Why did you choose to study the Master of Applied Econometrics at the University of Melbourne?
While I was studying a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Finance at Unimelb, I got a chance to intern at KPMG Malaysia as a taxation intern, and I found it be an extremely valuable experience, where I got to learn a lot, and connect with several industry professionals, and during the course of that internship I sort of made up my mind that I would pursue a postgraduate degree in Econometrics.
What activities have you been involved in at university?
As an international student myself, I was aware of the struggles that many of us face while trying to settle in, and so I have tried to be involved in several uni activities and clubs and societies that help international students blend in when they first arrive. I have also been a part of the MBSSA Peer Mentoring Program, which was a really great experience because it gave me the opportunity to interact and meet with fellow MBS students.
Were there any challenges that you faced when you first moved to Melbourne?
When I moved to Melbourne, it was overwhelming feeling because it was the first time that I had actually moved away from my family and my country, and I did experience a bit of cultural shock because things were just so different here compared to Malaysia. I also struggled a little with communicating in English, because it is not my first language. However, Stop 1 was a great source of support, and I was also fortunate enough to have a mentor who helped me through the process. It was a difficult and long process, but eventually, I did manage to settle in.
How has your online learning experience been like?
To be completely honest, I do really miss attending classes in person, and being on campus. I really wish to go back to libraries and have the study spaces back, especially right now. With that being said, I really do appreciate the effort being put in by the teaching staff. One of my tutors sends us really cute videos of animals before our tutorials, which always bring a smile to my face. The staff tries there best to make this process as interactive and communicative as possible, and all these small gestures really show that they care, and make the online learning experience a lot more pleasant despite all the challenges and limitations.
Do you have tips for your fellow MBS students?
One advice that I received from a senior that I feel has helped me a fair bit is, to pay more attention to and regularly check the weekly newsletters sent to us by the faculty at MBS and also MBSSA. There’s a whole lot of information in the newsletters that would be difficult to find elsewhere and having not done the same in my undergraduate degree, I can assure you that it is important to check them regularly.
All the best!
Yau Sien Ong
Master of Applied Econometrics