Recent events: celebrations in Malaysia and networking in Melbourne

It is always a highlight for the Melbourne School of Engineering to connect with alumni in person – it gives us a chance to hear from you directly on the things that matter to you, and helps us be relevant to you throughout all stages of your professional and personal journeys.

Malaysia – Pride and Partnership

by Eric Billman, Director of Advancement at the Melbourne School of Engineering

Eric Billman and alumnus Chin Yoong Ngok (BE (Civil) 1979) at the Gala Dinner in Malaysia

Eric Billman and alumnus Chin Yoong Ngok (BE (Civil) 1979) at the Gala Dinner in Malaysia

Recently the Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) University of Melbourne Alumni Association held a Gala to celebrate their 25th anniversary and I was honored to represent the Melbourne School of Engineering (MSE).  The event was a demonstration of the importance of the partnership between the University, MSE and our alumni in Malaysia.

There are over 1250 engineering alumni in Malaysia representing the largest MSE alumni population outside Australia.  Typically over time the majority of engineering alumni end up doing something other than engineering.  Even so, all acknowledge that their engineering education was fundamental to their success.  Engineering teaches a systematic and disciplined approach to problem solving that transcends industry or profession.

The University of Melbourne alumni of KL are proud of their university and its successes.  25 years ago they started an alumni association at a time that the university was not organizing such efforts. This was a visionary step and over 200 celebrated this milestone anniversary.  The party included the Australian High Commissioner, Government Ministers and successful alumni from many professions.  Over 10 university officials attended and the Vice Chancellor shared his congratulations via video.

I sat with three surveying program alumni of our alumni, all who are working as surveyors.  It was fun to see their long-time friendships and respect for one another and camaraderie as they joked and had fun throughout the dinner.  The atmosphere at every table over table was similar as friends and colleagues gathered to enjoy their collective success and the success of the alumni association.

There is a long history of partnership and engagement between the University and its Malaysia alumni. Examples of these ongoing relationships were apparent with all I met in their desire to hire our students or in sending their children to Melbourne as students.  They asked for more MSE presence in KL with targeted events and talks and several asked to be invited to Melbourne events throughout the year.  A new dimension of the relationship was on display in the presentation of a $30,000 gift in support of the Melbourne Accelerator Program.

I look forward to my next visit to this beautiful country and our wonderful alumni.  It will be a pleasure to explore with them how we can work together more closely.

Engineering & IT Career Roundtable

by Elise Everest, Alumni Relations Manager at the Melbourne School of Engineering

the Engineering & IT Career Roundtable event.

Discussions underway at the Engineering & IT Career Roundtable event.

As each new intake of students commences in the Melbourne School of Engineering, they are reminded that they are joining a valuable global network of almost 30,000 people – people who share a common experience and who are often keen to assist them as they plan their careers. Current students and recent graduates were given the opportunity to tap into this network face to face at the Engineering & IT Career Roundtable, held on campus at the University of Melbourne for the second time in early May.

Alumni ranging in experience from 2 to 22 years were asked to share their experiences with current students and recent graduates, with a focus on the decisions made at each step of their career path. Discussions took place in groups of up to 10, with the relaxed environment encouraging guests to ask candid, insightful questions. Each group spent 20 minutes together before moving on, giving them an opportunity to speak to 4 alumni. Networking skills were further polished in the reception afterwards, giving guests and alumni the opportunities to continue discussions. Feedback from guests highlighted how valuable they found the opportunity to speak one on one.

Many thanks to the following Engineering & IT alumni who volunteered their time to participate in the Career Roundtable: Catherine Davey PhD – Eng 2012; George Fletcher, BE (Chem) 1992; Luke Giuliani, BE (Mech), BCS 2007; Nick Latham, BE (Mech), BCom 2002; Quan Lau, BE (Civil) 2012;  Chris Lewin, BE (Software), BA 2007; Debra McDonald Manager, Careers & Industry, University of Melbourne.

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