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How a chance meeting for one Ezidi course graduate scored her an internship


How a chance meeting for one Ezidi course graduate scored her an internship 


When a local community member encouraged 21-year old Shiroq Alali to sign up for Invest in Yourself: Exploring Money & Self Employment, delivered by the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE) in Armidale in February 2023, she jumped at the chance. 

The enterprising young Ezidi, who concedes the initial appeal of the course was to learn a few new skills and earn a microcredential certification for her resume, has since used the opportunity to gain an internship at the University of New England’s Smart Region Incubator (SRI’s) beautiful Armidale event space, Nova, the re-imagined former home of the Armidale War Memorial Library. 

“There was a lot that I didn’t know or understand about managing my own finances before I took the course, like superannuation, or claiming work expenses. Now I know how to manage money. I know about tax, and how to open a business, and I’ve been able to use those skills a lot.” 

Invest in Yourself definitely helped me to identify what I need to get ready to make my own business, and to get a job. 

While I was doing the course [which was held at Nova], I met a woman while I was making coffee who asked me what I was doing there. ‘I’m a student’, I said. That’s when she told me about the paid internship they were recruiting for!” 

“I got the job and it’s been great. What started as helping with events and other admin tasks has already grown into something bigger. I have more confidence, and more self-belief, which helps me get ready to take on new challenges.” 

The full-time student (Shiroq is part-way through both a Certificate IV in English for Academic Purposes at TAFE and a Diploma of Community Welfare & Wellbeing at UNE) is determined to learn as much as she can and is already channelling her newfound skills into helping others in her community.  

Shiroq makes sure she is always available for any Ezidis who need help with translating or practical assistance like setting up an ABN or connecting with local services. She’s also casually employed by the local high school to provide interpreting services for newly arrived Ezidi students. 
What does innovation mean to Shiroq? “To me, innovation means coming up with a new idea or a new way of doing something. It also means exploring new pathways and possibilities for yourself.” 

About entrepreneurship, she is more pragmatic. “Entrepreneurship to me means coming up with a new business idea that comes with it the potential to make money, but also the risk of losing money. It’s about actually turning your new or creative ideas into a business.” 

What advice would she give someone who might feel nervous or unsure about signing up for Invest in Yourself in future? “I would say ‘do the course!’ It’s been very helpful for me. Now I am dreaming of being able to move to Newcastle to finish my studies, and to take a holiday in Sydney with my family.” 

The sky’s the limit for Shiroq. Something tells us this inspiring young woman is just getting started!