Please tell us about yourself

Priyanka Shahdadpuri is one of the first recipients of the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences (GSHSS) International Scholarship, which awards high-achieving commencing graduate students from India, Sri Lanka, Japan, South Korea, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand up to 50% fee remission ($28,192 for 2018) throughout their entire degree.

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The GSHSS International Scholarship is available to applicants from eligible countries for our graduate school Masters by Coursework programs and does not require a separate application. Applicants must have their application submitted by 31 October with completed documentation submitted by 30 November 2017.

We caught up with Priyanka to see how she is adjusting to life in Melbourne studying the Master of Marketing Communications.

What attracted you to Melbourne and the University? How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool career?

When I graduated in 2016 from Mumbai (Jai Hind College, Bachelors in Mass Media, Advertising), I really wanted to see if I liked the advertising and media industry so I worked a year in an agency on campaigns for brands such as Maybelline and L’oreal India.

I did an internship in my second year while studying BMM at Jai Hind College at a well known advertising agency called Percept/H where I got the opportunity to be exposed to a number of clients, conceptualising their creatives according to their requirements as well as learning the structure of a creative department.

It was a really enjoyable experience, and I wanted to continue challenging myself by becoming independent, mixing with different cultures in Melbourne, the most diverse city in the world. During my research, I knew that the University of Melbourne has one of the best regarded programs in marketing communications which attracted me as well.

How are your classes going?

The classes are interesting and involve lots of different case studies; I am also learning different skills compared to my education in India. Being able to write and research quickly and extensively is crucial to being appreciated in industry.

I like the mix of subjects and I’m really excited for the internship component next year, which will be a great chance to add Australian industry experience.

How has the GSHSS International Scholarship helped you?

Receiving the scholarship was a great surprise and I didn’t expect it at all. It helps you and encourages you to continue striving for excellence. In a place with so many talented students, having the University notice and recognise what I’ve already achieved prior to starting the Master of Marketing Communications has been invaluable. It has also helped my parents, because I know how hard they work to send me to study in Melbourne. It is always good to be appreciated.

What is your favourite place on campus?

I’m a massive foodie so my favourite place to eat is Zambreros. Give me all of the burritos. I also love all the choices of cultural foods on campus.

In terms of study spots, I love sitting on the grass on South Lawn or University Square and studying outside. It helps to study in a beautiful place such as The University of Melbourne campus.

What would be your dream project in your future career?

My dream project would be an experiential marketing campaign for a brand such as Dove. I believe experiential marketing (outdoor activations of public spaces, augmented and virtual reality) is the future, and I think Dove does an incredible job of recognising and loving all women, regardless of their background, culture and body size. I think this message is good for the world. We need to listen to each other’s stories and relate to each other as people.

Being able to bring an unique experience virtually to people who can’t usually access it is powerful.

How has the University helped you?

I feel like I’m ready for the real world now. I’ve taken the challenge of being independent head on and I feel like Melbourne has culturally enriched me. The city always has events on which interest me, and the University reflects that too.

The University of Melbourne is not only education-centric, with the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) running so many activities for all students. I have become involved with the Indian Graduate Student Society, which has allowed me to meet others from my own community here but also have fun in sharing culture and experiencing people from all over the world.

What has been your favourite part of the Master of Marketing Communications?

My favourite subject is currently in my Foundations of Marketing subject, I’m creating an app which is the Tinder for pet owners. So many Melburnians have pets and Melbourne is such a pet-friendly city, so why shouldn’t more pet owners become friends and pets become companions with each other? Being able to present, create and produce content has been my favourite part of the course.

I think being creative is such a unique and special attribute and more people should nurture their creativity.

If you would like to receive the GSHSS International Scholarship, you must be from one of the eligible countries and apply for one of our Masters by Coursework programs. The GSHSS International Scholarship does not require a separate application, but requires applicants from eligible countries to have their application fully complete and submitted before 31 October 2017.