My name is Tammy and I’m a graduate student in Arts and Cultural Management at the University of Melbourne. I am from China, a newcomer to Melbourne. Luckily, I got a chance to know Live Projects in our university’s career website (careers online), and joined the project in November 2017.

Meeting great clients, mentors and fellow students

Thanks to Live Projects, I met four teammates, as well as good friends from four different countries. Meanwhile, I met our favourite client from Victoria Police and a mentor - they all helped us a lot. Our team’s project is called “Reduce crime against people in the CBD”. I found that live project to be a challenging but worthy platform for our overseas students. It’s quite valuable to have a chance to work in Melbourne and contribute all your ideas and abilities. Even though you may encounter many difficulties during the process, your mentor and teammates will help you out.

Learning from others

The greatest experience and surprise from this project is “learn from others.” For me, all of my teammates have different majors and advantages from me. Sometimes I believe all my partners are my “mirror,” they reflect my drawbacks so that I could improve a lot. At the same time, they express a new way of exploring Melbourne life for me. During working hours, we learned from each other and helped each other. After work, we were close friends, trying different food, bowling, and sharing stories.

Tips for future participants

What I learned from this experience could also be some tips for the future participants.

One is “be well prepared for everything you are not familiar with.” In this project, maybe you will meet many unfamiliar topics and fields of study. The best way to overcome it is not to ignore the problems and leave it to others. It will be better if you make more effort to do deep research before your group and client meetings. The group brainstorming will also help you a lot, once you get rich resources.

The other thing I have learned is “be friendly to all your teammates from the first sight.” It can be hard to develop a great result with four strangers in limited time. So, keeping friendly from the very first meetingt can help the team to build up a close relationship. Don’t stay there and ask nothing from your teammates; you will be surprised if you start a simple chat with them. I have always been surprised every day during the project. Once I knew more about my partners, I became more excited about our cooperation. Besides the practical project skills, our team also share the skills and hobbies of chopsticks, skateboards and beer with each other.

I am so grateful for Live Projects. These three weeks could be one of the best parts of my summer. I do believe everyone can find their unique experience during this journey. The point is you start to make a decision to join, to embrace, and to enjoy.