My Melbourne with Fatema Zehra Abdallah Lalji

September 12 / 94

What is your unit? 

Graduate School of Business and Economics.

What is your job title?

Student Experience Officer.

How long have you been with the University of Melbourne?  

Since January 2012.

How did you come to work at the University?

I was born and raised in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I moved to Waterloo, Canada for my undergraduate studies in Biochemistry and Business. I still wanted to travel and see more of the world and that's when I was introduced to AIESEC - a global student-run organisation, present in over 110 countries and territories and with over 60,000 members. As a member of AIESEC, I applied to AIESEC Melbourne for the GSBE Internship, so an application, interview, strenuous visa process and 30-hour trip later, here I am.

Describe your typical day.

My role is to promote programs, opportunities, and events to GSBE students. This includes liaising with student clubs and societies, coordinating the GSBE Newsletter, website and social media, supporting the GSBE Global Communication and Leadership Award, and hosting events such as the GSBE Welcome Function and Student Experience E3 Expo to name a few. Every day is different.

What is it about your job that holds your interest or is particularly satisfying?

I have been fortunate to work with a great team of professional staff at the GSBE and University at large, and this makes every meeting an opportunity to learn from people with a breadth of experience. I enjoy the diversity of tasks in my work. They can take me from sitting at my desk one minute to being on my feet chasing down vendors for events or engaging in discussions with students and departments across the faculty.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

A popular favourite of mine is "We must become the change we wish to see in the world". Second, "There never were in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains. The most universal quality is diversity".

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn't know?

I caught an 83 kilo yellowfin tuna at age 16, winning the junior angler and overall angler award for the Latham Fishing Competition in Tanzania.

Where do you buy your coffee on campus?

I like my water more than my caffeine.

What do you like most about the University?  

I couldn't have picked a better organisation for my work abroad internship experience. I've learned a great deal about Australia from the people, the campus and opportunities available at the University. I appreciate my team's confidence in me by giving me a chance to bring my experience to my work. They have affected and influenced me professionally and personally.  

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