"The employer was ready to give me the job, they were just waiting for my qualifications to get assessed."
Nisha Lakhotia’s journey to Melbourne began after marrying an Australian. Following completion of a PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Delhi, Nisha worked in India for two years as a Research Fellow. Victoria’s Overseas Qualifications Unit (OQU) helped Nisha secure a job in her field of expertise at a research facility in Melbourne.
After settling in Melbourne in 2020, Nisha began working in retail. Whilst the work wasn’t related to her qualifications or previous work experience, she enjoyed working with her colleagues and customers who were all very friendly. A few months ago on a Friday afternoon, Nisha interviewed with a local research facility. She knew the interview had gone well when she got a call back that very evening asking to check her references and qualifications.
It was at this moment that Nisha discovered her PhD from India wasn’t formally recognised in Australia. A conversation with a friend who had been in a similar situation didn’t give her the solution she was after. Her friend had paid a company over $1,000 and had to wait many months for her foreign qualifications to be assessed. Turning to Google, Nisha stumbled upon Karolina’s story about her experience with the OQU.
Nisha promptly made a call to the OQU on Monday morning and explained that her future employer was ready for her to start work. Time was of the essence – “the employer was ready to give me the job, they were just waiting for my qualifications to get assessed.” The OQU team was able to fast track Nisha’s assessment. She received a positive assessment of her qualifications on Wednesday morning, and started her new job the next day.
As for the impact of OQU’s free qualification assessment on her career in Australia, Nisha says “This has helped my career in a way that, if the OQU was not there, I would have had to go somewhere else to get my degree assessed. And they would have taken three or four months, I wouldn’t have got this job, I would have missed the opportunity.”
Relatively new to Melbourne, Nisha is also looking forward to discovering more of the city. Already impressed by what she describes as a ‘lively and vibrant’ city, Nisha hopes to continue meeting new people and exploring Melbourne and surrounds. “It’s been a great journey here so far. It’s been a year only, but it’s been a great journey here in Melbourne.”
Now settled in Melbourne and working in a job in her field, buying a home and starting a family appear to be on the cards. “I’m here permanently. I’m going to live here until I die.”