Home » Podcast » Pallavi Verma, a highly awarded academic and International student advocate

Pallavi Verma, a highly awarded academic and International student advocate



In this week’s episode, Josh is talking to Pallavi Verma who was a Semi-Finalist in the 2022 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards for New South Wales.

Currently working as a Senior IT Consultant, Pallavi is a gold medallist in Bachelor of Computer Applications who started her journey in Australia as an international student in 2017. She is a high achiever who had also been awarded ‘Wg. Cdr. H S Gill Memorial Gold Medal’, for being the best all round student of her cohort, by PCTE Group of Institutes. Recently, Pallavi has also been awarded a Dean’s Medal by Western Sydney University for her outstanding performance in Master of Information and Communications Technology (Advanced). This year, Pallavi had been a semi-finalist in 7News Young Achiever Awards.

At WSU, she had been a voice of the student community and held positions at various committees including the ‘Vice Chancellor’s International Student Advisory’, ‘Review of Academic Senate Committee’ and ‘School Academic Committee – School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics’. Pallavi is highly passionate about guiding students to have the best out of their university life. She has delivered various talks, webinars and podcasts for young ICT professionals, international students and women in STEM education. Pallavi is a role model to students and young professionals and had also been a speaker at ACS Young Professionals Summit, ISANA Conference and various Women in STEM events. She highly believes that every person can achieve their goals with the right mindset and support.



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[00:00:04] Annette

Welcome to the inspirational australian’s podcast, where we chat to people making  a difference in their communities and in the lives of others. And here is your host for today. Josh Griffin.

[00:00:20] Josh

Thank you, Annette, and it is great to be back recording the inspirational Australians podcast, Annette,  and the team work their magic. So it might seem like I’ve been doing podcasts recently,  but I haven’t recorded one in quite some time. So we’ve wrapped up our young  achiever Watts events all around the country. It kind of seems like a while ago now,  but in another way it’s actually I blinked and here we are in July when we’re  recording this episode. But I’m really happy to be back and chatting to an awesome  young achiever for this week’s dose of inspiration,  so we won’t spend too much time rambling. But the one thing I will say before we  jump into the episode and the interview is that you can always go to  a water Australia icon and check out our shop. There’s an option there called  awards member. And what that is is  a little initiative we’ve come up with that lets people support not only the podcast,  but the amazing guests and awesome community champions and young achievers who we  get to meet and share the story of through the awards programs. We run being the  seven years young, achiever woods and a community achievement awards. As  a member you get first access to things on the podcast, news and updates,  and things like that. And that contribution is only fifty dollars for  a year. Goes directly to prize grants for our winners,  which is pretty awesome. So no further drilling to go into this week’s episode,  I’m talking to Pallavi Verma, who is twenty six might be twenty seven,  not to check with her at the time of recording. And Pallavi won  a Dean’s medal in master of information and communication technology at Western Sydney University and also  a gold medal in bachelor of computer applications at Punjab. Technical University in India.  Pallavi works as  a senior consultant at iscience. And joining me today,  Not from Sydney Pallavi, Welcome. Say hello and tell us where you’re joining us from today.

[00:02:21] Pallavi

Hi Josh. Firstly, thank you so much for the warm welcome. I’m joining you all from India just  a state called Punjab in North India.

[00:02:30] Josh

That lovely and look, I’m aware I’ve actually left something off your bio. I’m very sorry. So can you  tell me a little bit about there’s another major accolade that isn’t included in that list. You?

[00:02:40] Pallavi

Yeah. So when I graduated from a bachelor degree from India,  I was awarded another gold medal called wing commander etches gold memorial,  gold medal for being the best all round student of the year. So fortunately I was  the only student awarded that gold medal from the whole cohort, which graduated in twenty sixteen for being the best,  all round student of the year.

[00:03:03] Josh

That’s amazing. And I’ve got to say that’s probably  the coolest name for a medal I’ve ever heard. The wing commander.

[00:03:09] Pallavi

Yeah, thank you.

[00:03:11] Josh

That is really cool. So you’re in India at the moment, but I understand you’ve. You’ve only just arrived.

[00:03:17] Pallavi

Yes, I arrived here three days ago.

[00:03:21] Josh

And I think you’re in India for your wedding, isn’t that awesome? So yeah, tell us  a little bit about that you’ve come back to get married. Is it happening right around the corner?

[00:03:33] Pallavi

Yeah, so my wedding is just a month and  a few days away. So it’s happening in August and I have been living in Sydney for  the past five years. My parents which lived in India, they wanted me to spend at least  a month with them prior to getting married and leave them to live with my husband  and family. So I wanted to spend time with my family haven’t been here since last  four years because of the strict lockdown in Australia. We couldn’t travel. So I  got an opportunity to meet my parents after four years and that’s an amazing feeling.

