“A foreign education makes you complete”

Posted on by tilakjha | Category: Interviews Slider Post | 960 views | 6 Comments

Most among us aspire for a degree from a foreign university. A foreign degree, we believe, is a ticket to success. How beneficial a foreign degree is? How does someone who has a foreign education plan his/her life? We present an interview with Nirupa Pradhan of Sikkim who has done her Masters from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and is looking for a job there. In a conversation with Tilak Jha, the Sikkemese talks about her career, life, future plans and her dreams for home state Sikkim.

(In the pic above: “Hey! I am in Australia”. Nirupa (second from left) at the Flinders station..main metro station of Melbourne)

How has been Melbourne to you?

I didn’t think of going abroad and doing Masters. I was never too sure. But it has been good. It will be three years in February. I was studying till this June. So time just flew.

Melbourne is not a very busy city when compared to Sydney. But I don’t like the weather here. It’s almost like having nine months of winter. In Sikkim we have four seasons. Here, the weather is bizarre.

Three years….you still appear same. Home loving…

Well home is where your heart is.

Nirupa Monash
(“Standing Tall”)

Tell me about your education.

I had my schooling from Std. II to X in Darjeeling and Namchi and 11th and 12th from Tashi Namgyal Academy, Gangtok. I did my B.A., LL.B from Bangalore University. Then I came to Delhi. I worked in Delhi for seven months with a legal firm before I left for Australia. Finally I did a double Masters in taxation and business law from Monash University.

How did the funding come?

In Sikkim we get an educational loan from the education department which is interest free. I took a loan.

How are the prospects?

Most of the companies here look for experience which I lack. I need temporary residency also for which we need to come under a Skilled Occupation List (SOL) prepared by the immigration department. But the SOL list doesn’t have taxation and business law which is my specialisation. So, I went for workplace relation advisor. I am basically looking for a job as a consultant or an advisor in a corporate office or a legal firm.

The job scenario has improved now, I hope.

Yup, the job scenario has improved. I just hope that I find something soon. I haven’t applied for jobs lately. I was busy going home and my visa process. Once I came back I got quite busy with the work. I will start looking for it soon. After working everyday from 9-5 and all the travelling I like to laze around during weekends, watch TV and movies.

Are you lazy?

Don’t you ever do that? (Laughs)

Nirupa on the seas
(“On The Seas”: At the Williamstown beach, Victoria)

What sort of movies?

O! I am a big movie buff. I watch everything. Hollywood, Bollywood, Korean, Japanese…

You understand Korean and Japanese also.

Nah. They have sub-titles. Yea, but I do understand a few words.

Do you plan to come back?

If do get a job here I might stay here for couple of years or I might go to Singapore. I haven’t decided properly. I will be returning to India in the next few years, I guess.

How have you evolved over the years?

I have learnt to be independent and adjustable. I have always taken things as it came.

How were you during your school days?

I played a lot of games. I was an average student when it came to brains. Being in a boarding school, I had friends from all over the country. I am still in touch with most of my friends.

Nirupa family
(“The Family”. L to R: Nirupa’s father, Nirupa, her mother, aunt and uncle)

What about your family?

My dad is an IFS officer. He is the Chief Conservator of Forest and my mom is a high school teacher. I have two brothers. The elders one is an architect in Gangtok and my younger brother is doing MBA in Noida.

Why did you go for law?

As a child I wanted to be a teacher but going to school with my mom changed it. Then I wanted to be either an accountant or a lawyer. I didn’t score too well in my I.Sc. so I decided to go for law. But I really like accounting… may be someday I will do professional accounting course.

What about your interests and hobbies? Your passions…things you hate…love…

Ah! That’s hard to answer. I like to read books. I like Paulo Coelho and Mohsin Hamid. I am interested in photography as well. Last I read Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly. He is more of a mystery writer. Now, I am gonna start one called Almost Single by Advaita Kala.

Nirupa Opera house1
(“Opera Time”. From L to R: Nirupa and her friends, Shamlee, Sapna and Priya Pradhan)

What about music. People from Sikkim have lots of music in them.

(Laughs) I like alternative rock. Music and football connects people universally.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

I just hope to get a good job and make my parents proud. I am kind of traditional though not conservative. I would like to be more of a consultant advising people about their legal rights.

Australia doesn’t seem a good prospect for me when it comes to jobs. I will look for a job in Singapore.

How do you feel about your home state, your country?

Everyone has a dream to fulfill. It is necessary that we use what we have to make our country a better place. You know how our legal system is. Everything works so slowly. We should improve the way we settle our dispute. Law should be equal for all. As of now, it’s not like that. I want to change it.

How easy or difficult it is for someone from a weak background to reach where you are today?

Speaking frankly I was fortunate be born in a family where I didn’t face any difficulty. But I do know people facing problems. Many opportunities are reserved for people with approach. It shouldn’t be the case.

Nirupa Monash3

How benefitted do you feel with a foreign degree?

In places like Singapore and Malaysia foreign universities esp. the university I passed out from is valued. Even in India a lot of companies give preference to foreign degrees. In terms of pattern of studies, in India, we are more of a bookworm whereas here we study from powerpoint. We just have to study specific and important things.

Do you think it is necessary to have a foreign education?

You can make it work out in India. It’s not necessary but it does make you complete and have more exposure.

How should someone from Sikkim go about if s/he wants to study in Australia?

There are agents who help with the procedure. But with internet, you can search the information yourself. You can choose the subject you want to pursue your studies. The paper work might be a bit difficult. But once you are in Australia, you can study anything, whatever is your background…we can even mix and out subject.

Anything you would like to say to the young friends of your state.

Believe in yourself and be optimistic.

Thank You so much. It has been a pleasure talking to you.




      Wow that was a sign of a healthy conversation……….I hope many Sikkimese students will now raise their footsteps towards Foreign Land.

    • rizna

      That was an inspiring conversation…wish you all the best….I have known Nirupa from my law school days in Bangalore and it’s good to see her progress in life

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