Originally from Pune City in India, Maleeha started her international student journey at Griffith University back in 2019. She is currently pursuing a double degree in Bachelor of Information Technology and Business at the Gold Coast campus, and will graduate at the end of 2022.
Maleeha says she is a responsible and hardworking individual (and we couldn’t agree more, after getting to know her and following her student journey). She always has a problem-solving attitude in whatever situation she encounters, and is always up for a chat or a coffee, but usually both of them go hand in hand.
Maleeha says she feels blessed to be surrounded by the right people, opportunities and direction at Griffith University. Her resilient, energetic and sociable ENFJ-A type personality makes her a desirable team player, and her sales, marketing and customer service experience compliment her academic achievements in the fields of Information Technology and Management – where she dreams of working in the cyberspace industry.
Maleeha’s favourite quote is; “Good things happen to good people.”
We asked Maleeha a few questions about her study abroad journey, her fears, her experience at Griffith and her dreams after graduation.
Find her answers below!
Interested in sharing your story? DM us on Instagram @griffithinternational.
What made you want to study abroad?
I was always thrilled at the idea of living independently and pursuing a career where better opportunities are possible. Back home in India, opportunities for women seem restricted, but as I grew up watching movies made in Hollywood, I knew the culture abroad would be much more supportive of my goals. My older brother was studying in the Unites States when I graduated high school, and he would send us photos and share his day with us. This led to me being inspired towards studying abroad.
Why did you choose Griffith University?
There were many reasons for me to choose Griffith University.
The three trimester pattern was the initial one. When I was applying to a bunch of universities in Australia, it happened so suddenly because the timing between me being able to convince my Mom and the application intakes were so close. I realised that I had missed the application deadline for some other universities and was very upset that I may not be able to study abroad until the following year.
Ultimately, I realised that Griffith University offers the Trimester 3 intake, which gave me enough time to apply for my visa and travel to Australia. Not only did I get accepted into T3 2019, but I was also awarded a 25% Academic Excellence Scholarship due to my merit scores from my previous education.
When I performed my research online to gather information about Griffith University, I found that the campus, culture, prospective experience, opportunities and people were so positive and in line with my goals. My entire application experience was also so smooth and easy to follow!
What do you love most about your life in Queensland?
Queensland as a state has some of the best weather and beachside views! The day starts very nice and bright, making us feel motivated to be productive for the day.
The Gold Coast is a regional city in Queensland, where I live. I have found the best cafes, restaurants, outdoor activities and places to enjoy my social self. I love taking a walk on the beaches and visiting different baristas for unique coffees on Gold Coast.
What were your biggest concerns about starting your student journey abroad?
My biggest concern while starting my student journey was making friends. I do have a social personality, but over the years I’ve always known that finding trustable friends is a time-taking and personal process. But now, thanks to all the opportunities at Griffith University and the kind people that reside on the Gold Coast, I feel confident about having made many great friends so far!
How did you overcome your fear?
I involved myself in student-driven activities and events on campus. There is a society or club for everyone and their every interest here at Griffith. One of the main events for me was the International Orientation and Campus Tour with Griffith Mates during Orientation Week. While being involved in the seminar and walking around the campus, I made my first group of friends.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice I’ve received so far was from one of the International Student Advisors, Jodi. She said that we students need to take a proactive stance on seeking help, by simply communicating and discussing problems to find solutions.
Who in your life has had the most influence on your career and life choices and why?
I believe it is my father. He was schooled from a non-English background but by the time I was 15 years old, I saw him hosting meetings with clients in America, Japan, China and Europe. I thought to myself, ‘how hard-working must he be?’ His international exposure and work experience have really driven me to become who I am today.
What has been a key moment in your life as an international student?
It was during the COVID-19 lockdown, which was indeed a rough time for a lot of people. Our studies moved online and I struggled to manage how to inculcate studying from home into my schedule, and ended up performing quite badly in that trimester’s courses.
Eventually, when I realised that I needed to take positive actions toward the solutions, I worked very hard and got much better grades the next academic year, which have now improved my overall grade. At that moment I realised that there was no point in dwelling on the past, but only working very hard towards the future, so that very moment in my life is a key one for me.
What has been your overall experience studying at Griffith as an international student?
It has been above and beyond excellent!
I’ve had the opportunity to make some of the most reliable relationships throughout my journey here and I value that so much. People in and around Griffith care about me. It feels so supportive and positive to be in such an environment. Griffith University has been pivotal in ensuring I have a plethora of opportunities at my feet when it comes to my career. The academic focus here is so practical and diverse that I feel specialised in my field and industry, and very employable by studying here.
Do you do attend any volunteer work, what is it and with what organisation?
Yes, I am a part of the Griffith Mates program on campus. It’s a student leadership community and we engage in hosting activities and events to bring international and domestic students together, with the aim to practice communication, leadership and team skills. We have some fun and engaging events all around the year during the trimesters and host virtual sessions as well.
What do you enjoy most about it?
I enjoy the fact that I get to make friends and practice my employability skills. Since I’ve been a Griffith Mate, I’ve become more aware than ever of my strengths and weaknesses. I feel better equipped and confident with my communication, event management and teamwork skills. I also get to practice professional public speaking, which is one of my strengths, and I get to participate in games, which are one of my weaknesses, to improve with my friends who are better at it.
Are you part of any clubs?
I am part of the Griffith Adventure Club. I went sunset hiking near Burleigh Heads on a very adventurous and memorable trip once with the Griffith Adventure Club. It was one of the most amazing experiences yet!
We went to a high point of a mountain for the views and I loved spending the entire walk making friends. After walking back down from the hill, we all went to a restaurant named Gnocchi Gnocchi, opposite the Griffith Business School at the Gold Coast campus. It was a delicious meal and our day had a beautiful start and end!
Where can we find you at the weekends?
On the weekends you will usually find me with my friends. I love to try different things in my spare time – from watching movies to grilling on the barbecue, going to the beach, travelling in the city, trying different cuisines at restaurants, or maybe just having a chill one at home with Netflix! I seek for every weekend to be unique.
What are your dreams after graduating?
After I graduate, I would love to be considered for an I.T. Business Analyst or Manager role. I am driven to have a career in cyberspace, but I am also open to seeing where my people skills take me! I would also love to travel to other states of Australia as soon as I can!
Want to connect and hear more from Maleeha?
Connect via LinkedIn – Maleeha Shaikh
Follow her on Instagram – @maleehatazzin
HUMANS OF GRIFFITH INTERNATIONAL
At Griffith University, we celebrate diversity and difference. Our community is made up of students from around the globe, all with a unique story to tell.
In this Humans of Griffith series, a selection of our international students have chosen to share their experiences, unedited in their own words – from the challenges of studying abroad, to building community and independence, and their dreams after graduation and beyond.
No matter who you are, or where you are in the world, whatever your study journey, Griffith University is with you all the way. Find out more at griffith.edu.au/international.
Interested in sharing your story? DM us on Instagram @griffithinternational.
View more Humans of Griffith student stories here.