[00:04:11] Josh

Yeah, I can imagine you want to spend  a good chunk of time with them that must be really special to do that. Yeah. Well  for those who can’t see obviously this is an audio medium,  but I love your background.  Your background is the Melbourne Docklands looks like you’re in the in Australia still.

[00:04:27] Pallavi

Yeah. I’m in India. The background is giving feeling that I’m still in

[00:04:32] Josh

Australia. That’s right. So yeah, thanks for joining us Olivia. You know, I want to find out  a bit more about your journey and your life as an international student in Sydney  studying at Western Sydney University and things like that. And also to find out  a bit of context because your gold medal was like they sound amazing. But you can  let us know what that actually means as deans men there as well. So can you tell us,  tell us, I guess to stop? What was it that drew you to become a student in Australia?

[00:05:02] Pallavi

Yup. So I have been a high achieving student in India as well. Then as you read out,  while introducing myself that I had won a gold medal in my bachelor’s degree. So what happened in India,  we have different Universities, and with each Universities there are like Hundreds of colleges or Institutes  affiliated to it. So from a graduate in my bachelor’s degree,  I not only ranked number one in academics from just my own Institute,  but amongst all the Institutes affiliated to panjab Technical University. So there  would have been fifteen or twenty thousand students. So I not just round number one in my own Institute,  but the entire University which could have had one hundred plus Institutes  providing that particular bachelor degree. So that’s one of the highest academic  achievements I have received in India. And in North India, like I graduated in a computer applications degree,  northern India is not an ideal South. India is I was offered  a job at one of the topmost admin CS in India. But I and my parents  thought if I would have to pursue further education or work in the corporate,  I would anyway have to leave my parents because couldn’t work while staying with them because of like,  not too many opportunities available here. So we thought if I have to leave my  parents anyway, then why just be in India, why not look for a higher level platform?  ? Right. So I chose like studying in Australia. My maternal uncle lived there like he  has been living conditions like few years. And I must say, like you mentioned,  I went to the middle in Australia,  my maternal uncle and aunt with whom I have been living. They have been my greatest  support. Like during my international student journey, or while I have been in Australia.

[00:06:57] Josh

Wow, that’s really cool. And that’s very nice that you could stay with family and Yeah.  And have that experience you think that helped you, you know, coming from I suppose India from  a different country and settling into life here in Australia.

[00:07:11] Pallavi

.  Yes. Yeah. When I came to Australia,  the only person I knew was my maternal uncle at that time.  My aunt was an Indian,  Australia is a multicultural country. Do I got  a opportunity to meet people from like Asian or like Indian, like from India,  but with different cultures, like in India, after every few hundred kilometres,  culture like language, everything changes. So India is a multicultural country,  but Australia has got people from different nations. So I like that part, but of course,  journey as an international student has definitely been challenging for me,  but he is, as you asked, knowing my knowing someone,  my uncle with whom I left there has really, really helped me  a lot. They have been my greatest support there.

[00:08:00] Josh

Yeah, that’s cool. And so what was it about Western Sydney University, you know, did you,  I’m only asking cause I don’t know how it works. You apply for multiple  Universities and it’s like a draw or do you target specific institutions?

[00:08:15] Pallavi

Yeah, I did because my uncle lived in Sydney,  so I kind of narrowed down my search that I wanted to live and study in Sydney. I  did apply for four Universities in New South Wales. So of course being a high achiever,  I was looking for like the University to offer me scholarship and of course,  provide the kind of course I wanted. So I did apply for four Universities in  Western Sydney in terms of their ranking and the offer they provided me sounds  quite nice. And Western Sydney University of course,  has their campus in Western Sydney region. Right. So that’s where we live. So  Western Sydney because of their ranking and the scholarship they offered me, I chose them.

[00:09:02] Josh

Yeah, we also love Western Sydney University. They sponsor  a partner of the seven years. Young achiever woods and of course Pallavi. You’re  a semifinalist in the Western Sydney University academic achievement award. So it’s all kind of coming full circle, isn’t it?

[00:09:18] Pallavi


[00:09:19] Josh

And so what was, what was it like?  ? So you’ve come to Australia. It’s great that you could come in and live with your  uncle and get settled there. But then when you started University,  what was that like in a completely New country and New place?

