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- Tham completed a Master of Finance at RMIT University
- She now works for Australia Awards Scholarship, helping others achieve their dreams of higher education
I was used to only focussing on theory, but in Australia I got both theory and practice. Our lecturers included CEOs and managers of high-profile hedge funds. It’s a future-ready approach that proved really helpful in my post studies career.
It was a lifelong dream come true, when Tham Dinh finally arrived in Melbourne in 2016 to study a Master of Finance at RMIT in Melbourne.
As a young teenager, almost two decades earlier, she’d been reading letters from students in Melbourne, published in her favourite magazine. The letters sparked a dream about a country with peaceful beaches and blue skies. She’d imagined one day living and studying there, but she hadn’t imagined that she would do it aged in her 30s, bringing her husband and two children.
“Going to Melbourne with my family was really special. I had been in my job for more than a decade and the move to Melbourne marked a new start, pursuing what I am really passionate about.
“I come from a small village where many of my childhood friends left school at 15. I want to change that. I want to play a role in creating better learning environments for students in rural, disadvantaged areas and I knew that to do that, I had to reshape my profile,” Tham says.
Tham completed a Master of Finance at RMIT, while living and working in Melbourne. Although she had already studied at university level in Vietnam, the experience in Melbourne was very different.
“I was used to only focussing on theory, but in Australia I got both theory and practice. Our lecturers included CEOs and managers of high-profile hedge funds. We got a chance to work in real social enterprises during our social enterprise studies. It’s a future-ready approach that I hadn’t experienced before, but that proved really helpful in my post studies career,” she explains.
She now works for Australia Awards Scholarship, where she plays a role in awarding scholarships and assisting scholarship recipients as they, like her, achieve their dream of higher education.
She uses her own experiences as a student to help aspiring students find the right course, getting settled and enjoying their time in Australia.
“I help young and ambitious people attain higher education and turn their dreams into reality. Playing a part in giving other people the experience I had, is a privilege. I love what I do and it’s all thanks to the knowledge, skills and the confidence that I got after studying in Melbourne.
“I had no hesitation choosing Melbourne as the place the study and it’s great to be able to share my love for the city and Victoria. There are a lot of international students here, and it’s because the city is so liveable and the quality of the education so high. You feel part of the community quickly, and it’s a great place to raise kids. My kids go to a great school and do a lot with their school friends outside of school,” she says.
She points to Melbourne multiculturalism as a key point of difference, both as a student and a resident.
“I knew it was a very multicultural society, but I don’t think I quite understood the positives it would bring until I experienced it. I feel like a global citizen and no longer have any barriers working with people of all backgrounds. I’m more open-minded, social and adventurous and don’t have the fear of failure that I used to feel.”