Shayal, better known as Shay, graduated from the Master of Strategic Studies (MSS). In her decision-making process to come to study at ANU from Sydney, she analysed various reasons why she wanted to pursue a master journey. “After completing my bachelor, I still wanted more information to keep building my career in the security industry. ANU and Canberra were the right places to do so”.
Shay recognises that she was, and still is, amazed by the program and the high and well-renowned reputation from the Strategic Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) professors, lecturers and tutors. “Their varied expertise brings a fresh perspective and an interesting theoretical viewpoint”.
Her favourite course was the Study Tour - Operation OBOE to Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. For her, the main purpose of the course was to understand, track and study Australia’s largest amphibious mission in World War II. “It was one of the most rewarding courses I ever did through my studies. I comprehended the significance to not only learn a new language, which was Indonesian but also to have access to archives in the Australian National War Memorial and The Australian National Archives. Seeing materials, papers and diaries from the war that impacted Australia was eye-opening”.
The teaching methods helped to refine her skills. “I became an active listener and a better leader. I improved my critical thinking and the ability to analyse raw data and information”.
Canberra became home. The ANU Kioloa retreat is what started a really good Canberra experience. “One of the advantages of the retreat is that students have the opportunity to mingle with professors and academics as well as former students that share their own stories. I built a great network. We had a good cohort, we all became friends and care for each other”.
Shay was a student representative. “Being a student rep allowed me to meet students and hear their stories as well as understand their concerns. That was priceless”. On top of her studies, Shay played soccer with the ANU Women’s Football Club (ANUWFC) three times a week. “We ended up winning the 2019 championship! (Giggles). I am thankful that I was able to play a sport that I am passionate about and also to have an awesome friendship group. That positively contributed to my student experience”.
Shay is beaming. She is thrilled because her career dreams are coming true. In 2020 she will join the graduate program of the Department of Defence. “That was part of my career aspirations. We constantly see disasters occurring around the world and I want to make an impact and contribute to a change”.
For more information about the Master of Strategic Studies visit the website here.