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Where are they now? IHD Catch-up

Four years after leaving IHD, who should walk into the IHD Office but Tamas Fabo. Be it fate or pure coincidence; we took his return to Darwin as an opportunity to catch up with the former Resident Leader (RL).

Tamas lived at IHD from 2011 to 2014, and although Darwin is a long way from his home in Hungary, the then 24-year-old recognised the opportunities the Territory has to offer.

“CDU and the NT seemed a faraway place from Europe to study,” Tamas said. “But the programme, immigration aspects and the lifestyle seemed very appealing.”

“As an International Student, IHD was the perfect place to stay and get engaged with other fellow students and the broader community in Darwin and the University.”

Coming to the Territory, however, wasn’t his first taste of travel. He had lived and worked across several European countries, such as Spain and the Netherlands and Dubai in the Middle East, before deciding to further his education and “see how the real Australia looks in the NT.”

When we started talking to Tamas about his time at IHD, it was clear the memories still bring a huge smile to his face.

“For me, [IHD] was the place to connect with other students and also to learn more about the culture and where we live here in the NT as a newcomer to Australia,” he said. “I really enjoyed the fact that we had the opportunity to live and study in a truly multicultural environment. Personally, it broadened my horizons and helped me to open my mind to other traditions and cultures from across the world at IHD.”

“The famous End of Year Dinner at IHD was always the highlight for me and many of us. I think everyone likes to dress-up to bring glamour to the central lawns of IHD for a night. I really loved the IHD tours and camping trips to Kakadu or Katherine Gorges.”

Living on-campus is truly rewarding, and IHD is no exception. Tamas credits a lot of his character-building to the multicultural IHD Community and the opportunity he had as an RL.

“As a Resident Leader I had a chance to make a difference,” Tamas said. “To provide plenty of information and show around both new and existing students this beautiful country and where we live here in the NT.”

“The diverse culture at IHD always made every semester a new experience. New people, from different cultures studying a full programme, or [who are] only here on exchange for a semester or two. I think we learned the most from continuously getting involved in IHD events which were truly our common platform to catch up or simply sharing our way of life on a daily basis, whether it was an epic cook-up, sharing a meal or just a good chat – I also learned how to make a really good curry!”

Like many alumni, Tamas’ relationships didn’t end the day he left IHD.

“With some of my closest friends who are from IHD we are in touch on a regular basis,” he said. “And I always stop by or coincidentally meet with many other students on a Friday night shopping at Casuarina. We always say hello whenever we see each other.”

“I met with many people throughout my stay and studies at IHD and formed long-lasting friendships with many. This is one of the big benefits of living on campus; that you could have friends from literally every continent. Some of us are still keeping in touch regularly, and of course, Darwin is a small town you never know who you could bump into. Most importantly, many of us [have] now settled and have a job which means there are endless occasions to professionally network at events and fostering these relationships is important. Once, I bumped into a good friend of mine from IHD a few years after graduation, on a work-related community event and walked out with a job interview opportunity.”

"You need to push your boundaries and get out of your comfort zone."

Since graduating from a Master of Business Administration (majoring in International Business and Commercial Management), Tamas experienced the post-grad struggle. However, his perseverance saw him through, and not only did he find employment, he also became an Australian citizen.

“As a graduate, you are in a difficult situation,” he explained. “Especially to secure your first job and satisfy your visa requirements if you are planning to stay in Australia for good. For me it was a challenging period, to find and successfully gain the right employment and role within the given timeframe from immigration.”

“As much energy you put into it is as much as you can get out of it. I did not give up and managed to acquire my first job with a respected local airline and helicopter company.”

Today, Tamas is back in Darwin after pursuing a competitive training program overseas for two years. He’s an oil and gas professional working as a Production Technician at Shell – one of his major achievements.

“I managed to adjust my career path going from Business and Investments in Financial Services to become an Oil and Gas professional,” Tamas said. “I realised I am just not a 9 to 5 person and really enjoy being out and about especially working in offshore environments.”

“[I’m] planning to stay and work out of Darwin. Professionally, I would like to take up more and more responsibilities in my job as well as acquire more technical knowledge and training. Lifelong learning never ends.”

For new residents or those who haven’t strayed from their routine, Tamas has this piece of advice: “You need to push your boundaries and get out of your comfort zone (and room)! You will be rewarded with experience and great friends.”

Tamas' Bucket List: "1. Reunite with my family after nearly 8 years & visit Hungary; 2. Spend more quality time with friends; 3. Maintain a good work/life balance; 4. Travel around South America; 5. Fishing & camping in Arnhem Land."