Tanay Sanjay Shah, an RMIT graduate, is thriving in Australia today. He has a good job to experience all the benefits of working and living in Australia.
Three years ago, he was almost homeless in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Despite completing his bachelor of management studies at Nagindas Khandwala College in Mumbai, Tanay Sanjay Shah longed to know more.
He wanted to explore the world beyond India too. So why not do both? And so it goes that he joined a master’s programme in marketing at RMIT University.
Excited to embark on this new journey, he left India for Australia at the start of 2020. Two weeks later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit — and left Shah with no proper housing.
For the first few months of his journey in Australia, he slept on a couch.
Australia has many types of student housing for international students, including university accommodation and private rentals.
Shah tried his best to search for rentals but could not afford their prices then. His plan was to get a part-time job to help pay for rent, but the pandemic shuttered shops and laid off workers.
“As an international student, my priority after my studies was to find a part-time job so that I can afford to pay for my day-to-day expenses,” he says.
But there were no jobs for Shah.
“The job-finding process was extremely stressful and difficult. As such, I had difficulties finding a place to live as well as I could not afford rent.”
At the brink of homelessness, Shah met many kind souls who allowed him to sleep on their couch and have a place to call home as he tried to secure a part-time job.
“When living on a couch, as I was, it’s a bit disturbing, and you feel like, ‘Why did I even come here?’,” he says.
The prospect of doing well in uni and becoming an RMIT graduate seemed very far away at this point.
How to find jobs, do well in uni and become an RMIT graduate
Things soon got better. To make ends meet and in place of one part-time job, Shah took on many odd jobs while studying.
“My first job in Melbourne was as a kitchen hand, after which my friend referred me to a staffing company where I was able to work as a customer service representative,” he shares.
During holidays, while many were enjoying their breaks and taking the opportunity to explore Australia, Shah worked at supermarket chain Coles and department store MYER.
However, his blood, sweat and tears paid off. A few months ago, he became an RMIT graduate and landed his dream job.
Shah is currently working as a marketing coordinator at First Call Services in Melbourne.
Today, he has turned his hardship into something positive and seeks to help other international students and provide them with help and guidance throughout their journey.
“I will forever be grateful to my parents, friends, my university, the student union and the Indian club at RMIT for their constant support throughout this journey and for helping me get through it,” the RMIT graduate says.
“Failure is inevitable, but that is how we learn and grow. You just have to put in the constant effort and never lose hope,” he shares.