Skip to Content

Alumni Experience Conference

26 - 27 September 2018
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

About the Conference

Dates: 26 - 27 September 2018
Theme:Alumni Knowledge and Experience:
Reflecting on Real-World Transition Practice
Venue: Monash University, Faculty of Education 
Clayton campus, Australia
The Learning & Teaching Building (LTB)
Cost: Free

Alumni Experience Conference (AEC) is the first-ever event for alumni, scholars, researchers and current students in various disciplines to discuss ways of enhancing the connection between curricula/pedagogies and real-world practices.

We have pleasure in inviting you to participate in this free event.  It will provide you with relevant professional development as well as the opportunity to contribute to this important conversation about the gap between University and Employment. 

We welcome graduates of Australian universities to do a 20-minute presentation. See Call for submissions section.

Conference Program

Day 1 – Wednesday 26 Sep 2018

8:30 – 9:00 Arrival and registrations G31
9:00 – 9:30 Welcome address by Ms Spica A. Tutuhatunewa – the Indonesian Consul General G31
9:30 – 10:15 Keynote by Dr. Le Thanh Vinh
"Strategies towards career success of returnees: Implications for bridging the gap between university and industry"
10:15 – 11:00 Coffee break Outside 101
11:00 – 12:30 Parallel sessions 221, 231, 304, 321
12:30 – 1:30 LUNCH (presenters) Outside 302
1:30 – 3:00 Parallel sessions 221, 231, 304, 321
3:00 – 3:30 Coffee break Outside 101
3:30 – 4:30 Professional development sessions:
  1. "Pursuing a career in an internationalised context: Challenges and Possibilities"
  2. "Lesson from IT Professional Evolvement and Strategies for Sharing"
221, 231

Day 2 – Thursday 27 Sep 2018

9:00 – 10:00 Keynote by A/P Michael Tomlinson
"Graduates’ Employability and Career Readiness"
10:00 – 10:30 Coffee break Outside 101
10:30 – 12:00 Parallel sessions 221, 231, 304, 321
12:00 – 1:00 LUNCH (presenters) Outside 302
1:00 – 2:30 Parallel sessions 221, 231, 304, 321
2:30 – 3:00 Coffee break Outside 101
3:00 – 4:00 Professional development sessions:
  • "Building an International value proposition in the Global Knowledge Economy"
  • "Navigating barriers to win the employability battle"
221, 231
4:00 – 4:30 Conclusion 101


Ms Spica Tutuhatunewa

Welcome address by Ms Spica A. Tutuhatunewa
The Indonesian Consul General.

Strategies towards career success of returnees: Implications for bridging the gap between university and industry

Dr. Le Thanh Vinh

Keynote by Dr. Le Thanh Vinh
Dr. Le Thanh Vinh is a Monash alumnus and Standing Vice Chairman of FLC Group Jsc. - one of the leading multi-sector corporations in Vietnam.

The development of emerging markets in such Asian countries as China, Vietnam, Korea, India and Malaysia is leading to ‘reverse mobility’ – a phenomenon featured by an increasing number of students in developed countries choosing Asian countries for their studying experiences and a significant number of Asian students overseas returning to home countries to seek career development opportunities. This phenomenon is situating ‘Western’ education in a new position where there is the need to prepare students with skills and knowledge to succeed in both host and home countries. Fulfilling this emerging role requires a better understanding and embedding experiences of international returnees in university programmes. This presentation, based on experiences of a former student in Australia for many years and an employer of influential industries in Vietnam, will discuss:

  • A brief career landscape of Vietnamese graduates after they returned to Vietnam.
  • The (dis)connection between overseas study outcomes and requirements of the local labour market.
  • Capitals that international students should develop at their early study stage to be better prepared for post-study employment.
  • Implications for efficient alignments between higher education and industries.

Graduates’ Employability and Career Readiness

Associate Professor Michael Tomlinson

Keynote by Associate Professor Michael Tomlinson
Associate Professor Michael Tomlinson is a leading researcher in graduate employability at the University of Southampton, UK.

This presentation explores new ways of thinking about the challenge of graduates’ post-university employment and the implications this raises for graduates’ employment outcomes and career progression. It departs from traditional approaches to graduate employability which have tended to view the acquisition of skills and competency development as core markers of ‘graduateness’ and offers new insights on this problem. The presentation draws upon extensive research with graduates and employers and shows that employability is increasingly about the development and deployment of key resources; namely forms of organisational/sectoral-related cultural, social, identity and psychological capital. The talk will explore how these operate in graduates’ transitions and can be further nurtured during study and beyond. Employability and career development is largely constitutive of a complex mix of personal qualities, proactive labour market engagement and the ability to reflect productively on experiences to develop a ‘narrative of employability’. Upon this understanding we can think through strategies and opportunities to develop graduates’ self and career awareness.

