Student Spotlight: Jeet on leading the charge for regional study
Words by Jeet Mukherjee
My name is Jeet Mukherjee and I’ve completed a Master of Engineering (Electrical) at Central Queensland University’s (CQU) Rockhampton campus. I’m originally from West Bengal in India and grew up in a small industrial coal city, so I’m not a big city kind of person.
After completing a Bachelor of Engineering degree at SRM Institute of Science and Technology in south India, I wanted to do higher studies overseas. I looked at universities in Australia and received an offer from CQU, which has multiple campuses around Australia. I wanted to have a campus experience, so I asked about the main study facility in Rockhampton.
When I was doing my research, people told me that Rockhampton was a regional area and I didn’t initially know what that meant. I asked around and found out that a regional area in Australia is any location outside a major city.
Rockhampton is about a one hour flight north from Brisbane in a centrally located region that supports a wide range of industries such as Smart Mining, Advanced Agriculture, Advanced Manufacturing and Biomedicine.
I was astonished to find a big Indian community and a Bangladeshi community in Rockhampton. This is very close to my heart: West Bengal borders Bangladesh and I speak Bengali, the main language of Bangladeshis.
That was flabbergasting to me – I never expected to speak Bengali and eat Bengali food in Rockhampton, more than 8,000 kilometres away!
I’m an only kid, so taking the decision to study overseas was a big step. My parents told me they had given me the wings to fly and it would be sad to clip my wings now, so go and explore and soar high. It’s like my grandfather always said: ‘Be like a kite where your string holds you down to your roots but you always fly high’.
I came to Rockhampton in February 2019 and it has been a really good journey for me. Living on campus has created numerous opportunities for me: I’ve had student leadership roles, been a student representative and received a letter of recommendation from the mayor.
CQU also has a great community of international students. I can now say I have friends from every corner of the world; from Greece to Ireland, the USA, Canada and Mauritius.
I really want to stay in Rockhampton. I literally know every person here from being around in the community and volunteering. I started volunteering at Central Queensland Multicultural Association (CQMA) with multicultural events and now I work for the organisation as a community skills support officer.
I’m also involved with other voluntary and leadership roles such as the Rockhampton representative on the Queensland Student Advisory Panel (QSAP), and I am a member of CQU’s Student Representative Council.
My passion is to lead people and make the community a better place to live. I would like to start my career as a graduate engineer in Rockhampton, and eventually have a management role related to the community because I believe it’s the community that makes the place.
I believe CQU has made me what I am today. Studying in Queensland has provided great opportunities for a future career with connections to the mining industry and the community. In my experience, Rockhampton is a small place, but nobody is a number – everybody knows you by name. I’m not just a 6-digit number on my student ID, I am literally known as Jeet Mukherjee wherever I go in the community.