[00:09:34] Pallavi

It, I would say it was a very challenging experience. The education system in India,  I would say the tertiary education system in India is very different to what it was  in Australia. It took me a good six months of time my first semester just to understand and settle. But  Western Sydney University does provide great support to the International students.  They do organize some workshops prior to the commencement of semester,  so that students can get used to how the assignments and things take place there.  And because I have been and actively engaged students,  I think opportunity too. I did away with all the opportunities to attend those workshops. So it helped me a

[00:10:18] Josh

lot. Yeah.  And so if you don’t mind me asking like what are some of those  challenges? And again, just because I’m kind of not away,  I haven’t gone through that, that kind of experience. So for me, I really wouldn’t know what it’s like.

[00:10:32] Pallavi

You see if I do a comparative analysis just to give an overview in India,  we do have some practicals, but we do have written exams for almost every subject,  but that doesn’t happen in Australia. In India,  we do have major exams like at the end of the semester. But in Australia we do have  major assignments throughout the semester and the kind of assignments they are the  kind of projects we got opportunity to work at in Australia. They were quite  different than India and of course being an international student. I did not know anyone in my University. So finding  a good and reliable partner in group projects who want to achieve the same level as  you had been challenging, is what I,  I have always wanted to achieve the highest possible in whichever area I am.  But it  might not be the case every time that your group meet are also targeting for the  same level. So you would have to work extra so that not just of course, the entire group,  but also you as well can reach to the level up. Other people will give the  performance the level they want to target. But I wanted the Dean’s medal,  the highest academic honours, so I had to put extra effort there. And of course,  extra effort does take extra energy. Some sacrifices which I bit.

[00:11:56] Josh

Yeah, well I do remember group assignments and it’s funny of the group assignments  because in some ways they can reflect what it’s like to work in  a professional environment when you’re working with different team members. In  other ways, it’s no reflection whatsoever, because as you said,  you’ve got some people who are just happy to kind post. And if I just do this work  and I’ll get a pass grade. Whereas obviously a professional environment, if you don’t put in that effort,  is reflected in the work and then it’s not good enough. So yeah, it’s yeah, no, sorry, go ahead.

[00:12:28] Pallavi

Thank you. The ease of group assignments and other things have like groomed me  a lot how to deal with people of different personalities. So my University life was  not just a good academic experience, but it has grown me or enhanced me as  a person who I am as well. I felt like I had this realisation within the first few  weeks of myself being in Australia that when I was living with my parents, parents usually keep the children in  a bubble like they try to keep the kids away from all the negative things or other  things but when I was in Australia I was by myself and like that bubble was in there,  I had to face the reality of this world. So I had that realization and that kind of  punched me like I have been living in a bubble, have not experience what real life is,  but I got an opportunity to experience that in Australia and other things about  Australia that I must say here as well. I have noticed people in Australia are very  positive, very kind and very helpful. And I have really loved Australia as  a nation. And that’s why I have decided to stay there forever. Like I got my  permanent residency because Australia is a great nation to live.

[00:13:47] Josh

That’s awesome. Were your parents sad or disappointed, or in a way obviously they support you without any question,  but were they kind of thinking no, follow me. We want you to come back.

[00:14:00] Pallavi

My parents have always been supportive, like they knew the opportunities I can get in Australia are more in  a level up than what I can get here. So do they might might feel sad that I  am leaving them forever for being in  a different nation. But they have always shown me that they always support me each  and every decision of mine which they do.  And the other thing is, I have one sibling,  my younger brother. He also pursued the same degree at Western Sydney University  like me. So we both have been living in Sydney, my parents are in India,  but of course in next few years,  we would get our parents settled with us because I have always lived in  a close knitted family and would like to live my parents nearby me at least in the same nation.

[00:14:48] Josh

Yeah, no, that’s cool. You’re slowly bringing the whole family across. This

[00:14:54] Pallavi

family has a great place in my heart and my life for a while.

[00:14:59] Josh

Yes. Well, I think sometimes when, you know, as you were saying,  Australia is very positive and happy and that’s great to hear. It’s not always the case unfortunately,  but sometimes people think are international students. And it’s easy to keep that  a faceless name. But, you know, just like you,  it’s people with their own families and dreams and hopes and coming to to try and fulfil that. Yeah,  it’s great to hear your story.  So people I guess can in that can humanize things for them  a little bit. Yeah. So you were telling us about those early stages at Western  Sydney University and some of the challenges that you experienced was there. Did  you find that you were getting involved in clubs or other societies that kind of  help you get settled in and get used to being in this New environment?

