There is nothing wrong with doing things differently

I am Dipal. And this is my story
I am Dipal. And this is my story

I am from Ahmedabad, India. I am an international student living in Sydney, Australia. I am studying Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney. I am someone who likes doing things a little differently.

I am Dipal. And this is my story…


Bucking the classroom trend – how my journey to communications started

I always wanted to go to the University of Technology Sydney. It’s a fantastic university, and has a great reputation in India for its practical natured degrees. But unlike many of my classmates who had their career sights set on engineering or IT, my passion was to work in Public Relations. (Fact: Studying communications where I am from is almost unheard of – it’s comparative to saying you’re planning to move to Greenland to join the Greenlandic Inuit Eskimo tribe – you get me?)

Studying communications at UTS wasn’t planned from the start. In fact, I didn’t really know exactly what I wanted to do. Usually, as an Indian student, you’re expected to follow one of two routes - medicine or engineering. Medicine was ruled out quickly as I hated needles and just the thought of any blood made me want to run a marathon twice over! So that left engineering. But then there is maths – kind of an important component of the course! The problem was I knew I enjoyed Maths as much as I enjoyed scrubbing out last night’s dinner stains on my new dress. (You get the picture)

As I was looking at the different course options on the UTS website I happened to stumble across the UTS Communication School page. It was here, as I read through the subject outline of the Public Relations course – my eyes lit up. This was me all over!

I quickly learnt that UTS have one of the most recognised Communication Schools in Australia and that they had some fantastic employment partnerships. They were all about creativity, critical thinking and embedding practical experience from the start. My heart was beating fast just picturing myself there. Using the facilities, chatting to people in the industry, sitting down doing my assignments with friends, researching stories around the campus – it was so me.

I was all set and ready to apply for the course…or so I thought.

5 marks away. No way.

Unfortunately, at the time (or fortunately looking back on it now) I missed out on a direct entry to UTS by just 5 marks. Yep – just a measly 5 marks. I was so disappointed - shocked. Shattered even. I was so close, yet so far. Now, what was I supposed to do?

That’s when I heard about UTS Insearch. My education agent told me that UTS Insearch offered a “pathway program” into the University of Technology Sydney. I could complete my first year of the Communication degree with them and then go straight over to UTS once I finished. So I wasn’t actually missing out at all. Plus they also offer all this extra support – so you’re never on your own when you’re there. (This is big deal when you’re an international student in a new country settling in – having that support makes it a little less scary).

So before I knew it I had applied. UTS Insearch here I come. I was excited!!

UTS Insearch – more than expected.

An inspiring pic from me to you.

UTS Insearch was certainly nothing like I expected – it was absolutely amazing in every way! The teachers were so supportive, the facilities were all new and high-tech and everyone there was like family – they all genuinely cared about how you were doing – staff, teachers and students.

Doing the Diploma of Communication was also fantastic. I still did the same subjects as if I was across the road in a UTS class – the only difference was the class was much smaller. This is a big benefit – as it makes it a much more interactive and collaborative experience. Plus you do get a lot of time with each of your teachers which can be much harder in large university lectures.

Studying at UTS, living the dream

What an experience – me doing an UTS internship with an NGO!

Once I finished at UTS Insearch – it was an easy transition into second year of UTS. I was well prepared and feeling confident I could take anything on.

The UTS campus is really outstanding – it’s hard to describe unless you are here, but they have all the facilities you could ask for as a Communication student and so much more!

I am now in my final year at UTS and have just undertaken an internship with an NGO. Getting experience first-hand whilst pursuing a degree is definitely the best way to put your theoretical skills into practice. I highly recommend any student who is looking at studying a UTS degree to undertake at least one internship while you are studying. You won’t regret it and it will give you a definite edge when it comes to employment.

It’s been such an inspiring place to study. You always feel encouraged to think outside the box, supported to challenge norms and enlivened to be something special. I want to be something special – and I really think UTS is that place that’s helping me fulfil this dream.

Final thoughts – more than one path to university

I didn’t know what a pathway provider was until my education agent told me. And any thoughts I did have were way off the mark. A pathway provider isn’t just another route to get into university because you got knocked back. It’s so much more.

UTS Insearch changed my life. They showed me that I am more than capable of succeeding, supported me as I settled into a new life abroad, and taught me life-long learning skills – skills that helped me throughout my degree.  I like to think that UTS Insearch gave me a competitive edge – almost so I am reluctant to tell too many – or I won’t have that edge!

So next time you hear the word pathways – think differently. Think UTS Insearch.