Study Melbourne’s Live Projects program connects international and domestic students with Victoria’s industries and priority sectors through work-based learning experiences. Here, Study Melbourne Ambassador Lu Ngo shares the skills and lessons she has gained through the program.

Words by Lu Ngo

In December 2018, I took part in Live Projects and it completely changed my Aussie education journey.

Before joining Live Projects, I had been trying in vain to find ways to get local experience and make friends from other universities. Live Projects completely changed the game for me because I got selected due to my potential and not my experience. This was huge to me because I obviously had no local experience as an international student. If there is one thing I can say about Live Projects, it’s gotta be “Start here and go anywhere”.

From a Live Projects participant in 2018, I went on to become a Programs Support Intern in 2019. I’m now a full-time Industry Engagement Coordinator at Practera, a company that runs experiential learning programs including Live Projects.

Here’s what I learned through Live Projects and how it continues to help me today.

Communication is key

Had it not been for confident communication, I never would have got where I want to be. Opportunities don’t just come to us and we always have to communicate what we want. Ideas don’t become a reality unless we are able to communicate them. We won’t be able to build up teams and deliver projects successfully unless we are able to communicate with our teammates.

Resilience will help us through tough times

Challenges always come but it is up to us to handle them. As long as we keep going, we will get to our destination. We only fail when we give up.

Be solution-oriented

Resilience doesn’t go alone. We have to keep going with the end goal in mind. We are not simply wandering when it comes to overcoming challenges because we need to stay on our track no matter how vicious the storm is. Instead of focusing on what we cannot change, we can focus on the opportunities that might arise out of hardships and what we can do.

Speak ‘we’ instead of ‘I’

Whatever it is that we do, we are always in a team. It is important to listen before we speak, as much as it is crucial to understand different perspectives. The beauty of it is that we are always stronger when we have a good team and it all starts with being a good teammate.

Feedback is king and reflection is queen

Yes, I am stealing the idea from the famous saying in marketing “Content is king”! I think whatever it is that we do, we can only become better when we take in feedback and work on our reflection. When we reflect, we seek feedback. When we use this feedback we need to reflect and see how well we are applying it. This loop continues as we progress and so that we can progress.

I understand that this period is so uncertain and scary, and I feel for international students in Australia. However, I hope that in my story and my lessons, you will see a sliver of light. I hope I can send a bit of my strength to you and I truly, truly hope, that you will not give up. Focus on what you can do right now to slowly turn your life around and realise your dream.

I also hope that initiatives like Study Melbourne Live Projects will be continued, upgraded and amplified so that all international students around the world will be able to get the best out of their education. As for my part, I will keep doing what I have been doing with Practera, with Study Melbourne, with my other work and more to help other international students in Australia get the best experience possible.


Live Projects are open to post-secondary international and domestic students from participating education institutions in Victoria. Find out how to get involved.