[00:15:45] Pallavi

Yes, I did participate in different clubs and societies and I’ll share more about them  in the next couple of minutes. So as I mentioned, it took me  a good six months time of first semester to understand how the education system  have been. And I, I also wanted to work part time,  like in India we have University seven days a week from nine  a M to four P. M. But in Australia  we used to have our lectures of three hours like once in  a week. So I had my time free. Of  course I did have some assignments to work on,  but I wanted to be self independent. So I started looking for part time role as  well in India. I have never worked alongside my studies. But working alongside  studies was a positive experience for myself in India, and in Australia,  sorry. And on top of that, I started getting involved in different committees,  strategic decision making committees at Western Sydney University. So time management at the earliest stages was very challenging,  but later I kind of started getting passionate about it,  the kind of contribution I could make through the committees I was involved in. So  I started liking and I was happy even to sacrifice  a few hours of my sleep daily because I was passionate about those things. And I’ll  tell more about some of the committees now. So the first committee I became  a part of was called vice-chancellor’s international student advisory  . So through that committee,  I directly was involved with Western Sydney University’s vice-chancellors student  directors and other high achieving international students where we kind of held and  provide our views that can help make some strategic decisions for not just international,  but the whole student community at Western Sydney University and being  a part of those committees were not an easy for,  for each and every committee I’ve been part of. I had to go through  a few rounds of you. So I really have to show me how capable I am to be working  with Vice-Chancellor and getting involved in those strategic decision making committees. Other committee I was  a part of was called school advisory committee for the school of computing  engineering and mathematics. That was the committee for which I had to run for  election, so I won elections and that’s how I was got I got elected as  a post graduate student representative in that committee. And the other committee I  was a part of was called academic Senate review committee. So academics,  Senate is the highest governing body at Western Sydney University for making academic decisions University wide, and with external professors,  University from professors from University of technology like utsa,  Macquarie University and one more University. So we conducted an external review of  University’s academic Senate and considering my high achievements, my academic achievements and my other engagement at the University,  I was directly appointed as an international student representative at that committee. And as a part of that committee,  I interviewed the Vice-Chancellor then other higher level staff at University to  conduct what the thinking have been about that academic Senate. And to provide like  a written document review and provide some suggestion, how the academics and it can work better for the University.

[00:19:14] Josh

Well, I had to take a deep breath just hearing that, let alone doing it,  No one to get to sacrifice some hours from your sleep because there would have been  no other hours in the day. Otherwise.

[00:19:24] Pallavi

Yes, because forty hours would go and studies twenty hours would go for  a week for work. And before each and every committee meeting,  I would have to review one hundred pages of documents of like previous meeting  minutes what the agenda happened and other documentation. And of course,  I would have to prepare some documents prior to going for such me. So yes, it does take  a good amount of time. And on top of that I use to participate in external  competitions. One of those was called interchange.  So students from eight different  Universities in New South Wales participated and it was kind of an entrepreneurship  project competition. I used to do some speaking engagements at conferences like Asana at events like young professional Summit,  organised by Australian computer society, which is the peak level body for like computer education or computer professionals  in Australia. So yes,  of course I had to sacrifice my sleep hours and few other things to pursue my passion.

[00:20:25] Josh

Well yeah, that’s quite amazing. And I want to come back  a little bit just to one of the committees you mentioned that you were elected to  be on there. How did you go about, I guess,  becoming known in that community within that group to be elected?  ? Because obviously they have to know who they’re electing on. Is that because you  were involved in some of these other committees and yeah, how did, how did that process go?

[00:20:48] Pallavi

So because I’ve been high achieving, as well as highly involved students at the University, there were students,  they would know me, but I wouldn’t know them,  but they would say hi Olivia and I would be like how we met. And they would say,  we have seen you at stage speaking at this, we’ve been doing that so students knew me,  but this committee for which I win elections. I received an email from one of my  University professors like they have no between classes. I used to ask good  questions in class. So I got an email from one of my professors. They said there is  they are looking to elect someone for as a postgraduate student representative. And he encouraged me to apply for it,  which I did. And there were some other candidates as well. So I did apply for that and my nomination,  I was shortlisted and of course when elections took place,  our final examinations were going on. And of course students from that school or the Department got emails with that,  the BIOS or statement from each and every candidate. But of course we had to do  some self work as well. Of course, you know, election campaigns, right?  We have to encourage people to vote, so it was an amazing experience. But yeah,

[00:22:08] Josh

so with all of that going on and based with how busy you were hearing at that time.  Now that you’re and correct me if I’m wrong here,  you’ve kind of finished and you’re now working at it as  a senior consultant. Is that easier to be working in a professional environment compared to, you know,  with this academic environment everything you had going on, or is it just different?

