Tell us about your role at JCU …
I ensure that students receive excellent academic administrative service. This is done by leading the teams which deliver the processes and services from admission, enrolment, examination, graduation, counselling, progression, and student administration. 

What’s your favourite part of your job?
Working with colleagues from around the world like Australia, New Zealand, Germany, UK, China, and the Philippines. It’s great to work with such a diverse community. In terms of challenges, constantly innovating and meeting the evolving nature of learning and student experience can be demanding. 

After 16 years at JCU, what major changes have you noticed within the curriculum?
Nowadays it’s no longer necessary for traditional classroom-based teaching. The tremendous advancement in technology has enabled the development of the media and learning tools – it’s much more dynamic. For example, with the on-going pandemic, a digital learning environment and hybrid teaching and learning has become the norm. The curriculum and the outcomes of the courses must be curated to meet the dynamic nature of education today.

You obtained a Master of IT Management from University of Wollongong. How tricky were tech courses then?
During my days, there were very few female students in my class. There were limited networking and mentoring opportunities, and no social media. As women we had to work hard, but because we were interested in computer engineering and had confidence in our abilities, we were able to get through. 

What advice would you give to students wanting to pursue  IT today?
You must have passion and an interest in IT to study it.  You also need to be open to learning new things, prepared to take on challenges, and keep up with technological changes. 

What would have been your ‘alternative’ career?
Maybe something in the IT industry, doing app development or working within artificial intelligence or cybersecurity space. These topics interest me a lot.

How can students best prepare for university life?
Be independent, responsible, set goals, and learn how to work hard but also have fun. Learning inside and outside of the classroom through extra-curricular activities such as clubs and networking can set you up for life.  

What would you change about your own school days?
I should have had more fun. Haha!

How do you relax out of work?
By reading books, rock painting, and playing with my pet toy poodle! 

Shanti’s advice for parents with uni students

“It’s hard when a student starts university, but parents must remember that their child is getting ready to be an independent, resilient and strong individual. As parents we need to give our full support and guidance on this journey, so the child can rise to success.”

James Cook University (JCU) is at 149 Sims Drive, 387380. T: +65 6709 3888.