Don't be afraid to fail
1. Full name / age / nationality.
Seow Choon Hui / 25 / Malaysian
2. If you are working, who is your current employer and what is your role?
I am currently attached to Olygen, an event services company providing professional business solutions and consultancy in the form of conferences, summits and competency trainings to our clientele which comprise the Fortune 500 companies and public listed companies regionally and internationally.
I was appointed as the Human Resource & Business Planning Manager in which I oversee the recruitment, talent and performance management aspects of the company and employees accordingly. I am also undertaking the role as an “Agent of Change” to spearhead the reforming of the culture and means of employee development as well as to initiate process optimisation throughout the businesses.
3. Why did you choose Monash Malaysia?
One primary reason would certainly be the establishment of the campus in the academic arena for being the top 100 universities in the world. As the first foreign campus on the Malaysian soil, I have definitely anticipated a diverse concoction of social and cultural elements which turns out to be true despite adopting a strong Malaysian influence.
4. While at Monash, what type of opportunities did you participate in?
I had participated in a reasonable amount of activities throughout the course of studies and one being the Monash University Students’ Association (MUSA) whereby I was quite lucky to be elected as a Student Representative for the School of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS) in 2011 for a term to become a close liaison between the university’s Management, academicians and the students.
I was also quite fortunate to be selected by Dr Yeoh and the panel some time mid-2012 for the renowned SASS “In Search Of” Program where I was given the opportunity together with the few selected students to be on an anthropological exploration of certain Southeast Asian countries.
5. How has your degree and learning at Monash contributed to your work and where you are today?
Monash has tailored its curriculum, specifically the Faculty of Arts, to leverage on the critical and analytical aspects of its students as well as their resourcefulness in conducting research. This has inevitably gave me an upper hand in the corporate world where in order to climb the corporate ladder, you do not just need to work hard but to also possess the ability to ANALYSE, REASON and SOLVE matters in the most effective and efficient manner. The interactive and thought provoking sessions during tutorials had also contributed to my ability to be more expressive and vocal about my thoughts and ideas which have positively impacted my work environment.
6. If you were a postgraduate student, why did you choose to do a postgraduate degree? What were the benefits and challenges that came with studying in a postgraduate course?
Despite being informed about the stress and occasional hair-tearing moments that come together with working and studying at the same time, I signed up for a Master’s Degree nonetheless. Reason being that one will only be empowered and propelled further with the knowledge.
One must have the mental preparation that should you embark on this academic journey, skills you have picked up in your undergraduate days will be put to test. The challenge will only intensify when you have a full-time career. Time management (as cliché as it sounds) is something you WILL need to be cautious about. But once you have made it, it will be one of the best feelings ever. You will walk out of these courses a more informed and resilient individual.
7. What did you love most about your student life at Monash?
The good-ol’ days hanging out in the student representatives’ room with leaders from different faculties. My Monash days were also the time I gained most of my confidence back. Being able to study subjects, raise your views on topics you fancy and being in a student body (which I had never once thought I will be involved) couldn’t be more exciting.
8. What is your goal in life, where are you headed to in the future?
Realistically, anticipating what is to come in the future does not quite work for me. However I do aspire to become a true blue people manager professionally as it takes great deal of patience, virtues, skills and healthy persistence dealing with fellow humans. Setting aside my profession, I do hope to be able to set up a center catered for special needs children as I know the resources for autism in Malaysia is still rather scarce, being a sibling of an autistic brother.
9. What is your advice to current Monash Malaysia students?
Do not ever be afraid to fail. Do not be afraid to be faced with adversities and difficult moments. These are just the beginning of a greater success story. You might not be there yet, but hey, at least you are further than you were yesterday! It does not matter if you are just a run-of-the-mill student but it is your personality, mindset and attitude towards the world that matters the most. Grades will not be the only determining factor for an employer in your near future.