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MASA Excellence Awards 2014: What makes successful students tick? (Part 1)

EVER wondered what drives highly motivated students? Meld reporter Kai Yi Wong caught up with two MASA Excellence Award winners to find out what inspires their impressive work ethic. First up, we chat to Koay Fang Xuan.

On April 22, the Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia (MASCA) held their second Malaysian Summit of Australia (MASA). Conceived and run by Malaysian students, it is the largest Malaysian event in Australia and is made up of six different components: the Careers, Conference, Excellence Awards, Games, Cyber-games and Student Leaders Agenda. Participants are free to join any combination of events.

Meld Magazine takes a look at two winners from the Industry-based Individual Excellence Awards. The award looks for students with exceptional performance in academia, extra-curricular achievements, professional experiences and leadership capabilities.

We interviewed two personalities who have overcome the odds and accelerated academically as a result. Koay Fang Xuan and Rehanna Ahmad Razif each won the Commerce, and Arts and Social Sciences Award respectively. They are ordinary students who have extraordinary drive to push themselves to foster better relationships in Australia’s Malaysian community, and have been recognised for it.

Meld Magazine caught up with them for a quick chat about the success they have achieved in their lives and what their plans for the future are.

University of Melbourne Commerce Student Koay Fang Xuan, who won this year's MASA Excellence Award for the Commerce category. Photo: Kai Yi Wong

University of Melbourne Commerce student Koay Fang Xuan, who won this year’s MASA Excellence Award in the Commerce category. Photo: Kai Yi Wong

Koay Fang Xuan, winner of the HSBC Commerce Award
Bachelor of Commerce, University of Melbourne

Achievements

  • Founder and director of the careers component of 1st MASA 2013
  • Global campus leader and brand ambassador for Teach for Malaysia
  • First Year Bachelor of Commerce Network Mentor at the University of Melbourne
  • Student Intern IT Consultant at the University of Melbourne

Meld Magazine (MM): Congratulations on winning, Fang Xuan! How do you feel about winning?

Fang Xuan (FX): I’m really surprised and I never expected to go from the top 10 and then to the top 4! It felt really good to be recognised for my achievements and I feel this event greatly benefits the Malaysian community in Australia. It gives them a platform to showcase their talents.

MM: Is there anything you would do differently now that you’ve won?

FX: What I would like to do is to move forward, to serve the Malaysian community in Australia by increasing my involvement with organisations like the Council of International Students Australia (CISA). Also, I would like to have more time to improve myself, especially in the area of communications, and join Toastmasters (a not-for-profit communication and leadership training organisation), but I feel I have no time to do all these things!

MM: Could you briefly talk about a defining moment in your life?

FX: I have had many experiences, but one that particularly stood out was participating in WorldMUN, a model United Nations conference held by Harvard University and attended by different countries. It was very interactive and engaging and it really opened up my eyes to other countries and their cultures.

MM: What would you like to improve on ?

FX: I would be like to be more approachable to people, and get to know more people and what they’re doing. Also to have more confidence speaking to people from different backgrounds.

Look out for our interview with Rehanna Ahmad Razif, who won the MASA Excellence Award for Arts and Social Sciences, next week!

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About

Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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