"Character is what carries you forward in life."
Full name: Alphaeus Tan Win Syuen
Alphaeus Tan, known for his famous address on democracy to the United States of America (USA) President, Barack Obama, is a top student who holds a bachelors's degree in accounting, banking and finance from Monash University Malaysia.
Malaysia has one of the lowest levels of civic engagement especially in the field of politics. Acknowledging this shortcoming, Tan recently launched a movement, the #RedCircle to increase civic engagement in the country, especially with the youths.
Thereafter, he has been offered a job by the Cabinet of Malaysia and is currently working on reforms in anticipation of Malaysia’s fourteenth general election. As the country's representative for the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative by President Obama, Alphaeus actively champions democratic ideals and is planning to be the youngest Malaysian to run for the member of parliament in the upcoming 2018 general election. Through all these, he hopes to serve the public and to represent the voices of his generation.
Why did you choose Monash Malaysia?
"Building Character, Not Just Grades”. Monash University provided me with an education that preached exactly that and I loved it! I hope that every student will realise that next to grades, how one succeeds or fails is much more important. This is because after school, character is what carries you forward in life.
While at Monash, what type of opportunities did you participate in?
During my degree, I have proactively joined numerous business competitions from big companies, such as P&G, Unilever, Axiata Corp. and HSBC bank. With support from the school and my professors, I am happy to share that we have won many first competition titles:
- P&G Malaysia Business Challenge Champion
- P&G Asia Business Challenge Champion
- Axiata Young Talent Programme Champion
- HSBC Business Case Competition 1st Runner Up
My student life was not just bounded by the compounds of Monash University Malaysia, but I had the opportunities to do exchanges abroad at Canada, the United States, Hong Kong and the Czech Republic. Growing up without a dad and a cancer-survivor mother has ingrained into me much gratitude to serve the public.
In trying to give back to our school and the community around us, I had actively volunteered in school events and community projects. Through the Monash University Volunteer Program, I was connected to the Pertiwi Soup Kitchen, an NGO that aids the homeless. A whole semester of administering food and clothes to the homeless had gotten me to want to do more to help out. With much effort and funding from US State Department, my team and I successfully organised a concert to promote volunteerism and connected many youths to NGOs.
The importance of giving back is to do it out of pure sincerity.
What did you love most about your student life at Monash?
Friends, travels and professors.
What is your advice to current Monash Malaysia students?
Find your passion in life. Never settle and believe that you can change the world!