[00:22:31] Pallavi

Yeah, prior to starting sharing about my journey,  it seemed while studying I started working in the I.T Department of Western to the  University itself. Being an international student, it never, it is not easy to find  a job in their own field.  Students do have to do some odd jobs and my family always  supported me. The. They never forced me that start working, start earning some money. They always encouraged me either find  a role in your own University so that you can manage well with your studies or find  a role in your own field. And I was fortunate enough to get  a role in my own field and in my University.  But that was not easy. I had to like  the way we apply for roles in India is very different than how it is in Australia.  We have to prepare like selection criteria. I did attended  a lot of workshops at my University to understand how applying for jobs preparing  resumes, job interviews looked like so for every achievement of mine,  I have invested like I would say tens or Hundreds of Ah,  in understanding how that Ping looked like. How would my contribution helping achieving what I want to do?  So a lot of background work had been done,  which is not just visible when we just see the title of achievements. So  a lot of hours have gone behind that. So at Western Sydney University,  I started working as an ID service analyst. And then later I started working as  a business analyst. I have worked for three years in the University arena. I have  also worked as a BMO in a list at University of New South Wales. And there was  a time of course during lockdown when I felt like I should move into the corporate  world in a different sector.  University sector has been amazing,  but I wanted to experience the corporate world as well. And when you say,  is it easier or how it is?  I would say corporates are more fast paced as compared to how things have been at  University. I have been working with SC since last one year and three months I  would say. And I have learned and grown a lot, not just as a professional, but as  a person as well through my experience of working as a senior consultant as a dissident.

[00:24:57] Josh

Yeah, so you’ve obviously done a lot and you mentioned earlier,  users going back in the conversation that you started your first part time role  whilst working when you referenced that was at the Western Sydney University job  that Yes, that was where you first started.

[00:25:11] Pallavi

Yeah. Before Western Sydney University, I did like  a few weeks role at an organisation called code camp. They teach school going  students how to make gaming applications for iPhone. So I did  a two week role like the organiser such things during summer vacation,  like during vacations. So I did that for two weeks and later from after that I have  been working at Western Sydney University before moving to co-operate.

[00:25:41] Josh

Yeah. And so do you think that you are now finished with your studies

[00:25:48] Pallavi

when I finish my studies? I remember I was at a bookstore in Sydney,  my mother was in Australia for my graduation, and I asked my mother,  what should I send as a gift to my brother, who without them was an Indian mother?  My mother recommended why not give him  a book. So I was at the dymocks store in Sydney on Sydney, George street,  and I was looking for a book and like I met a beautiful heart,  the girl from England who was there for a training in Australia just for  a week. God knows how we met. So I  met that girl and I just had a question, have you read this book?  And she pointed hundred books in that story. I have read this, read this,  read this, read this, and I was like,  oh wow. And she gave me advice. She advised me that when you have finished  your formal education, it doesn’t mean that you have finished.  Your education, studying or learning is  a lifelong journey. So never think that you are done with your education,  like from each and every experience through books and like whatever you do in your  life through the people you meet, you will keep learning and growing. So yes,  I have finished my bachelor’s and master’s degree. I have been offered to pursue a Ph.D. as well,  but now I think I should learn from my life experiences and grow. And that’s what I  have been doing so far.

[00:27:15] Josh

Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s amazing. In terms of, you know, learning and going from experiences,  I understand you’ve done some speaking engagements, and obviously when you do those, you learn and grow as  a person from your experience. But also you help other people. When you speak and  share your story, can you share a little bit about your speaking engagements you’ve been part of?

[00:27:34] Pallavi

Yes, so I started my speaking engagements. I have done  a few in India as well through my like my academic academic journey. But I started at  a higher level while being an international student in Australia because of the  committees I have been part of and the contribution I have been doing to  international student community and the programs I have been involved at at Western Sydney University. I became a part of  a program called women in science and engineering. It is true, I’m sharing this from my own experience. There is  a gap between the number of females pursuing STEM like some science, technology, engineering and mathematical related education and,  and purchasing such jobs. So the gap is really there and when I became  a part of the program, I was mentored by one of the University staff and that,  and that program was there from where I started my speaking journey. I was invited  to to speak at the closing ceremony of that event. And later through the  connections I have made at different committees I started getting invited as a panelist or as  a speaker at different conferences and professional summits like one of those was Sonoma. And then was  a young professional Summit organised by Australian computer society. Yes,  I am highly passionate about being on stage holding mic in my hand, speaking,  sharing my experience. But it is both, it’s not just importing my passion. I am contributing to international students,  young professionals, women in STEM education, communities, through my speaking engagements, encouraging them, inspiring them through my inspirational story.

[00:29:22] Josh

Yeah, that’s really cool. What do you think? This might be too big a question,  but what do you think are some of the things that whether it’s Universities can do,  whether it’s just people in the community can do to help improve the experience for  international students to help make that first six months, you know, less challenging.

