Finding Your Fit with SASS Alumni

In the latest event organized by the School of Arts and Social Sciences in collaboration with the Alumni Engagement Office held on 7 October 2020, SASS graduates from various countries virtually gathered for a career panel discussion to address and acknowledge the fears and qualms which often arise when graduates and soon-to-be graduates envision their career prospects.

The diverse panel included, Aw Yuong Tuck from Malaysia, Lecturer at Help University, Gladys Nathania, Associate Consultant at Michael Page in Indonesia, Kento Mase, Sales and Marketing Associate at Hankyu Hanshin Properties in Japan, Ameer Sobhan from Bangladesh currently a Senior Analyst at United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Thailand, and Tay Siao Lin, HR Business Partners for Corporate Services at British American Tobacco Malaysia. Together, they shared their personal career experiences and insight into the current job scene amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event began with a warm welcome by Head of School, Professor Helen Nesadurai in which she thanked the SASS Alumni Association and alumni panelists for making the panel discussion possible. After briefly introducing themselves, the panelists proceeded with the discussion, moderated by Lim Zhen Hui, SASS Alumni Association President.

Zhen Hui posed a question to the panelists, asking if they had found themselves in a career related to their academic pursuits. The question garnered mixed responses with some working in related fields and others not quite. This continued with each alum sharing their career journey and reflecting on their experiences and lessons gained during their time at Monash. Moreover, the panelists discussed the versatility of an Arts and Social Sciences degree and highlighted the pertinence of the perspectives, skills and knowledge acquired as a SASS student in the world beyond tertiary education.

In answering if it would be better to continue postgraduate studies or jump straight into the work force, Siao Lin and Gladys, agreed that it depends on the individual’s interest as well as the jobs being applied for. As Siao Lin notes, “There is no hard and fast rule in determining which route is better”. The two also provided insight into the processes and thoughts involved in reviewing job applications.

Other topics of discussion included the current circumstances and job market during the pandemic, job seeking experiences and tips on job application and resume preparation.

Gladys encouraged students to keep their spirits high, stay hopeful and be positive, more so during these uncertain times as employers value a positive attitude.

Also addressed was the predicament between a financially fulfilling career or one driven by personal interest and development; Ameer advised that one should not overthink on financial gain but, should be aware of the value of ones’ work and time.

The event concluded with a Q&A session wherein participants and panelists further discussed internships and work opportunities both related and unrelated to an arts degree.

The event was a success and proved to be much needed. Allisha Feroz, final year SASS undergraduate and participant commented that the panel discussion was timely and hearing about the experiences and advice from the alumni was both insightful and comforting. Satisfied with the event she hopes to hear more from the SASS alumni in the future.