Students often think they need to enter university with an established plan, but if you don’t know what your future is going to be, it can be hard to make the ‘right’ subject choices.
For Rhea, university was a place where she could experiment and at Melbourne, she had the opportunity to explore and discover her path in her own time.
When Rhea finished VCE at the end of Year 12, she felt there was a lot of pressure to make plans for her future. Most universities, it seemed, wanted her to commit to a course of study that would determine her career path. But for 18-year-old Rhea, there was a sense of anxiety that came with narrowing down her options too quickly.
The expectation to have it all figured out, and to get it right the first time, can be daunting when it comes to choosing a university degree. So rather than considering all the potential outcomes, Rhea decided to focus on what she enjoys doing, and following that to discover what future career paths this could lead to.
For 18-year-old Rhea, there was a sense of anxiety that came with narrowing down her options too quickly.
“I love to present, I love to write and read. I think this all culminated in my decision to choose the Bachelor of Arts because you can experiment with nearly everything and I was exploring all of my interests. I took those things I love, and I’ve started to look for career opportunities that could stem from there. I could take business administration, or I could go for a career in journalism – arts had everything I needed.”
The choice of over 40 areas of specialisation in the Bachelor of Arts meant that Rhea could create a degree tailored to her unique interests. And the opportunities haven’t just been limited to her coursework. Alongside the option to explore double majors and minors, Rhea’s also been involved in student clubs and internships to make sure that she gets to experience everything that university has to offer her.
“I’ve had experience in writing for the media, presenting a podcast and developing a marketing campaign. That’s three different career options, all of which have been offered to me as part of my degree. I’ve been involved in the Students at Work program, which is an internship you can apply for in various fields, and it’s been amazing helping me navigate the field of marketing. I’ve loved it because I get the opportunity to be in a professional environment. It’s not like you go in and just observe your coworkers, rather you get to be in the thick of it and practise your skills and learn from each other.”
Having taken the time to explore her options, Rhea chose a double major in English and Theatre Studies and Media and Communications, and began building the experience and expertise to set herself up for a promising career.
"Research has been a key component of my Bachelor of Arts degree. I like learning about a new topic and building my knowledge in a certain area. Research teaches you how to engage with the field. Even the breadth subjects that are outside your current course allow you to consider different options and expand your knowledge bank.”
It’s this flexibility of the Melbourne curriculum that enables students like Rhea to see the world from different perspectives, learn to connect thoughts and ideas, and find innovative solutions. Students learn new ways to approach a topic, research a problem or engage with ideas and build the confidence in exploring all their options.
For Rhea, she’s considering starting her own podcast to interview people to discuss different topics. “I find it very interesting to see how people might consider the same topic and contribute different ideas.”
With the skills she’s developed through her Bachelor of Arts, she’s confident she has the skills no matter what direction she chooses.
“I now understand the necessity at looking at the bigger picture, considering all points of view."
The choice of over 40 areas of specialisation in the Bachelor of Arts meant that Rhea could create a degree tailored to her unique interests.