[00:29:40] Pallavi

Yeah, so I have noticed because when I started Western Sydney University,  I kind of came through the entire website to know what exactly opportunities are  available there so that I don’t miss any that is relevant to me. Universities and  even likes organisations like study NSW or Australian government. They do have a lot of programs,  a lot of workshops and events that are specific that are specifically designed to  provide good experience to international students.  But the challenge is international students are not aware of those,  not every student would be proactive to skim through  a University website to ask from the professionals to search on Google. What are their opportunities out there?  There is a majority of international students and that’s  a reality that they’re either fully occupied by their studies or their work. They  don’t like. They don’t devote time to find out what opportunities are there.  So I would say lack of awareness,  is there Universities do provide awareness or information about such  things during their orientation sessions or by organising stalls. But unfortunately  that things couldn’t happen in the last two years of lockdown period. And I’m  saying this because my brother came to Australia in twenty nineteen as an international student,  his career started in twenty twenty. His entire degree was online, so the opportunities I could away,  my brother couldn’t avail to that extent. So of course that has been a challenge,  but I would say having opportunities for international students is less is less of  a challenge as compared to the lack of awareness that’s there in international students.

[00:31:41] Josh

Yeah, it’s good that I suppose we’re helping to share your story. So that people,  I guess, are aware of what you going through.

[00:31:47] Pallavi

One more example, I have been a semi-finalist in Western Sydney,  younger Archibald awards in the seven news. Young achiever awards. Right. If  Universities could promote such awards would be great. I read,  I Googled I came to know about this through my Google search and LinkedIn that such  kind of awards. Are there? Honestly, I do feel that considering my achievements,  I do deserve and should have got more awards,  but I was not made aware of it. So we do have to do some self work,  work ourselves to search what opportunities are there and then avail them. So it’s  both on the side of Universities as well to provide good opportunities to international students. And of course,  on the part of international students to keep themself proactive, look and then avail, and the opportunities available for them.

[00:32:38] Josh

Yeah, well it’s, it’s a good point that you make that sometimes people who search out opportunities obviously  are able to access more, you know, more opportunities and better results. And so,  you know, talking to you, I can tell you  a really driven person. Can I ask you with your academic and Career plan?  Is it something that you, you know, really intentionally kind of designed and set out and planned ahead?  Or is it kind of just as each stage of your life arrives?  You look at that and kind of go from there.

[00:33:15] Pallavi

I would say it’s a mixture of both. I could select what degree I want to study in Australia,  but I couldn’t plan how each semester of mine is going to look like. And I would  like to share an example here. So in my first semester, there was  a unit called professional practice and communication for that unit. My first  assignment, when I, I gave my one hundred percent,  but I was studying from the Indian education system mindset.  I did prepare my  education, my assignment, and when the results came out, it was  a three Mark assignment which would have contributed to the final hundred. I only  scored one point four. When we look one point four out of three, it doesn’t look a big difference,  but when I looked deeply I did not even score fifty percent in the first assignment of my University, right?  It dishearten me a lot. I cried because I have been a gold medalist,  the highest achiever in the entire University,  and I couldn’t even score fifty percent in the very first assignment of my  University. Right. And that continued for the first few assignments. I was not  scoring good. That’s where I realized if I keep on doing the same thing,  I’ll keep on getting the same results. I would have to change the way I approach  things by understanding. So there was a self awareness,  a session that I had to go through by myself because my,  like I didn’t have support available to myself who can guide me. What should you do  with each and every step in your University life? I did such that’s when I skim the entire website,  what opportunities are available. What career point of view workshops like CV  making interview preparation workshops are there. I’ll share One more example here just digressing  a little bit from academic experience. When I applied for like I would have applied  for like ten twenty roles at the University before I got mine,  there was select criteria demonstrate how your coded your communication skills  demonstrate how you can interact with people. And I would add one statement. I am  good at this, I would have done this and when I would receive, sorry,  you haven’t been selected. I would like. I have said that I do have this. Why are  they not believing me when they’re not getting? And that’s when I realize it’s not what you possess,  it is how you demonstrate to the other person that you really possess,  that quality. That’s when you get the opportunities. I would have spent like  a week or two week just understanding how to apply for jobs like in  Australia or how to apply for jobs at the University. How to apply for jobs. For  this particular role, I have invested a good amount of time in getting what I achieved. So coming back to  the University point, yes, I had to do background work,  and when I did not score good marks in my University,  I was shattered.  I remember while crying at my home,  I saw what is the highest academic achievement at western’s at the University. And  when I came to know about the deans medal is the one I make my target that Yes,  I want to achieve the Dean’s medal. And of course to achieve that highest academic honour,  a lot of efforts have gone my parents. My uncles and my family has supported me  a lot. I remember like Australia currently is four and  a half hours ahead of India. And like during daylight saving, the time changes my uncle, my aunt would sleep,  but I would have to wake up entire night to prepare my assignments and to  contribute my time for other things. But I used to feel lonely,  so I used to video call with my mother,  she would just remain with me on video call. She would say I am there work on this.  She would call me when I would have to mama, I want to be  a delegate of Western Sydney University for this particular conference,  things have been highly competitive. Hundreds of student will apply for one thing,  only one or two will get selected. My mother would call me after every thirty  minutes. How is your application going? How are you preparing for EA,  each and every speaking engagement of mine for each and every application,  even for the seven years young that you were towards my mother, my parents, my father, mother, my brother,  would proofread it for me. I would translate it for them in my mother tongue and  ask them how is it looking like my each and every speech before it would go to audience?  ? My parents would have reviewed it for me and provided their feedback. So I’m fortunate enough to have like such  a supporting family because of which I have been able to achieve what I have done today.

