"Monash Malaysia enabled me to be more empathetic and inclusive towards the people I work with."
Bachelor of Arts (Global) (2016)
Name / nationality.
Lydia Gitanjali Thiagarajah
Tell us briefly about your work or role in your current organisation?
I am working for the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management project in Sri Lanka as a Project Assistant. I engage in various activities that are involved in managing the project. These include field visits to various parts of the island, identifying issues that affect communities, monitor ongoing project activities, and evaluating completed projects. I am also responsible for aiding in creating visibility of the project, documenting the cases of the beneficiaries, and organising and planning events that are related to the project.
How has your study in Monash Malaysia helped to prepare you for the working world?
I have improved my communication and language skills during my studies at Monash Malaysia. I have also developed critical thinking skills and research skills that benefit me greatly in my work. Monash Malaysia exposed me to diversity, which enables me to be more empathetic and inclusive towards the people I work with. Furthermore, I am able to work well under pressure, and manage my time efficiently.
While at Monash what type of opportunities did you participate in?
It was required of my degree that I undertake at least one year of exchange. I went on exchange to Canada for a semester during my final year. I was part of the editorial subcommittee for the Monash University International Student Society. I contributed articles to the student initiative, DISSENT
When you were choosing a course and a university did you have a clear picture of your future (and if so what was it)?
I did not have a clear picture as such, but I knew that I wanted to work in an international environment.
How did that change (or reconfirmed) during your experience at Monash?
My experience at Monash confirmed my passion for issues that affect the world at large. I also enjoyed living in a new environment, even though there were challenging days. I thoroughly enjoyed the subject matter of my major which was International Studies, and of my minor, Gender Studies. Thus I felt reassured of my choices.
If you didn’t have a clear picture of your future, was there a moment at Monash that made you change the direction you would like to take in life?
There were many instances that made me realise what I was really passionate in. It therefore reaffirmed the direction that I had taken.
Whilst at Monash, did you have any industry exposure/placements? How has it made a difference to your own life or the life of others around you? Did it consolidate what you have learnt from your undergraduate course?
I did not have any compulsory industry exposure or placements. However, I did intern at Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, and at Verite Research, Sri Lanka. I felt that both the internships provided me with much needed practical knowledge and experience. Since both internships required research and knowledge that was related to International Studies, I felt that I was able to use what I had learnt, and felt motivated as I saw that this was not a purely theoretical course.
What was it about Monash that made you select this university in the first place?
Monash is world renowned university. It is also an institution that upholds academic integrity and values. Thus I felt that Monash would be a good choice. The Malaysian campus was also a more affordable location.
What do you love most about your student life at Monash?
The friends I have made from various parts of the world, the amazing things I have learnt in my courses, and the entire experience!