Li Low

Li Low

Bachelor of Business (International Trade)

Current position
Director, Business Development, EY Wavespace, Ernst and Young

Wavespace is EY's next generation innovation and design platform, bringing together people, ideas and technology to deliver unique insights and solutions for our clients. There are six Asia-Pacific Wavespaces across Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Auckland and Sydney, and more than 30 centres globally. We bring the value of collaboration and design thinking to our clients who are constantly managing their businesses amidst unprecedented digital disruption.

EY is a highly rewarding firm to work for. It is global by nature and requires professionals to be both technically excellent in our chosen fields, while being flexible and adaptable working with others. Our successes are only possible if we work well in teams, lead by example and motivate others to achieve their goals. The firm encourages us to bring new ways of thinking to complex problems, challenging the status quo, and designing a better version of our jobs as we see fit.

In the 1990s, when I graduated, global trade was liberalising, Australia was starting to eye its prospects in Asia and the Internet revolution hadn’t yet begun. Monash gave students an opportunity to study business, with a specialty focus on commercial applications beyond our borders. The school of business combined language programs like Chinese and Japanese, which were beginning to take off.

"My advice for graduates today is to keep an open mind. We are in the midst of an industrial revolution, and the job you will have in ten or even five years may not even exist today."

The benefits came from the mix of disciplines – we were acquiring vocational skills, learning traditional disciplines like economics, accounting and finance, and supplementing this with language. I studied Japanese, which made the degree more attractive and helped me stand out from the crowd. Our teachers were very supportive, knowing that they too were part of a new program − they took pride in developing something new and progressive.

In my final year, I participated in an intensive summer semester of banking and trade related subject, culminating in  a three-week study tour for three countries.  Along with around 30 students, we visited commercial and financial centres in Jakarta, Hong Kong and Tokyo that gave us a more international perspective on where our careers might lead.

My advice for graduates today is to keep an open mind. We are in the midst of an industrial revolution, and the job you will have in ten or even five years may not even exist today. Add to that the challenges and opportunities stemming from a global pandemic like COVID-19, many things will be difficult to predict. Don’t get too caught up on roles, titles or industries. Focus on what you’re really good at and enjoy, and apply your expertise no matter where you find yourself.

Learn to be good at motivating and influencing others − your career progression and security will depend on this. It’s also worth asking yourself what skills and capabilities you have that can’t be replaced by a program, robot or artificial intelligence.

Education is continuous, so make it an essential part of your growth. The days of earning a degree and then being guaranteed a certain career trajectory are gone. Expect to have three to four careers during your lifetime. What you study today may be less relevant in five years − the best education is one that teaches people to adapt.