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  • Andrea undertook a Diploma of Engineering Technology at Melbourne Polytechnic
  • She has also completed a Diploma of Business & Entrepreneurship at Insight Academy
  • Andrea was a finalist in the 2017 Victorian International Education Awards
  • She has started her own business, BeYoinder, a collaborative consulting social enterprise

My life changed in every aspect as a result of my experience as an international student. I found my purpose in life and discovered strengths I didn’t know I had.

When Colombian engineer Andrea Morales arrived in Australia to attend a friend’s wedding, she had little idea about the impact her decision would have on her life.

She fell in love with the country and decided to stay to improve her English. Once she’d had a taste of life as a student in Melbourne, she was hooked and soon found herself enrolled in further studies taking her engineering qualifications to a new level with a Diploma of Engineering Technology at Melbourne Polytechnic and a Diploma in Business & Entrepreneurship at Insight Academy.

“Studying in Melbourne has had a huge impact on me. I discovered a passion for leadership and social innovation and developed both personal and professional skills that ultimately gave me the courage and inspiration to start my own business, BeYoinder,” says Andrea.

BeYoinder identifies organisational challenges, provides effective internal recommendations and creates innovative strategies of collaboration and partnerships with other organisations between Colombia and Australia.

“We are building a global community of organisations that are willing to build partnerships and make an impact in both countries, with a goal of engaging with more than 30 organisations and expecting another 100 by the end of 2019. 

“In 2018, we decided to prototype our services by displaying advantages of bilateral collaboration including CSR, events, partnerships, and donations through pilot projects in Colombia (La Guajira) and Australia (Mildura),” explains Andrea, noting that she uses skills learnt from her Australian lecturers as well as her experience outside the class room every day.

She credits her participation in student activities outside of lectures with her growing leadership skills. During her time in Melbourne, Andrea was heavily involved in the International Students Association and became the President of the Melbourne Polytechnic International Students Association.

Her work here and involvement in a number of student networks such as the Victorian International Students’ Advisory Network, CISA and VicWise was focused on empowering students. She was recognised for her contributions as a finalist in the Victorian International Education Awards in 2017 and was a semi-finalist in the Kangan Institute’s Inspirational TAFE Student Award.

“I got involved in a lot of student networks and also held a couple of roles outside of university.  I was an active member with Engineers Without Borders in the Victorian, WASH hub and North Melbourne Rotary Club.

“Proactively volunteering with these organisations gave me the opportunity to meet like-minded people and understand the Australian social innovation ecosystem. I made friends from Australia and around the world, and I created a network that is invaluable to me now,” says Andrea.

She has little doubt that her community involvement and open-mindedness were key to her getting the most of her time in Melbourne. She encourages students to make the most of their time in Melbourne by exploring the multicultural city and getting involved in life outside of the classroom.

“Melbourne gives you the chance to discover new points of views. You’ll meet people from around the world, taste different foods and listen to different languages. You’ll be challenged and enjoy world class education.

By choosing to study in Melbourne, you choose a life as a global citizen. It broadens your mind and gives you perspective. I have no doubt that everyone who comes to Australia as a student will leave with a new perspective on life.