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CDU scholar squashes self-doubt

This article appears in: Information Technology, Studying in Australia
Sulav Shrestha studying in the library

Having spent a large part of his childhood in a hostel in his home country of Nepal, Sulav Shrestha vowed to turn the tide on his institutionalised upbringing by learning and traveling as much as he could. It was this drive that saw him head for Australian shores to pursue new beginnings as a Charles Darwin University international student.

Now living in Darwin as he studies towards his Master of Information Technology (Information Systems and Data Science), we caught up with Sulav to chat about his ambitions to apply his IT degree in solving real-world digital challenges in developing nations.

With a keen interest in business and data intelligence, Sulav said he was drawn to a postgraduate degree in Information Technology, but it was his love for data crunching that led him to specialise in data analysis.

“When I finish my degree with CDU, my goal is to gain the professional experience needed to be able to address digital challenges for developing countries like Nepal,” Sulav said.

Considering himself as someone who can quickly pick up new concepts and technologies, Sulav said he had a zest for taking on new challenges.

“My decision to pursue a postgraduate degree was galvanised after putting a lot of thought into my academic and professional background, my areas of interest, and my career ambitions,” Sulav said.

“I chose to study with CDU because the university’s mission to create a positive influence on society, economic systems and individuals through research and education resonated strongly with me.”

Sulav Shrestha  studying in the library

When he arrived in Darwin, Sulav said he was excited about his new beginning, but was taken aback by the need to juggle so many responsibilities simultaneously.

“Every country has their own culture, and back in Nepal, life is quite linear,” Sulav said. “First, you complete your studies and then you find a job. As an international student I needed to quickly learn how to prioritise and organise my life in the Australian way, where work and study happen in parallel.” 

As the recipient of a CDU Global Achiever Award Scholarship Sulav has been able to pursue exciting opportunities such as the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Future Leaders Competition.

“The scholarship has helped me immensely by allowing me to focus more on my personal and professional goals. It has also helped my family by relieving some of the burden of my university fees.”

Sulav said he has faced feelings of self-doubt throughout his life. However, with the support of the CDU community, he said he has started to shed these feelings one day at a time. With his newfound self-confidence, Sulav has been able to support the Northern Territory’s IT community as a postgraduate officer for the Information Technology Students Association (ITSA) and as an IT Code Fair ambassador.  

Putting self-doubt to the side and living by his personal mantra to “never be satisfied with your comfort zone”, Sulav took the initiative to join different local societies and groups while juggling study and work.

“There are so many opportunities available to students and so many things happening at CDU that help us develop both professionally and personally,” Sulav said.

“Being part of CDU’s tight-knit community meant that, by the end of my first year, I had got to know all the students in my field.

“Also, because the student to teacher ratio is small, lecturers are more like mentors who support us to reach our study and career goals.”

CDU Student Sulav scholar squashes self-doubt

Listing Codefair 2019 as one of the most cherished experiences during his time as a CDU student so far, Sulav said he had the opportunity to work closely with CDU’s IT team to showcase the impact of the local IT industry as a Codefair ambassador.

“Codefair is one of the biggest events in the Darwin IT space, and it includes various challenges and innovations to showcase the students’ skills,” Sulav said.

“It’s also a great opportunity to connect with representatives from the local IT industry.

“I was formally recognised for my academic excellence at the event, and I also performed well in the Business Innovation and Coding competitions, which has helped me build my confidence.” 

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