Rameshwar Roy completed his Masters in Public Health last year after completing his undergraduate degree in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology – sticking to what he’s always wanted to do. After finishing his course, he started working in the lab sector, but his heart was looking for a person-centred role.
Interviewed by former W’SUP Director of Student Publications, Sarah Cupitt, Rameshwar shares the journey of how his involvement in various NGO projects led to the idea of further specialisation of his career in the health industry as an international student studying at WSU.
Udayan, in Kolkata, is an NGO that Steve Waugh contributed to which helped leprosy-affected children. Waugh’s association with Kolkata and the NGO shaped Rameshwar’s teenage years. Later, when he researched and found Australia as the 2nd top country for Health Service, he decided to study here at WSU to learn and gain experience.
How did you find a full-time job in the Health sector after graduating, especially in Aboriginal health?
“A health service job depends on experience – how much anyone can acquire throughout the study period. I attended a lot of seminars, workshops to understand the perspective of various organisations. I also attended seminar invitations hosted by other universities, which helped build a clear picture of the system-specific necessary information. The job market is always looking for an enthusiastic candidate, willing to learn and a good team player. Everyone has to be positive in attitude and try to help peers.
A helping attitude is one of the factors which employers try to find in candidates. From those activities, I got a chance to do some training on Aboriginal culture awareness, which helped me to get an extra advantage to become Service Delivery Coordinator for Aboriginal Health Service in Kimberly.”
How has being an international student shaped your journey and the challenges you’ve faced?
“Being culturally and linguistically diverse, it is not easy to understand and absorb the different systems, cultures and pace [of the systems and cultures]. But the main thing is to keep the eyes and the heart open to learn. Understanding the subject content taught in university and how that can be utilised in the real field is the main factor. University professors were really helpful to grip the subject content as much as I needed. I got my first part-time job in the health sector through the University job portal – Career Hub.”
What programs at WSU assisted you in your journey to success?
“I would say the whole journey was very important to success. I did all the classes on campus except last semester online due to COVID 19. I also attended student activities arranged by the student union and student success committee, e.g., LEAD, 21C project, RUOK, Mentorship programs, internal and external seminars, subject related exhibitions. I attended all, participated actively and was the winner of few group projects. Those gave me a lot of ideas and experiences for future steps.”
If you could redo your university experience, is there anything you would do differently?
“Some student programs like Project Boost I would have liked to attend definitely. I could not participate in many research projects due to the pressure of the units in my degree subject. Recently I came across a new module named Engaging Students for Community Wellbeing which made me fascinated to join some research courses so that I can be part of the program. I wish to join similar projects later with more experience from work to contribute to the future health system.”
You mentioned you were involved in various NGO projects; what were they, and what’s a memorable experience you had with them?
“I was involved in different NGOs focused on various aspects in the health industry like mental health, gender quality, disease burden, refugee funds etc. Those are important episodes of my university journey in Australia. Back in India, I was part of those NGOs working on health service programs for sex workers and their children. All those experiences brought a lot of memories, challenges that words cannot describe. Still, it can be said, a single smile from the participant can bring all happiness after overcoming the challenges for them, and that encourages me to do more for the community.”
Rameshwar’s words of advice:
“It is very important to relate the units which are taught in the syllabus to the real world. That helps get a clear perspective of the education system required for future research or the job world. University provides a lot of exposure. It is our duty to grab the chances whenever possible.”