12 June 2012
Lord Mayor gives graduate the EDGE
Being selected for City of Melbourne's first EDGE International Student Leaders Program is one thing, but RMIT University Masters of Computer Science graduate, Remya Ramesh, was literally dancing for joy at the scheme's launch in front of Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.
"The launch was an amazing night," said Ms Ramesh, who performed traditional Indian dance at the launch. "So excited to represent RMIT and India!"
Ms Ramesh recently completed the EDGE program, which aims to enhance leadership skills and assist with career management for outstanding international students.
The acronym spells out the four stages of the program - Experience, Develop, Generate and Execute.
Ms Ramesh said: "I'd established a dance collective at RMIT with a few friends last year and we won the Outstanding Achievement Award for a new Link Arts and Culture Collective at the RMIT Link Awards Night.
"One of our dance crew works at City of Melbourne and, knowing my passion for dance, invited me to perform at the EDGE launch, along with another participant who does Chinese contemporary dance."
Having been involved in extracurricular activities during her Bachelor's degree in India, Ms Ramesh was quick to volunteer again throughout her Masters degree at RMIT, but it was her work with international students in particular that impressed the EDGE judges.
"I was involved as a team leader with RMIT's MATES (Mentors Assisting with Transition Experiences) program, which is designed to assist or mentor international students when they first arrive in Australia," she said.
"I was also engaged with City of Melbourne's InterCoM3 Committee, which organises the Lord Mayor's Student Welcome twice every year."
Thanks to this experience, Ms Ramesh was one of 20 students selected to join the EDGE program, for showing outstanding leadership in their fields, and in international student or community advocacy.
"City of Melbourne received close to 100 applications and they shortlisted 40 of us for the interview, based on our personal statement, academic reference and transcripts," she said.
"I'd like to thank Jeanette Holkner, who was postgraduate coordinator, as without her support and excellent recommendation letter I wouldn't have got through the screening process."
Coming from countries as varied as Kenya, Malaysia, Italy and Kazakhstan, the students were provided with six weeks of career development activities and networking opportunities.
"It is such an amazing experience," Ms Ramesh said. "They give you training in how to communicate with clients, prepare a global CV and cover letter, grooming and much more.
"I enjoyed every moment of the program and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to any international student."
Remya dances at the EDGE program launch in front of Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.