Tay Siao Lin

Unity in difference

Bachelor of Communication (2014)

Honours degree of Bachelors of Communication (current)

Awards / Scholarships: 

Dean’s Recognition Award (2012, 2013, 2014)


1. Full name / Age / Nationality.

Tay Siao Lin / 22 / Malaysian


2. Where are you working / studying presently, and describe your general work scope. 

I am currently doing my Honours in Monash University Malaysia. I’m hoping this will be the gateway to a possible postgraduate degree in the future.


3. Why did you choose to study at Monash University Malaysia?

I picked Monash because of my family: most of my cousins are Monash graduates. I was clear with the course that I wanted to do, which was to do a Communications degree in Monash. There wasn’t any doubt in terms of which university to pick - a majority of my family members have attended university here, and loved the experiences Monash has equipped them with. 


4. What do you love most about your student life at Monash?

The one thing that I really loved about the student life, as clichéd as it may sound, were the various people that I’ve met in university over the years – despite the fact that most of the students are from different countries and backgrounds, there’s this sense of solidarity that Monashians have. Unity in difference is something that I’ve noticed; we are all here to learn, to meet new people and to “grow” together, as individuals. 

Another thing that I loved about student life are the units offered. Being in the School of Arts and Social Sciences, I’ve been exposed to a variety of different subjects that may not be offered in other universities. It was a real eye-opening experience for me, on a very personal level. Aside from learning important theoretical frameworks to facilitate my future career, I’ve learned the invaluable lessons of critical thinking, empathy and social awareness. It’s these things that make you the person you are, and aspire to be in the future.


5. What qualities did you acquire during your studies at Monash University Malaysia that were beneficial to you in the working world?

I think Monash Malaysia has assisted with a lot of the “soft skills” required for the working world. One of the biggest ones that I’ve learned is to be receptive and open towards new experiences and cultures. I was really shy growing up, and I think being in Monash has helped me open up to people a lot more.

I feel like Monash has also allowed me to think a lot more critically. It’s important to look at things through various perspectives, to expand your intellectual horizons beyond what’s available in your textbooks. I’ve been given a lot of opportunities to read about critical theory, gender studies and anthropology, things I may not have been exposed to if I had studied somewhere else. 

I did not manage to attend the internship courses offered through Monash during the summer. But, I did work as a social media strategist and online marketing for a start-up in my second year. I think being in Monash, particularly since it’s a really high-paced learning environment, I had managed to be quite resilient in terms of working under stressful deadlines. 

I’ve also used a lot of the communication theory from school, and put it into practice in my work. Overall, my outlook on work, on communication processes and how interpersonal relationships work has changed while I was doing my course. Suddenly, I’ve become more cognizant of the principles and values embedded in me from families, institutions and advertising industries. I’ve usually taken these things for granted.


6. Where are you headed to in the future?

To be honest, I was very adamant from the beginning about being a journalist by the time I finished my undergraduate degree, but that immediately changed within the first year or so. I would say that my perspective of careers have changed significantly ever since I came to Monash. 

Throughout my three years, I had been exposed to various units that really opened my eyes to the various possibilities “out there”.  I would say that I’ve matured the most as an undergraduate, and that helped me shape my future directions and the possibility of pursuing a career in academia.