Michelle  Xu

Michelle Xu

Postgraduate Research Student

Degree: Master of Teaching (Secondary) 

Current Position: Casual Teacher, NSW Department of Education 

1. What attracted you to studying Arts & Social Sciences at UNSW?

After completing my Bachelor of Arts, I wanted to complete my Master of Teaching (Secondary) in a setting that challenged me to go further. I transferred to UNSW because the accelerated course presented me with the opportunity to push myself and learn from quality teaching staff in a globally renowned academic institution.

2. Did you always have a clear idea of what you wanted to do after completing your degree? 

Yes, teaching was something that I always wanted to do and was passionate about. I couldn’t wait to get into the classroom.

3. How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today? 

My time at UNSW has shaped who I am today because I was able to meet people with similar passions and interests. I made friends with people who I wouldn’t have met elsewhere (I transferred to UNSW and so did they!) 

4. How did studying Arts & Social Sciences at UNSW help you develop transferable skills? 

Being an accelerated course, the Master of Teaching degree at UNSW strengthened my organisational and time management skills. I also became more creatively driven and expressive in my work.

5. How did studying Arts & Social Sciences at UNSW help form your view on the world and the contemporary issues we face today? 

Studying Arts & Social Sciences at UNSW provided me with the opportunity to meet many individuals from various walks of life. With each person I met, I learned from them and had the chance to understand their perspectives towards certain contemporary issues. This unexpectedly became such a valuable takeaway from my time at university. 

6. How did UNSW Arts & Social Sciences help prepare you for the workforce throughout your degree? 

UNSW Arts & Social Sciences prepared me for the workforce as the degree fostered the development of my teaching pedagogy. It incorporated two practicum experiences allowing me to teach students in the classroom and learn from heavily experienced teachers.

7. How did you get your foot in the door as a graduate, following the completion of your degree? 

Before completing my degree, I was already working as a casual teacher at a school I completed my practicum experience at. The placements gave me a foot in the door to go back after graduating as I had already built rapport with the school and students.

8. What advice would you give to someone considering studying Arts at UNSW? 

Studying Arts at UNSW is a great way to build a foundation for your studies. Follow your passion. If you’re unsure about this, I found speaking to current and past students to be extremely insightful. Contact faculties and if you get a chance, go to an open day – there is a plethora of information waiting for you there! 

9. What is your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW? 

Undergoing the process of self-discovery in understanding the person who I wanted to become. 

10. Why do you Love What You Do? 

Teaching has made me love connection and expression. 

To be able to understand and engage with people is something that is not limited to just a classroom. I have discovered a love for the process of creation, and within that, a road to self-reflection.