Hello WIC Community,
My name is Azrun Paulson, and I recently completed my undergraduate degree, set to graduate this year. I completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Dean Scholar), majoring in Sociology, with a minor in Social Policy.
I am a proud Worimi woman with family ties to Gamilaroi Country and the South Sea Islands. I was born on Bundjalung Country in Lismore and grew up on Wiradjuri Country in Mudgee.
I went straight from high school to university and was never sure what career I wanted to pursue. However, I knew that I was interested in social issues so followed this interest by choosing Social Science. This led me to major in sociology to explain the inner workings of our society, and social policy to strengthen theory with practicality. This degree gave me multiple opportunities to research topics that interest me, and experience new things.
One highlight of my degree was the opportunity to travel to India at the start of 2020 (before COVID) for two-weeks as part of a Geography subject, paid for through a New Columbo Grant. This experience was absolutely amazing. I meet influential figures in the Adivasi (Indigenous) community in India and experienced another country through multiple avenues. However, I also faced challenges throughout my degree, with having to juggle multiple jobs while navigating the natural peaks and dips of university life. Overall, though, I have had more opportunities come my way than setbacks, which has been a blessing.
While studying my degree, I took advantage of all opportunities coming my way. This included putting my hand up to be an In2Uni mentor for the Pathways and Outreach team in my second year of study, which was the moment I became more confident in myself. This job gave me the opportunity to strengthen my skills and grow as an individual. I also got involved in multiple training programs, AIME volunteering, WIC Student Ambassadorship, and just taking any opportunity I was offered. This even led me to work with an external company on a RAP for their business moving into the new year.
Next year, I will be going into a Graduate Position with the Department of Social Services. This is incredibly exciting as it marks the first step into a new career and is a testament to the hard work I have put into my study, and my personal and professional growth. I eventually would like to return to academia to pursue Honours and a PhD. I am very thankful to the WIC staff and community for being a beautiful support system as I navigated the academic world.
My advice to future and current students is to try and stay positive throughout your studies, looking at the end goal and generally being positive in life. This helped me stay focused, however, also know when to ask for help and not be ashamed if you need to reach out. There are more people there for you than you realise.