Pursuing a career in an internationalised context: Challenges and Possibilities

Associate Professor Ly Tran

Professional Development Workshop 1
By Associate Professor Ly Tran, School of Education, Deakin University

This workshop discusses the challenges and possibilities involved in developing a career in the current labour market, characterised by transnational skills mobility, global demands and local needs and the rising knowledge economy. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in discussions related to approaches to developing intercultural capabilities, transnational networks, dynamic connections with home, diaspora and related communities and other employability skills. Insights into developing a professional portfolio which evidences and capitalises on graduates’ existing strengths, experiences, attributes, skills and networks will be presented. The workshop uses Harvard University’s Visible Thinking Approach to engage participants in exploring the individual as well as structural conditions that facilitate or inhibit the development of graduate employability and the negotiation of different demands to thrive in career.

Lesson from IT Professional Evolvement and Strategies for Sharing

Mr Steven Ngoi

Professional Development Workshop 2
By Mr Steven Ngoi, Head of Learning Environments, ICT Melbourne Polytechnic

This presentation hopes to highlight the challenges and opportunities faced by an international student some 20 years ago in Melbourne. The determination towards self-reliance and a hunger to succeed is a key drive in his career involvement. The speaker took on opportunities as it was presented and worked hard to gain the respect and recognition from his peers. The landscape of his work changes quite rapidly with the impact of technology. Understanding the shift of this landscape is paramount to the next strategy move for his organisation. He believes that teaching is ageless and learning is lifelong.

Building an International value proposition in the Global Knowledge Economy

Dr. Karen Medica

Professional Development Workshop 3
By Dr. Karen Medica - Lecturer, Monash Business School

This presentation will examine career paths for graduates planning an international career. Given increasing mobility in the context of a global knowledge economy, many graduates seek employment outside Australia. An examination of the careers literature highlights that job-readiness abroad is linked to working effectively across cultures and other ‘soft’ employability skills, including teamwork, communication, flexibility and adaptability. This workshop explores international employability and its emphasis on ‘soft’ and transferable skills. This workshop will help graduates to transition and build credibility for offshore employment. Participants will learn to articulate their international value proposition through exposure to opportunities, including targeted internships and service learning (or volunteer) opportunities abroad.

Navigating barriers to win the “employability” battle

Mr. Thuan Nguyen

Professional Development Workshop 4
By Mr. Thuan Nguyen - Business Owner and Director, TND Migration Consulting, Victoria

For a student who is about to graduate, looking for the first job is an intense journey to employability success. If you are lucky to have your parents or friends who own a business, you can depend on them to offer you employment.   But if you don't, you will have to rely on yourself, your ability to learn from both successes and failures, and the tenacity you will need to develop along that journey.

At this presentation, I will share my employability experiences, and discuss what I believe the challenges that lie ahead of each graduate from the very first moment they step into the journey. Looking through the employability lens, particularly basing myself on both “triumphs" and “setbacks", I will explain the reasons as to why a "war" strategy and a positive attitude can matter more than you think.  I will argue for the equal importance of individual agencies (hard skills, soft skills, identity etc.), attitudes and life experiences as the basis for achieving your employability goals.

Call for submissions

Submissions close on 10 September 2018.

Please email your submissions to Dr. Thanh Pham at

As a conference presenter, we also invite you to develop your presentation into a book chapter to be published in 2019 or 2020.

We look forward to your contributions!

Alumni presentation

If you would like to share your employment experiences, we invite you to do a 20-minute presentation based on four questions below.

  1. What were the strategies you utilised to obtain your employment? How have you developed knowledge, skills and other resources to make/keep yourself employable?
  2. What are the main challenges you have faced when you looked for jobs and at your workplace?
  3. What are some most important qualities that graduates need to possess to succeed in your field of work?
  4. What are experiences and lessons you would like to share with current students about how they should prepare their employment?
  5. What are the gaps that you think university programs should be updated to respond well to the employment market that you know?

Develop your presentation into a book chapter!

After the conference we plan to combine the ideas presented at the conference into a book, tentatively entitled International Alumni knowledge and experience: Reflecting on Real-World Practices for Development.

We will aim to publish the book at the end of 2019 or early 2020.

All presenters, who contributed a "thought on a slide" or a "20min presentation", will have an opportunity to develop their ideas into their own chapter in this book.

If you are interested in this and need assistance and collaboration to develop your chapter, we would be happy to mentor you through this process.


Organisers and sponsors

Conference Chairs:

  • Dr. Thanh Pham - (Monash University, Australia)
  • Dr. Karen Medica (Monash University, Australia)

Conference Committee:

  • Dr. Athena Vongalis-Macrow (Deakin University, Australia)
  • Professor Tina Overton (Monash University, Australia)
  • Dr. Kim Anh Dang (Monash University, Australia)
  • Ms. Rosie Nelson (Monash University, Australia)
  • Ms. Seshna Maharaj (Monash University, Australia)


  • Globalisation, Leadership & Policy - academic community in the Faculty of Education, Monash University
  • Faculty of Education, Monash University
  • Alumni Engagement Office, Monash University
  • Advancing Women's Research Grant Scheme, Monash University