This year, we are celebrating 10-years of the Monash Warwick Alliance. As part of our Voices of the Alliance series, Politics, International Studies & Global Sustainable Development graduate, Hannah Abdel-Hadi, shares her experience and highlights of the Alliance.
I always knew before I applied to university that I wanted to study abroad as part of my degree, so the Alliance programme was perfect. It was a great opportunity because it was integrated with the course and many of my Warwick cohort went on exchange at the same time so it didn’t feel intimidating. I wanted to go to Australia specifically to experience a new culture and place. I’m also very interested in sustainability so Monash’s Sustainability Institute was a big selling point.
I was part of the Monash SEED (Socio-Economic Engagement & Development) society, and I really enjoyed learning more about social entrepreneurship and attending their events. It was the first time I’d been exposed to social enterprises and social impact businesses, and the benefits they made in society and in solving pressing problems. I took this knowledge back to Warwick where I co-founded a society focused on social enterprises called Warwick SEED (which has an international collaboration with Monash SEED). It’s definitely shaped my academic and career ambitions.
My main advice for students thinking of getting involved with the Alliance, whether through an exchange or joint research, is to really immerse yourself in the UK/ Australian culture and meet local people. It’s quite easy to stick with fellow exchange students and not branch out, but it so important to actually get to know local students as there are so many new things to discover. For example, I was also part of Monash Boardriders. The surfing trips were amazing and gave me the opportunity to explore different areas of Victoria that I may not have discovered otherwise.
Thanks to my time at Monash, I plan to continue working in start-ups and social enterprises. I currently work in customer operations and marketing at Muddy Trowel, an early-stage start-up that sells outdoor plant kits in the UK.
I would also like to work abroad in the future, as my experience at Monash really taught me the importance of immersing yourself in other cultures to both learn and collaborate effectively.
Did you do a year abroad at Monash? If you would like to share you story, please email alumni at warwick dot ac dot uk