29 June 2018
She is achieving near-perfect grades, but former hairdresser Asha Sara says she is gaining much more than academic success from her experience at USC’s Fraser Coast campus.
“I cannot quantify the enjoyment I gain from helping others,” said the 39-year-old who has become a mentor and leader to students at USC Fraser Coast where she is in the second year of a Bachelor of Nursing Science.
Asha has been acknowledged for her outstanding leadership and academic achievement with a $1,500 bursary from the Sunshine Coast branch of Graduate Women Queensland.
While maintaining a grade point average of 6.9 out of a possible 7, Asha has co-founded student-led academic drop-in sessions, formed the first student club on campus and helps fellow students in her role as a student career leader.
“I like to contribute by offering my knowledge and time to people who need help. It can be something as little as a smile, chat and laugh or as big as organising an event or starting a club,” Asha said.
Her role as student leader also includes presenting information sessions on campus and performing as the master of ceremonies at Orientation events.
A campus leadership role seemed like a natural progression for the Hervey Bay resident who supervised apprentices during 10 years as a hairdresser and later trained staff while working in office management positions.
“Studying Nursing Science at USC Fraser Coast has been a life-changing experience. It has allowed me to realise my strengths and provided many opportunities for further growth,” she said.
“I feel that USC fosters an environment conducive to developing an improved version of myself and every day I am thankful for all the opportunities I have received.”
She said the smaller size of the Fraser Coast campus improved the university experience and created a sense of community on campus.
“I’ve worked hard to foster this inclusive environment and one of my proudest achievements is forming the first social club and helping other students to shine by encouraging them to take on executive management roles.”
It is not only on campus where Asha likes to make a difference. Her community involvement includes delivering Meals on Wheels, volunteering at charity events and being part of a choral group that provides free concerts for patients in local hospitals and care facilities.
Asha’s goal is to maintain high grades to qualify for Honours and then complete a PhD.
“Prioritisation is key, especially with the extracurricular activities I like to be involved with. Walking this delicate tightrope will be challenging yet rewarding,” she said.
Applications are still open for mid-year entry to study at USC. The University’s annual Open Day will be held at its Sunshine Coast campus on Sunday 22 July. A free bus service is available for Fraser Coast residents.