New York alumni inspire the next generation of global leaders

Global Discovery ProgramNow in its third year, the Monash Global Discovery Program sent eight Monash students on a once in a lifetime trip to New York City in June. Bachelor of Pharmacy student, Monica Hai, reflects on her experience.

Now as I look out the window, watching locals jog by in a calm Melbournian suburb, it’s hard to believe that we were catching the busy New York subway from one meeting to another, walking amongst New Yorkers and attending various offices where we had the amazing privilege of meeting many inspiring Monash alumni.  From the CEO of a tech start-up to the head of HR at a fast-growing online fashion platform, to the founder of a Melbourne-inspired coffee chain.

Each leader taught us something unique, which we now take back home with us, and will cherish, as well as put into good use in various aspects of our lives and decision making in the future.

The inspiration we received on these eight days pushed us and equipped us with valuable lessons, important for what will be coming on the roads ahead; a few of which particularly stood out:
  1. Make effort to get to know the people you meet, and remember their names. Many of the leaders we met made an effort to get to know each of us, and spent time to listen to our story and allow us to speak about our passion. The CEO of ANZ North America, Truett Tate, left a lasting impression on all of us. Partly because, even as busy man, Truett took his time to remember each of our names and our unique passion before we even met. We were all taken away by his charisma, and learnt not only from him but from the many leaders we talked to, that it doesn’t matter how busy we are, take a moment to remember others’ stories, both in our personal and professional lives - a small gesture can go a long way.
  2. Surround yourself with likeminded people, who are willing to help and inspire you. Throughout the week I was not only inspired by the professionals we encountered, but also by the other students, who I soon discovered are all driven and passionate individuals. We exchanged many interesting discussions, from education equality to the stock market, and everyone in the group knew something others didn’t know. I’m very grateful to have had the privilege of getting to know the other students, who all showed me to go above and beyond our degree: be curious and seek knowledge, there is no age limit in learning.
  3. Start doing, stop contemplating. One of the most inspiring ideas from this trip is to believe in ourselves, to put in hard work and not be beaten down by failures. We’re currently all university students who will soon fully dedicate ourselves into the workforce. We saw so many Monash alumni who had forged their own path - not being defined by their degree or following the status quo, but just following their passion - who made their dream a reality and kept on thriving. Witnessing this created a spark in all of us, it proved to us that everyone can ‘just imagine’ and ‘be the change’.
For now, our New York adventure has come to an end. However, all of us will remember the advice we received on this inspiring journey, use it to forge our own path and to make our passion a reality.

Lastly, we’d like to thank all of the alumni who took time out of their busy schedules to speak to us. We’re all very excited to apply the advice you all have given us into our future studies and work, and keep on believing in whatever we do, we do with dedication and passion - nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’.