View From The Top: The Art of Giving

View From The Top is a new flagship program, under the Social pillar - curated by MMBAC 2019, with the vision of creating an environment where leaders in Malaysia are able to share insights from their journey as a leader, how they navigated the challenges in their life, to industry insights with Monash alumni in an intimate setting.

For our first edition in December 2019, our theme was ‘The Art of Giving’ in conjunction with the festive season in December, with an objective of sharing the importance of empowerment in both an individual’s personal and professional life.

As we approach a more advanced work environment, there is an emergence of different generations of employees in the workplace with different objectives. Management in organizations play a vital role in shaping the way employees craft their pathway in their respective career in the company, as quoted by Tom Smith; "Leadership is the ability to facilitate movement in the needed direction and have people feel good about it.”

We were fortunate to have Suzanne Ling, Co-founder of PichaEats, a growing food business in Malaysia that serves great food and rebuild lives at the same time. PichaEats empowers refugee chefs of different backgrounds to serve delicious food from at events and conferences. Within 3 years, PichaEats has grown exponentially, expanded the number of refugee chefs, and achieved more than RM 2.7mil in terms of sales. In 2018, PichaEats was announced as the national winner for Chivas Venture, and Top 5 finalists in the global round - a global competition for social enterprises around the world. Suzanne and her co-founders have also been recognized by Forbes 30 under 30 for their work, in 2018.

Charis Wong, Co-president of the Monash Malaysia Business Alumni Chapter (MMBAC) kicked-off the session by sharing MMBAC’s vision and purpose with the alumni; with an introduction of the events that alumni can look forward to being a part of in 2020.

Suzanne then introduced PichaEats and how her journey with PichaEats started, transitioning from a psychologist degree into a full time career in a social enterprise. The key learning that Suzanne shared was the importance of having the courage to take charge of one’s career or life pathway. Her resilience and positivity inspired the audience, especially during the early phases of PichaEat’s establishment.

The moderator, Ifti then moved on by asking questions which relates to the topic of the event, The Art of Giving. Suzanne believes that employees - especially anyone who have just started their career should set clear goals. Attendees of the event were able to visualize the importance of having the right goal being set when it comes to crafting their career pathway, they will be able to take the first step in achieving the right career progression. As a leader, Suzanne believes that the key to a successful empowerment in a workplace is to foster an environment of learning through reading.

The importance of a strong workplace culture was emphasized in this session. Suzanne elaborated that transparency and communication are key attributes that each employee needs to embrace in their workplace. It is essential for each employee to resolve any issues immediately as it could impact the productivity and relationship of the employees. Suzanne then proceeded to closing the session by sharing that empowerment starts by having trust.

The event was wrapped up with our moderator, Ifti asking all the attendees to share their key takeaways from the session. Attendees were inspired by the sharing session, with pragmatic advice from Suzanne, and engaged in a dialogue thereafter. Our first ever coffee chat series: View From The Top, was a success and a great way to end the year - connecting alumni (over great cakes & coffee!) and providing an avenue for experiences and thoughts to be exchanged. Look out for our upcoming event in 2020!

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Event Partners

Ben’s KLCC

Taking on a modern interpretation of East-meets-West, there are plenty of choices for everyone to enjoy. Whether for coffee, a big family get together or even a relaxed weekend brunch, Ben’s is perfect for any occasion and welcomes friends and families to enjoy themselves just as they would at home.

Macarons by Madeleine

Kiss Plain Macarons Goodbye. Macarons by Madeleine strives to express creativity through the typical meringue based cookie with designs inspired around.

William Teo

Event Lead