Humans of Open Universities Australia: Meet Nabila

Nabila first experienced the transformative power of education watching her mother study to better the life she could provide. Today, Nabila works as a student advisor—helping students feel empowered in changing their lives, too.

Humans of OUA Meet Nabila

Tell us your name and your role at Open Universities Australia.

“My name is Nabila and I’m a student advisor.”

What was your role when you started and how has it changed?

“I started off as an apprentice student advisor last year, and it has been constant learning from then onwards. I have had the opportunity to be part of [our] Admin & Solutions Guild to look into the inner workings of Open Universities Australia and help collaborate with [our] Admin & Solutions representatives to brainstorm optimisations [improvements for students] based off advisory experiences.”

“I’ve since moved towards the Agile Guild, [within which] our team led the first Advisory Hackathon to highlight innovative and novel solutions to enhance Open Universities Australia’s culture through our three employee values of ‘Care for Each Other,’ ‘Continuously Improve’ and ‘Act for Customers.’"

What led you to working at Open Universities Australia and why?

“I resonated strongly with the aims of Open Universities Australia. The power education has to uplift and transform your life is something I have seen firsthand.”

“When my mum first immigrated here, she struggled as a single mother of four, until she began studies that eventually led to a form of financial stability we had never had before… a permanent home.”

What do you do every day to transform lives through education?

“I help guide students past all the initial anxiety, analysis paralysis and confusion stopping them from taking that first step towards their career goals.”

What is your favourite part of your role?

“Congratulating students on taking their first step and seeing them grow in self-confidence throughout the study period is definitely the highlight of the role!”

What is your proudest moment or career highlight during your time at Open Universities Australia?

“Running my first Retro [an agile meeting designed to encourage team members to highlight areas to improve] for my team and fostering a safe, open and comfortable environment to really connect. A big shout out to Nabyle, who is our Team Leader, as well as everyone in my team for being so willing to share in that vulnerable moment of connection together.”

What would you say to students thinking about taking the leap into online study?

“There are a million cliches on this for a reason, sometimes you really are your biggest blocker and you just need to start or you will be staring at the same course pages in ten years time thinking “If I only started X years ago, I would have been well into my career already!’

“That being said, life can be chaotic and everyone’s path and timeline is different, which is why flexible studies helps [you] adjust with the roller coasters of your life to get you through to graduation.”

What would you say to someone thinking about working for Open Universities Australia?

“Colleagues can really make or break even a dream job sometimes. The treasure trove of genuinely caring, insightful and nurturing people you will befriend at Open Universities Australia makes it one of the best places to work.”

What do you do when you’re not working behind the scenes at Open Universities Australia? How does this make you better at what you do?

“I study! I just restarted my studies towards a Masters in Quantitative Biology with the University of Queensland through Open Universities Australia, and it is already helping me understand the student experience better, as well as being entirely fascinating in it’s own right.”

“Being back in study mode feels like flicking on a switch to re-evaluating and using my time more effectively to learn as much as I can in the world.”

Finally, tell us a fun fact about you!

“I used to slice and view brains for a living as part of a research group, which then moved into a more technical clinical management role for a stroke brain centre. I also LARP (Live Action Role Play) when I have the spare time on Fridays, but I’ve become a bit rusty!”

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