hard at first – “leaving home and everything behind, understanding a new culture, different language, and different context,” says Maria. But almost a year on, she’s settled in and loving life: “Sharing classes with people from literally all around the world is amazing!” Her favourite things about Melbourne? “The food (you can find food from literally all around the world!), the coffee culture, music and food festivals, and the fact that no matter if it’s raining, freezing or hot, there’s always something to do!”
After graduation, Maria plans to create a start-up business empowering children’s education through music – her passion. Her background in marketing will surely help her business succeed, but she’d also like to pursue a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation “to open my mind to new ideas.”
And as much as she loves Australia, she plans to head back to Colombia eventually. “I’m here with my husband and we both want to raise our kids the way we were raised, next to family.”
We wish her all the best, and we’re glad we could help out with her big plans! If you’d like to be the next scholarship winner, have a look at our list of scholarship competitions.