Amanda Keen

BA/BAsiaPacSt '16
17 Jul 2017

If you've graduated from ANU recently, you have probably come across an email from us telling you about the global programs, events and opportunities available exclusively to you as an ANU alumni and inviting you to provide your most up-to-date contact details.

You may have seen us during your graduation wearing bright pink shirts or hoodies, taking photos and asking if you've provided us updated contact details.

Beyond us reaching out and wanting to stay in touch, we select a couple of lucky alumni who update their details and give out a $500 Visa card.

For the July 2016 graduations, one of the lucky winners was Amanda Keen, who shared with us a few thoughts about what his experience was like and what he's currently up to.


How was your ANU experience? Did you participate in any Clubs/Residential Halls etc?

I was fortunate to have had an amazing ANU experience. I studied at ANU for 5 years as a full time Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Asia-Pacific Studies student. For my first three years, I was a resident at Fenner Hall. While living there I was able to be part of an open and friendly ANU student community that supported me throughout my studies, including introducing me to free bread Wednesdays, the annual Mr. Fenner contest, study groups that actually study and the art of keeping a budget. Kicking off my university career at one of University's residential halls allowed me to become close friends with a wide group of people who I very much enjoyed sharing the same living space with.

As for my studies, the University's amazing Asian Studies and Asia Pacific department provided me with the best education I could have asked for. I will forever be indebted to so many of the teachers, lecturers and researchers from CAPS for providing me with the necessary skills to move forward in life, and for motivating and encouraging my career dreams. It is such a terrible shame to see the study opportunities I had be taken away from future students with the loss of key members of the department that supported me throughout my studies. They will be missed and I will forever be grateful for their time and endless knowledge.

What are your future plans now that you have graduated?  Have you lined up a job, arranged a holiday or will you continue studying?

Now that I have graduated from ANU I am looking forward to progressing my international work experience. Two weeks after I graduated from ANU in July, I moved to Japan where I am currently living and working for the next few years. I am lucky to be a part of the 2016 JET Programme, a program that has been run by the Japanese government since the 1980s and is internationally recognised. I have a few plans for when the programme ends, including wanting to live and work in other countries, and at some point I would like to return to study to get my masters in languages.

What advice would you give to current/future students at ANU?

For current and future students of ANU, I want to say that during your studies, you should also try and focus on things that you care about. Whether that be sports, academia, clubs, or going home at 3am from a night out in town (read: Mooseheads), you should spend some time doing things that you like. During my studies, I had many missteps, and it took me a little while to uncover my true passions. I was never the best student and I never got the best grades, but I was always glad to have chosen subjects that I truly cared about and had an interest in. I think that if you follow your passions, you will get to where you want to be in life, and most importantly you will be happy.


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