" ‘The Monash Experience’ shaped me into a well-rounded individual ready to take on the world"
Chemical Engineering (2011)
1. Full name / age / nationality.
Audrey Gan Pek Li / 23 / Malaysian
2. If you are working, who is your current employer and what is your role?
I am currently serving in the Group Corporate Development Department of Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad (CCM). My current position title is ‘Business Development, Strategic Planning and Risk Management Executive’. The main gist of my job requires me to play an active role in corporate and strategy planning, perform both market and financial analysis and in-depth evaluation of CCM’s business sectors as well as identification of key risks during project development. Having a background in Chemical Engineering majoring in Biotechnology has helped me grasp the technical aspects of my job, especially in business development and implementation strategies of new projects.
3. Why did you choose Monash Malaysia?
Being in the Group of Eight universities in Australia certainly was the major attraction factor for me to choose my commencement in Monash University. Besides, Monash University has a rich history in Engineering, primarily in Chemical Engineering. Back in 2011, I was not ready for a big move to Australia; however it was imperative that I had a world class education opportunity in Malaysia. Having a full campus located strategically in Selangor definitely sealed the deal.
4. While at Monash, what type of opportunities did you participate in??
I participated in the Monash University Exchange Program which allowed me to experience studying in the Monash Clayton campus. It was a marvellous opportunity to be an international student and explore the diverse culture of Australia. I made invaluable memories and friends during my time there which I will never regret. Upon returning back to Malaysia, I decided to be a Peer Mentor for International Students in the Monash International Buddy Program (IBP). With my experience of being an international student in Australia, I knew that moving to a new country and campus can be very daunting. Hence, I decided to be a Peer Mentor to help new international students assimilate with the Malaysian culture and life at campus. On a more educational side, I was an undergraduate researcher in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) in the School of Engineering. From this opportunity, I built an incredible interest in Food Engineering which translated into a personalised Final Year Project (FYP) topic titled ‘Investigation on the Effect of Shapes on the Drying Kinetics and Sensory Evaluation of Dried Jackfruit’. As a result, I had the opportunity to be a poster presenter in the 3rd International Symposium on Processing of Foods, Vegetables and Fruits in Nottingham University Kuala Lumpur and my FYP paper was subsequently published in the International Journal of Science and Engineering.
5. How has your degree and learning at Monash contributed to your work and where you are today?
Being an internationally acclaimed university, the amount of assignments and expectations from the lecturers were very high. Furthermore, we also had to be on par with the Engineering students in the Clayton campus as our assignments were all aligned. Having that competitive spirit drilled throughout my undergraduate degree helped me to maintain at the top of my game and develop high time management skills. The high amount of team assignments further enhanced my communication skills to deal with various types of group members, and now colleagues. In addition to that, being a female engineering student in a male dominated classroom further enhanced my tenacity and professionalism. From all these experiences in Monash, I was certainly able to adapt quickly and perform well in the workforce. In a nutshell, ‘The Monash Experience’ shaped me into a well-rounded individual ready to take on the world with my ideas and at the same time, to never stop learning.
6. What did you love most about your student life at Monash?
In my perspective, I have two sets of student experiences having studied both in the Malaysia and Australian Monash campuses. However, the best memories in both campuses were made in the same place: the library. As an undergraduate engineer, I remember having so many discussions and compilation of work in the library as well as lunch dates, people watching and general laughter in that same workspace. I clearly remember staying past midnight in the library trying to finish my Final Year Design assignment with the team and watching all the undergraduates go crazy collectively! Not forgetting, I loved the blend of students especially the international exposure in Monash University with the frequent international festivals and open days.
7. What is your goal/dream in life, where are you headed to in the future?
My ultimate goal is to find happiness and fulfilment with every new stage in life. I want to be able to contribute myself as a person to any organization that I chose to step foot in – all with the common goal of making the world free of poverty and injustice. Sustainability is the common goal of all engineers and I look forward to contributing in this sector in the very near future. As cliché as it sounds, it is a personal dream of mine to create lifelong memories with my future partner. I’ll also say traveling the world would be a fancy side dream to accomplish!
8. What is your advice to current Monash Malaysia students?
Studying hard is a given but never lose sight of the other learning experiences that can be obtained by being in university and of course after graduation. Embrace the school motto ‘Ancora Imparo’ – because lifelong learning creates an avenue for an individual to open their mind to new things and always be adaptable to the constant flux of the world. Never say no to new experiences!