Name: Stephanie Chua
Bachelor of Communications (2014)
Tell us briefly about your work or role in your current organisation.
I’m a Corporate Affairs Associate at JT International Malaysia. My portfolio requires heavy involvement in key issues for the company and the industry such as plain packaging / branding ban; excise tax and illegal cigarette trade. To give an overview, these are key pertinent issues to the survival and marketability of the brands owned by the company. A lot of my work involves key Government stakeholder engagements and other third parties liaison for advocacy purposes, a lot of which are senior level personnel including Ministers from various Ministries and the Prime Minister’s Office.
How has your study in Monash Malaysia helped to prepare you for the working world?
Considering Monash was my first tertiary institution I enrolled in, the learning environment in my opinion was an all-encompassing one. In terms of preparation for the working world, Monash served to facilitate the integration process. A lot of the subjects learned from the School of Arts and Social Sciences were very philosophical and abstract. To a large extent, a lot of these school of thoughts don’t quite fit into one’s day to day work life in the corporate world. However, critical thinking is one element which I consider to have helped me a great deal in my work life.
While at Monash what type of opportunities did you participate in?
I took several opportunities to participate in a few social events which I thought made the campus atmosphere livelier. Social events such as concerts, carnivals and fairs are great events to bring together people from different faculties. It is a great platform for students to network and build friendships.
When you were choosing a course and a university did you have a clear picture of your future (and if so what was it)?
Absolutely. To have been brought up in a foreign country, I was fortunate and privileged to have had the opportunity to travel to various parts of the world. It has always been a goal of mine to settle in a foreign country after completing my tertiary studies as I have always been extremely fond and interested in foreign policies, trade ties and economic growth. The faculty of SASS appealed most to me as the subjects were most relevant and relatable. At that point, Monash Malaysia was ideal and practical. Most importantly, Malaysia is home, and nothing beats a good nasi lemak.
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?
I have always had a clear picture of my future - to achieve life goals and to engage in important work related policies and government affairs. Monash, to me was a supporting arm to help me get to where and what I intend to achieve.
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 was an intern at the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM), China, Dalian, reporting to Beijing. AMCHAM facilitates trade, business interests, and acts as a conduit to bring key industry issues and business operating difficulties to key Government agencies, divisions and other relevant stakeholders. A significant amount of government affairs work was carried out and through this experience and my previous experience at the same chamber, I gained further exposure to notable MNCs and key counselors at the U.S. Embassy and the Chinese Government. The experience solidified goals I have set in life and what I wanted to do professionally. Unfortunately, not much of the philosophical proportions of what was studied were very applicable or relevant to this field of work.
What was it about Monash that made you select this university in the first place?
I have always been a strong believer of being a part of a strong and grounded alumni especially from a reputable University / College. Monash has always held up to its good reputation, delivering quality graduates such as Bill Shorten, Tim Flannery and in Malaysia, Tricia Yeoh!
What do you love most about your student life at Monash?
Aside from the challenging assignments, the most memorable moments from my entire journey in Monash were the friends I made and the experiences we went through together. These guys helped me get through the good and bad times.