Our latest Vice-Chancellor Scholarship recipients strike an inspiring balance between academic success, extra-curricular activities, and hopes for societal change.

Sampada Sood and Shahil Razeen have been rewarded for their outstanding academic achievements and sense of community responsibility with the prestigious Vice-Chancellor Scholarship – India and Sri Lanka,

The students were presented with their scholarships in a ceremony presided over by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Susan Dodds.

As Sampada and Shalil arrive in Australia to begin their university journey at La Trobe, we spoke to them about their stories and their hopes for the future.

Sampada Sood hopes to give back

Growing up in Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of Delhi, Sampada was inspired by her father.

‘He is a self-employed professional, an entrepreneur,’ she recounts.

‘From a very young age, I saw him put his blood and sweat to build an empire of his own. His hard work made the transition from writing reports by hand to owning an entire office possible. This is what inspires me the most. I’ve always dreamt to be like him.’

Sampada aspires to have her own business, but she is just as inspired to give back to society. while volunteering at a Dehli-based not-for-profit food organisation, she experienced, first-hand, the rewards of assisting those in need. She also saw all the finances and logistics supporting the endeavour.

By studying a Bachelor of Business at La Trobe, Sampada is working towards founding her own digital marketing firm one day, where she can work on projects that improve life in Delhi and throughout India.

‘I’m always looking for ways to give back to society. I come from a country where people with great ideas and creativity lag behind the world,’ she says. ‘I am looking forward to help those entrepreneurs who are willing to make a difference.’

Shahil Razeen wants to utilise business’s social potential

As a child growing up in Dehiwala, greater Colombo, Shahil loved sports. Cricket, soccer, karate and even debating were all close to his heart. As a teenager, he increasingly became intrigued by the potential and power of the business world.

‘Ever since I understood the concept of business, it has fascinated me in so many ways,’ he says.

Also studying a Bachelor of Business, Shahil believes it to be the first step on an ambitious journey.

‘Sri Lanka is a country with immense potential. Through my La Trobe degree, I want to help Sri Lanka realise its potential in the business field,’ says Shahil.

He cites ‘setting up foundations, on-field work thorough marketing and accurate analysis’ as areas where he can facilitate progress, both in business and society.

His inspiration? Asha De Vos: the marine researcher who founded Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation organisation, Oceanswell. The organisation shines a spotlight on the serious ecological issue of blue whale survival in the Indian Ocean.

‘I want to make a tangible difference and bring about a progressive mindset to help my country’s business sector prosper.’

The rewards of studying at La Trobe

When time came to take their next step, both Sampada and Shahil focused on La Trobe as their destination. They were drawn to the world-class facilities and global reach of the university, but also to the dream of studying internationally.

They each submitted an application for the Vice Chancellor Scholarship – India and Sri Lanka, a full-fee scholarship available exclusively to students from the region. In addition to academic success, it’s also awarded for a student’s community contribution and values.

‘Receiving this prestigious scholarship is like a dream come true,’ says Sampada. ‘I feel very privileged and honoured to be the sole recipient from my home country.’

When Shahil found out he’d won this scholarship, he was shocked.

‘The feeling of being a recipient of this highly prestigious scholarship cannot be put into words. Needless to say, I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and intend on leaving my mark and being a model ambassador for La Trobe University.’

Sampada is looking forward to having ‘a hands-on learning experience’, as well as utilising the university’s industry connections.

‘I believe La Trobe will provide me with the necessary guidance and exposure to excel in my field,’ she says.

Wherever their journey takes them, these Vice-Chancellor Scholarship winners aim to foster positive change at home.

‘At the end of the day,’ says Shahil, ‘I want to be able to give back to my country.’

Explore the full range of La Trobe scholarships available to international students. Study online or on campus at one of Australia’s most highly-rated universities.

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