[00:38:08] Josh

It’s amazing. So really they’ve yeah, they’ve been such a big part of it along the way.

[00:38:14] Pallavi

Yes, it’s not just my sacrifices.  My parents, my uncle have sacrificed  a lot like the contribution my uncle and aunt have made in my life for me to  achieve and achieve the lifestyle I have got in Australia can be described in words.  My University in my University life,  I had four units in each and every semester. And three out of four lectures would  happen an evening from six to nine. And never in my two years life of my,  my student life in Australia. My uncle would have never let me travel in public  transport. After finishing my lecture at nine P. M, for entire two years, three days a week,  he would pick me from my University campus at nine P. M. He would finish his work  early, whatever. But he would be there at nine P. M,  outside my University to pick me and take me home. So like my contribution the  contribution my family has given to me behind all my achievements  is, is I would say the secret, like of  course, my own hard work has been there, but my family support have played  a major role as well. And I consider them so fortunate for

[00:39:34] Josh

this. Yeah. Back you up big time.

[00:39:37] Pallavi

Yeah, yeah.

[00:39:39] Josh

I also, you know, go back  a little bit really like your message about if you put in the same or if you try  the same method each time. Of course you get the same results. And really that  motto or that kind of philosophy is just so relevant that any, any application,  any field, any purpose. And I think sometimes that’s  a great thing to remember to be really intentional. What is that? What am I trying to achieve?  How do I go about getting better results and really looking at it from  a strategic point of view, which I think sometimes we forget to do so. Yeah, that was, that was  a great message. Thank you for sharing that.

[00:40:16] Pallavi

You’re welcome.

[00:40:17] Josh

So lastly, before we finish up, you know, I did want to ask about,  obviously you’ve been part of the seven years young achiever award and you came to  the events at Dalton house and you’re presented obviously the semifinalist,  which was great. Yeah. What was that kind of your experience of,  of being part of the awards process in general. And then secondly, you know,  coming to the event and, and that experience as well.

[00:40:38] Pallavi

So of course, the way the event was organized was great. I would say everything was systematic, well-planned, well-organized,  and I do remember I commended it on the day itself as well that everything is well organized. Oh really?  Yes, it was indeed it was. Of course we got opportunity to meet different like NSW ministers.  And I also got opportunity, like you mentioned,  Western Sydney University is one of the sponsors for the awards. I got an  opportunity to meet some of my professors after so long they they came to my table,  searching me. So it was a great experience. It was  a good networking opportunity as well. But of course meeting other high achievers was a great experience as well.

[00:41:29] Josh

Yeah, fantastic. We’re, you know, as I said at the top we’ve,  we’ve wrapped up the program and we’re already excited for the next round to begin.  So you know, if anyone listening knows an incredible young achiever,  like Pallavi, then you can actually go to awards Australia dot com now,  and find your relevant state for the energy awards. And you can get started early  by starting a nomination. It’s actually called a,  refer someone on the button and click the button and you can get started early. But  Pallavi we do wrap up, I did want to ask you,  you’ve got lots of stuff coming up with seeing your family for the first time in  four years.  Your, your wedding coming up, which is super exciting. So there’s lots of stuff happening in your life,  but you know, from a more general standpoint, what is it that,  that really inspires you whether that’s day to day or something bigger picture.

