UWA’s Inspiring Malaysian Graduates: Where are they now?
Credits to The University of Western Australia
Are you considering studying at UWA and wondering where you could end up? We spoke with four graduates about their passions, career journeys and opportunities in both Australia and Malaysia.
Meet Junn Kitt Foon – An award-winning conservation biologist
Junn is a conservation biologist with a keen interest in molluscan taxonomy, biogeography and ecology, as well as the conservation of short-range endemic species and their habitats in Australia and Malaysia. He was awarded the Tony Whitten Conservation Prize in 2019 for conserving and taxonomically reviewing land snails in Malaysia.
After graduating from UWA, Junn joined a not-for-profit research organisation called Rimba to work with scientists and anti-poaching patrollers to protect big cats in Malaysia’s national park. He then pursued a master’s degree to research his favourite animals – land snails – at Universiti Malaysia Sabah.
“My favourite memories [of university] were the lively discussions with UWA’s excellent and friendly researchers about lecture topics, which led to volunteering and assisting with their research projects. These opportunities deepened my perspective on scientific research and expanded my network with the practitioners in my field of study.”
Here’s his advice for new students:
“Search for your passion in the subjects you are studying and pursue it. You will discover many opportunities when you are driven by your passion for a subject to network with the relevant people and seek projects of interest.”
Meet Benjamin Cheah Yih Herng – A marketing and business specialist for the number 1 car-sharing app in Southeast Asia
Benjamin Cheah Yih Herng graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Commerce, with a double major in Management and Marketing. Originally from Malaysia, he has lived in three different countries including Taiwan, Malaysia and Australia.
Benjamin is a marketing and business specialist at SOCAR. Originating in South Korea, it is now the number 1 car-sharing app company in Southeast Asia. As a trilingual speaker with exposure to diverse cultures, Benjamin delivers marketing strategies and campaigns to increase business demand and accelerate growth for the company in the culturally diverse consumer environment of Malaysia.
“Studying at UWA allowed me to meet people from all around the world, and learn from intellectual peers and experienced tutors and lecturers. I was an active volunteer at UWA, having participated in the UniMentor and tutor exchange programs, in addition to being an Open Day Ambassador. I made many friends through volunteering and still keep in touch with most of them up ’til this day!”
Here's his advice for new students:
“Learn how to deal with challenges and embrace them! See challenges as opportunities to learn. Look for the good in every situation. We may not like them, but challenges help us to grow as a stronger person.”
Meet Michelle Maman – An Australian lawyer and advocate and solicitor in West Malaysia
Michelle is a passionate lawyer who has built a career both in Australia and West Malaysia.
“I encounter different people with different problems and needs in the profession. As a lawyer, you will find that while two cases you deal with may have similarities, they are, at the end of the day, different. As there are no two cases that are exactly identical, it is both challenging and dynamic.”
In addition to her successful career as a lawyer, Michelle has many other passions including her love for the arts and the creative world, and performs as a singer at various events.
Here’s her advice for new students:
“With the education we are blessed enough to receive, I believe each of us makes a difference in the world just by existing and being, as our very presence, our every decision, whether big or small, influences it.”
“As Ghandi said, ‘live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever’.”
Meet Ashvinder S. Jugindar Singh – A data expert at Microsoft
Ashvinder Singh is currently pursuing a career with Microsoft in optimising the company’s global business operations, learning process optimisation skills and harnessing the power of data to grow a culture of data-driven decision making. Since graduating UWA with a degree in Engineering (Chemical and Process), Ash has gone to live and work in more than four countries, including the United Kingdom, Tanzania, Philippines and Singapore.
“Since leaving UWA, life has been an adventure of discovering new interest areas, pursuing graduate studies and living in four countries. The memories I cherish the most from my time at UWA is at Trinity Residential College, where I truly learnt the importance of building camaraderie among students from across the globe.”
Here's his advice for new students:
“Make friends from around the world and cherish them. They will be your source of support, fun and learning outside the classroom.”
These are just four of the many talented graduates who have built the foundations of their career by studying at UWA. And just like them, you can find success in a career you’re passionate about.