My strongest influences while studying at The Australian National University (ANU) were the students around me. Now that I have graduated, it's the impressive alumni community.
At ANU, there are a lot of opportunities to be engaged and involved in the University community, for example, I was part of the ANU College of Business and Economics Postgraduate Ambassador Program. Through this program, I had the opportunity to support the community by helping out at events, such as information nights, ANU Open Day, public lecture events and more.
I also had the honour of delivering my graduation speech, where I was able to share an important message about continuous learning and celebrating diverse perspectives to my cohort. Through ANU, I developed strong connections with like-minded and inspiring people, who loved learning as much as I did.
Even after graduating, I'm still building these connections. In my professional career, I'm constantly meeting people with a shared experience of having gone to ANU. I find we can really connect and talk about our experiences, which is something special and an experience that knows no borders.
In fact, many of these connections span the globe, including Venezuela, China, France and India, through my friends Andrea Tovar Rojas, Naomi Zhao, Marie-anne Bonhomme and Anuja Kingar.
The shared experience of going to ANU is what initially drew us all together, and now we regularly catch up as a group over brunch, lunch or dinner, to discuss everything going on in life. We support and cheer each other on in our careers, and we celebrate all our personal milestones together, which is something I am grateful for. In particular, I met Andrea Tovar Rojas when she introduced herself during a Project Management lecture in 2017. We then worked on group projects together through many late nights and shared study tips. She has become one of my best friends since graduating, and we also recently worked together in the Australian Public Service.
My degree - an MBA at ANU College of Business and Economics - had such a diverse mix of students from all around the world, with backgrounds in many different industries. Some people were doing their degree to start-up their business, some were coming from public sector and some from private. I've gained a lot from those diverse perspectives.
Different perspectives bring new ways of thinking, new knowledge, and even new values to consider. We would often have these very robust and engaging discussions in our classes, and I believe that was because of the diversity at ANU; I'm grateful to have been able to experience that. Being able to keep an open mind and allow myself to entertain new ideas from different perspectives has strengthened my critical thinking and put me in good stead for furthering my career.
Not only has ANU given me a great opportunity to meet this diverse range of people, but it's also allowed me to have that ongoing connection with alumni throughout my professional career.
You can follow me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/grace-x-huang/