“Bradman is the perfect scholarship for cricket lovers”
Mohammed Shuja Khan from Hyderabad is the first recipient of the Sir Don Bradman scholarship. Shuja Khan, who received the scholarship to pursue Bachelors in Civil engineering from the University of Wollongong, demonstrated a combination of academic and cricket sporting to emerge the first winner of the scholarship competition.
In a chat with Careers360, Shuja Khan talks about what encouraged him to apply for the Bradman scholarship, his passion for cricket and brand new life at the University of Wollongong.
Below are the edited excerpts:
Q: You are the first recipient of the Bradman Scholarship. What encouraged you to apply for the scholarship?
A: From a very young age, it was my dream to study at one of the top universities in the world. After I finished high school, I started researching universities and scholarships. I found University of Wollongong and discovered the Bradman Scholarship, which combines study and cricket, the two things I am most interested in. It was the perfect scholarship for me.
Q: Your track record reflects that you have a strong passion for cricket. Tell us how you directed your passion to emerge a scholarship winner?
A: Even while I was passionate about cricket, I focused on being a high achiever in academics as well. I was fortunate enough to come across the scholarship program of UOW that was specifically targeted at students like me. Australia is very well known for its strong cricketing tradition and the program just seemed perfect for a passionate cricketer/student willing to study abroad. I feel privileged to have got this scholarship since not only have I got a head start with a scholarship at an internationally renowned Australian university, but it has also given me the opportunity to pursue my passion for cricket and a chance to meet one of my idols -- former Australian cricketer and UOW brand ambassador Adam Gilchrist. I am a big fan of Gilchrist. He actually played for the city that I am from – Hyderabad (Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League).
Q: How did you come to know about the Bradman Scholarship?
A: I got to know about UoW Don Bradman Scholarship through my extensive online research on universities. I came across many different offerings from various universities but UOW scholarship program seemed most appropriate and a perfect fit for me.
Q: Why did you choose Civil Engineering? What aspect of Civil Engineering interests you?
A: My dad is a civil engineer and we have a have a family run construction business. This made Civil Engineering a natural choice. From my childhood I used to accompany my dad to his construction sites, seeing building, bridges, dams etc. All of this used to fascinate me a lot which is a key reason for choosing civil engineering.
Q: Tell us about your life at the University of Wollongong?
A: I entered the UoW campus for the first time with a lot of excitement. I was quite sure that I was entering the best phase of my life and it has indeed turned out that way! I faced few challenges in initial days at the university as it was a new place for me and people were unknown to me. But, the administrative staff was very supportive and helped me to interact with many new and old students at the campus. I now feel completely at home here. Wollongong is a vibrant, multicultural city, situated on one of Australia’s most picturesque coastlines. My friends and I frequent the beaches in our spare time and I travel to Sydney almost once a month to explore sites such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. We have also discovered a park close by to our house where we play cricket on Sunday afternoons. Overall, Wollongong is a lovely place to live and study.
Q: What about studying in a foreign country? Share your experience with us.
A: I boarded the plane with a sense of fear and gloominess of leaving my family behind, but since then I have made a new family here. You meet so many people in your life, “but there are only a few that leave imprints on your mind forever”. There are some people in the university who have been a special part of my journey at the university, supporting me through thick and thin. Despite the initial cultural shock, which is understandable for someone shifting to a coastal town in Australia from Hyderabad, Australia now feels like home. In fact, I feel that it is a home to anybody that accepts it as his/her home, be it Indian or people of any other nationality around the world.
Q: Any advice for future Bradman Scholarship applicants?
A: Be true to yourself, work hard with a determination and a belief that your future is yours to make. Embrace new experiences and extract the best from them.