Paola Degetau

How I got a part-time job in the first week of the lockdown in Sydney

Did you know that 100% of our students are employed?! Yes, while 61% of international students lost their jobs, our Academy of Entrepreneurs students are all employed!

So, to help the community – over the coming weeks we will be sharing our top tips and many students’ success stories – so that you can also succeed too. Stay tuned to our Social Media announcements, as we have 8 free employability webinars + 2 e-books that we will be sharing too.

Paola DegetauMeet Paola Degetau, an international from Mexico that arrived in January in Sydney and got her dream job during the first weeks of the lockdown in Sydney.

Academy of Entrepreneurs: Paola, tell us about yourself 🙂

Paola Degetau: Although I lived most of my life in the 7th most populated city in the world, Mexico City, I spent most of my childhood in nature, running around the countryside, playing hide and seek in the woods, exploring rivers. Now, after a long journey reconnecting with my true self, I´m an overseas student in Sydney, with a passion to discover National Parks around the world and an awakened soul to see and discover beauty everywhere.

AE: What did you study?

Paola Degetau: I studied International Relations in college which gave me a worldwide perspective of things. I always had the goal to change the world and make it a better place. Studying International Relations was an incredible place to start. Economics, Global History, IR Theories, Geography, Statistics, and Politics are some of the interesting subjects that this degree incorporates.

AE: Why did you take a year to camp & bike around the States/Canada?

Paola Degetau: Although I was happy at work, my husband and I had a dream: to travel on a motorbike to as many national parks as we could in 6 months, and we did it! We quit our jobs, stored our furniture in my in-law’s garage and bought a motorcycle and a tent. For 6 months we drove +28,000km through the United States, Canada and Mexico exploring 26 National Parks. During the trip we hiked all the trails we could, slept under the stars, feared for our lives when confronted with bears, cried until we had no more tears during sensitive conversations, talked about everything and nothing, and reconnected with ourselves and nature. It started as an adventure but ended in a beautiful pause of my busy life that gave me direction and the perfect rhythm for the next step in my journey. I needed that trip so much, but I didn’t know it at the time.

AE: Why did you choose to study at the Academy of Entrepreneurs after that life the 6-month trip?

Paola Degetau: Before the motorcycle trip, Paula Mills, the founder of the Academy of Entrepreneurs, came to Mexico and inspired me with the stories of the Academy for Entrepreneurs. I spoke with my family and friends about it for months as I was so impressed with her accomplishments and her mission to turn students into entrepreneurs, but I never thought it was for me. I thought it was out of my league. Turns out that it wasn’t. We tend to limit ourselves where we needn’t. In my case, I thought a visa was just too hard to get. I thought I wouldn’t match the criteria. I thought I wouldn’t have the money. And I thought that my English wouldn’t be good enough to be accepted into the course.

To my surprise, the visa process super quick (AE has a great team and their migration officer got our visa approved very fast).

I met the visa requirements, started saving, and stopped spending money on things I didn’t need, and my English was actually better than I gave myself credit for at the time!

Being here in Australia and studying entrepreneurship feels like a dream come true. I have to pinch myself every now and then to make sure this is really happening.

AE: What was your first impression of Australia and the Academy of Entrepreneurs?

Paola Degetau: The first time I went to campus the energy was crazy! There were new faces, accents and smiles everywhere. We were all pretty excited to be part of this journey. Some of the students were new to the academy, others had completed a few terms but that day we were all a team. I felt part of something bigger and I felt excited about the future. At that moment I didn’t know what my business idea was but I was sure I was in the right place.

AE: In your opinion, why are entrepreneurial skills so important to survive in 2020?

Paola Degetau: In times of uncertainty, it’s super important to be able to adapt and reinvent yourself, it really is the key to survival. You also need high emotional intelligence to keep moving and believe in yourself. Entrepreneurial skills do that, they give you the strategic mindset to find a solution for every problem, a business opportunity during a crisis, and the network to make it happen!

AE: How has studying entrepreneurship helped you get a job in the Bike shop?

Paola Degetau: As a child I learned how to ride a bike in sorts of tricky and difficult terrains. For the last 5 years, riding my trail mountain bike is my favorite hobby and my only weekend addiction.

While riding I feel free, brave, energetic and empowered. Even though I ride my bike at an advanced level, I didn’t know anything about other types of bikes and the mechanic side of it. When the opportunity came to work in a bike shop I took it without question. After a few shifts, I realised that it wasn’t that simple, customers expected and deserved competent and knowledgeable salespeople – I had to become one. I watched tutorials, read articles, subscribe to channels, asked tons of questions and observed. That helped but wasn’t enough, I had to work on my mindset as well.

Studying entrepreneurship has taught me that to start your own business or start working on one is a process, in and outside of your mind. Your brain plays tricks on you but you can overcome that by working on self-trust, goal setting, patience, courage, focussing your energy, thinking positively, and continuing to learn so you’ll always be on the right path.

Inspired by Paola Degetau’s success? Join our next webinars & events so you can #BossYourFuture too.

This August is all about employability & intrapreneurship and we will be hosting 8 events to help you to find your dream job!

Also, the Academy of Entrepreneurs team has created a FREE 60-page guide on How to Find a Job in Australia.

E-mail us to get a copy


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