Given the chance to compete on world stage

Sopone SouphanhFirst in the Family Scholarship recipient Sopone Souphanh has not taken her opportunities at Melbourne for granted, working hard to compete among the best across the globe.

“I am the first in my family to be born in Australia and attend university. Without this scholarship, my university experience would have been very different,” said Sopone, now in her final year of a Bachelor of Commerce.

Getting to the United States was something else she never thought was possible. The scholarship didn’t just give Sopone access to a Melbourne education; the driven student has also taken full advantage of the opportunities offered by the Faculty of Business and Economics.

One of which was representing the University of Melbourne with her fellow students at the Heavener International Case Competition held at the University of Florida. The week-long competition gave her students the unique opportunity to experience the strategic challenges and decisions that business leaders face in a global marketplace and showcase her skills with 20 universities from around the world.

"This scholarship has enabled me to meet new people, regularly hold conversations with Faculty staff, exposed me to new perspectives and provided a support system in so many ways.

“The case competition was a valuable experience and one of the highlights of my time at university. I was able to develop my critical thinking, communication skills, and my global mindset.”

Following her experience working on cases in a competitive climate, Sopone took a winter intensive subject in Seoul, South Korea, getting hands-on experience working on a consulting case project for IBM Korea.

I had the opportunity to understand an international business environment and work alongside a number of great students to create an unforgettable experience.

Sopone is only a few months out from graduating with international experience and a strong network of peers, academics, alumni and business leaders.

The First in the Family Scholarship was established thanks to the generosity of multiple donors. Every gift, no matter the size, gives our talented students the space to thrive and reach their potential.

Image: Sopone Souphanh at Grand Central Station, New York.