Kate Goodfruit

Policy Officer
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
The compulsory exchange semester in the Bachelor of International Studies program was definitely the most unique aspect of my program.

Bachelor of International Studies

Why did you choose to study at UQ? 
I choose to study at UQ because, firstly as a young student, I was always inspired by the vast expanse of the UQ St Lucia campus. I often remember hearing of the ground-breaking research conducted at the Uni, and recognised the benefits of studying at a worldclass university. As I progressed into senior high school, my career ambition to work in foreign affairs and government industries resulted in my decision to undertake International Studies at UQ. I was aware of the advantages of studying at UQ, including its prestigious international status, exchange opportunities, career and networking experiences, alongside the world-class teaching and learning facilities. Subsequently, all off this factors combined resulted in me selecting UQ as my university of choice. 

What was the best thing about your program? 
Undoubtedly, the best experience I had whilst studying at UQ, was the opportunity to represent UQ and the Australian community abroad as an exchange student in Japan. With my academic achievements and motivation being recognised by UQ, I was given the phenomenal opportunity to participate in the 2017 Australian Government New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholarship Program, enabling me to study, work and live in Japan for a year. The degree of trust and pride UQ placed in me to represent the University abroad reinforced in my mind the variety of advantages available to students when you study at UQ. Being given the ability to study Japanese language and culture at Kyushu University, and intern with organisations including Mitsubishi Corporation and the Australian Embassy Tokyo, this was by far the best experience I have had in my life to date. I accredit this entire experience to the wonderful experiences available to students at UQ

Was there anything that you found that made your program unique?
The compulsory exchange semester in the Bachelor of International Studies program was definitely the most unique aspect of my program. The benefit of this being that students can easily fit an exchange program into their enrollment, without complicating their subject selection.The opportunities which came from my exchange, ranging from a global network of friends, new professional contacts and mentors, alongside the opportunity to enhance my Japanese language skills, made the entire exchange opportunity incredibly unique and life-changing.

What did your study lead to? How did your study help you to get to your current role, and what does your current role involve?
A combination of my study, professional and extra-curricular experiences combined were incredibly beneficial in securing me a graduate program position with the Australian Government. Having continually enhanced and homed-in on my knowledge and understanding of International Relations, Public Policy and Japanese during my time at UQ, this gave me significantly more confidence going into interviews with large governmental organisations. Having the knowledge and skills I learnt at UQ to back-up my candidacy, is something I attribute significantly to my success.

As I have not started my current role yet, I can only provide basic information surrounding my position's requirements. As a graduate with the Department of Infrastructure, I will be involved in formulating and implementing policy for Australia's largest infrastructure and development projects. This is a significant passion of mine, and combined with my experience at UQ, I'm very much looking forward to engaging my knowledge and experiences in this position.

What has been your biggest professional highlight since graduating from UQ?
As I'm yet to graduate from UQ, I have not had the opportunity as of yet to experience professional highlights. However, when I was an intern with the Australian Embassy Tokyo, I was proud to co-coordinate a NCP Networking Event for Scholars and Mobility Students in Japan during this period. Having being given this opportunity, I enhanced my network connections and was able to share my experiences as a Scholar with business and university representatives, alongside the Australian Diplomatic Community in Tokyo. This was a phenomenal experience; one which truly reinforced my skills of independence, confidence and motivation, which I had built during my time at UQ.

What advice would you give to students in the same discipline you studied?
I have two specific points of advice to students venturing down a similar study path. Firstly, take every opportunity offered to you. You never know what door will open when you utilise experiences as they are provided to you. The benefit of studying at UQ is that opportunities and experiences are constantly being thrown at students to engage with. Therefore, I truly believe that the more you experience, the more you learn and develop, and subsequently grow as an individual both personally and professionally.

Additionally, I would really encourage students not to stress the small things, e.g. exam results, essay marks as they are not the be all, end all of your degree. If you experience challenges and failures during your studies, do not give up but use it as a learning curve to which you can build your skills from. My study experiences at UQ weren't always fun and easy; it's about pushing and challenging yourself and there will be times when disappointment occurs. Such moments during your studies are instrumental in shaping your development as an individual, so long as you learn from the mistake and don't get stressed out by it.


Bachelor of International Studies (International Relations & Japanese)