CIT Business Studies graduate Robin Ladwig completes their PhD through our partner university, University of Canberra!
Published: 07 Jul 2023
An international student from Germany, Dr Robin Ladwig (they/them) came to Australia with a dream of completing a PhD, and graduating from a CIT Business Studies program helped them to reach their goals. Five years later after completing a Certificate IV in Business at CIT in 2018, Dr Ladwig has since graduated with their Doctor of Philosophy at our partner university, University of Canberra (UC). Now currently working as an Associate Lecturer in Human Resource Management at UC, Dr Ladwig shares their experience studying at CIT and reflects on their career journey.
Robin, why did you choose to study business at CIT?
“Applying for a Business Certificate at CIT in 2018 has been a deliberate and strategic decision. After finishing my Master of Arts in Gender Studies from Albert-Ludwigs University in Germany, I came back to Canberra on a Working Holiday Visa in August 2017. I fell in love with Canberra during my exchange year at the Australian National University in 2016.
“My dream was to do a PhD at an Australian university. I applied during my Working Holiday Visa time and while I got an offer, I did not receive a scholarship, which made it impossible for me to go ahead with the opportunity. So, I reflected on how I could make the most out of a year of waiting.
“My background is in nursing, social work, pedagogy, and gender studies. My PhD was going to be in business and management. I could not afford to take up expensive undergraduate programs at a university. CIT offered me an affordable and doable alternative to upskill my knowledge regarding business insights.”
What was your experience like studying Business at CIT?
“I applied for the Certificate III in Business but based on my experiences and knowledge, CIT offered me to upgrade to the Certificate IV. I was excited to go back to school after working various jobs parallel to pay the bills during the first half of 2018.
“The first day has been a joy because I got the chance to meet a lot of my fellow international students while we got our learning plan and student ID sorted out together. It has been so beneficial to study at CIT as I could continue to work for 20 hours a week and still have some free time to enjoy the seasons in Canberra.
“The study material was presented in a practical way and the learning pace has been adaptive to the different learning styles of the diverse student cohort. I enjoyed a lot of the assignments as they have been hands-on, and I still used the WHS booklet during my work as a diversity advisor. The teachers were industry experts with further educational skills which made it easy for them to answer any tricky question asked by us. It helped me heaps to understand the specifics of the Australian context.
“Graduation was an interesting experience as I finally got the opportunity to wear one of the square hats, I only knew from television shows. It was such a moving day to celebrate my achievement together with the other international students. Long-lasting friendships were made and helpful industry connections during my time at CIT.”
How did your CIT Business studies course help you to secure your PhD?
“After my graduation in December 2018, I started my PhD in January 2019 at the University of Canberra, where I also was generously offered a scholarship to undertake my research. My research explores the work experiences and career development of transgender and gender-diverse people in relation to organisational structures and work cultures. The Business Certificate assisted me to gain valuable insights into the business perspective of my research. Furthermore, it reduces my feeling of being an imposter by doing research at the Faculty of Business, Government and Law.
“The study at CIT also assisted me to secure my part-time position as a Diversity Advisor at the University of Canberra. Aspects I learned regarding recruitment at CIT, I could utilise while working in Human Resources.”