What are you doing now in your career?
I work in Corporate Development, expertise in M&A and Integration for private equity backed companies, typically as part of the new management and growth story. When I left Australia I did a short stint in the USA working on my startup, and back in Asia based out of Singapore working across SE Asia prior to moving to Hong Kong.
Can you tell us about part time work or industry placements you did while in Queensland?
I did an internship with the Queensland Tax Association while a student and in my last semester at QUT you could obtain university credit by getting industry experience.
This internship organised by the university lead to my first fulltime paid job in Australia. I worked hard for the month long unpaid work experience and at the end of the month they offered me a job and I worked there for the next four years.
What was the highlight of living and studying in Queensland?
As a bachelor student it was gaining independence. In Australia you learn to rely on yourself. In many Asian cultures you are very reliant on your parents and the key experience in Queensland for me was building confidence in being able to rely on myself.
In Queensland I saw young adults who worked part time, were financially independent and that was a real wake up call to me as a 19 year old and I thought if they can be independent and self reliant so can I. That was the best learning experience I had as a young man.
The other highlight was making lifelong friends.
Why did you choose to study in Queensland?
A few reasons, great weather, the world's best beaches and it had the GABBA and I was a big cricket fan. I also felt being in Queensland I would experience life more from the Australian perspective with the sun and beaches rather than in other massive cities like Melbourne or Sydney. And of course it had great universities like QUT and UQ.
What career advice would you give to international students?
Be open minded, embracing different cultures and ways of doing things, meet new people and say "YES" to opportunities and new experiences. Especially take part in industry and work experience opportunities that the university organizes.
You have an edge if you have experience in Australia, This is mainly around social skills, networking skills, confidence, dedication to work and efficiency. This is where studying and working in Australia really helps you.
I go for very competitive roles and compete against mainly Ivy League alumni and get the jobs because of what I learnt in Queensland and what Australia gave me in terms of confidence, problem solving skills, networking skills and being efficient.
What advice would give for building a social life in Queensland?
Queenslanders are very friendly so that is easy. In the classroom and join some university societies and of course the university bar where I made many friends for life.
Do you have ongoing ties with Queensland?
I became an Australian citizen two years after graduating from QUT and still travel to Australia at least once a year. I always try catch the test match at the Gabba and many of my close friends still live in Brisbane.
Any other advice for international students?
Embracing the Queensland culture will take you a long way, it is very unique, friendly yet a give and take and that makes you a fully rounded person by the time you leave Australia.