[00:42:23] Pallavi

So I am a people person I love interacting with people. And personally,  I believe in the power of a voice, I believe the kind of words we use,  what we can do from the magical, our voice, plays  a great role. We can share our stories, we can connect people,  we can encourage and inspire people. So I highly believe in the power of a voice,  and that’s what I’m highly passionate about my speaking engagements,  myself being as a panelist, it’s my passion, like I can skip my meals,  I can skip my sleep for my speaking engagement. It’s  a passion. I love doing it from my heart because because I know through the power  of a voice we can like,  we can change or we can enhance millions of life and I would continue doing that.  And honestly, I do politics as a great, great,  great platform to contribute and make impact in like the amount of  lives we can influence as a politician is great and I see politics as  a great medium for that. Because of that reason,

[00:43:34] Josh

is that something you want to get into, do you think politics?

[00:43:38] Pallavi

Yes, definitely.

[00:43:40] Josh

Yes. That’s what’s exciting. Well,  I can’t wait to follow your journey and if other people want to follow along and,  you know, see what’s happening with you, Where’s the best place for them to connect with you?

[00:43:52] Pallavi

My LinkedIn account Pallavi Verma. I would say LinkedIn is the best place for them to connect with me.

[00:43:58] Josh

Yes, lovely. Well, we’ll have that details in the show notes if people want to find out exactly,  but I can testify. You’re very easily searchable on LinkedIn. So the search in  Pallavi, Burma and you come up straight away?

[00:44:12] Pallavi

Yup. Yup, that’s right Ken. Before we leave, I really want to give one more message to the audience

[00:44:18] Josh

there. Yeah. Please go ahead.

[00:44:20] Pallavi

Not just being an international student,  but in life as well.  We would hear from people that this opportunity is not for you.  This is very challenging. Like only two out of thousand people would get selected.  I’ll share an example from my own life when I came to Australia as an  international student. Hundreds of people, my fellowship,  my fellow University mates. My seniors would advise me that it is not easy  or even they would say it is not possible to find  a job in your own field in Australia, being an international student number one,  because you don’t have prominent residency. You don’t have local work experience.  And I was someone who did not have local work experience. I did not have overseas work experience,  but I was able to do my homework. I was able to search what was required to reach  there. I was willing to put those efforts and I,  I was one hundred percent dedicated to achieve that target. And I was able to  showcase what I possess and what I’m able to or capable to deliver.  So that makes a big difference. So if you want to achieve something,  there would be instances when you would be told that this is not possible. This is  very challenging. I would say, listen to your heart. If you really want to do it,  commit yourself to do it. Everything is possible. Everything is

[00:45:51] Josh

that’s a great message to end on and certainly Pallavi, it’s been great chatting to you an inspirational, Australian,  definitely. And certainly your academic achievements, whilst also impressive to me,  the best thing is just hearing your passion and your message that Yeah,  it’s really inspiring that anyone can do it. And you just the evidence of that you  put in the hard work and be really intentional. And you can achieve things. So  thank you for your time today. I appreciate it.

[00:46:24] Pallavi

Well, it has been a pleasure to be a part of this podcast,  and I hope our listeners will get inspired through

[00:46:31] Josh

  1. I’m sure they will and best wishes for your upcoming wedding as well.

[00:46:35] Pallavi

Thank you.  My fiancee,  his name is Prince. He. He is also excited to listen that and I’m sure he’ll enjoy that too.

[00:46:44] Josh

Prince and Pallavi. It’s like that a beautiful combo of names to put together.

[00:46:50] Pallavi

Yes, thank you.

[00:46:52] Josh

I hope you enjoyed that interview. If you liked it or any of our other episodes,  it would be great if you can write and review the inspirational australian’s  podcast. It really helps us out if someone you know, needs  a little dose of inspiration. Why not let them know about this podcast? And if you haven’t already,  make sure you subscribe. So that you won’t miss an episode. Join us each week as we  talk with ordinary Australians, achieving extraordinary things. You can always head to our website at awards,  Australia dot com slash podcast for more information and details on each guest. Now  before we go, I’d like to thank Annette our producer.  Here’s  a fun fact. Annette is my mum and our other host,  Geoff is my dad. This podcast is brought to you by awards, Australia,  a family owned business that proudly uncovers the stories of people who make  a difference for others. We can only do this with the support of our corporate and  not for profit partners as they make our awards programmes possible. So do you know someone making a difference?  If you’d like to recommend someone to be a guest on the podcast,  get in touch through our Instagram page, inspirational Australians,  or maybe your business might like to sponsor the podcast or get involved with the  awards. We run. Hit the website, awards Australia dot com for more details until next week. Stay safe and remember  together we make a difference.

[00:48:18] Annette

Thanks for joining us today on the inspirational australian’s podcast.  We hope you enjoy listening and have been inspired by ordinary Australians  achieving extraordinary things. So it’s goodbye for another week. Remember together  we make a difference.