Alumni Update | Issue Five 2014

Meet Joanna Liao

Malaysia Alumni Chapter's new President

Joanna Liao
The UniSA Malaysia Alumni Chapter is entering a new era. Joanna Liao has been elected as Chapter President and will serve in the role for 2014-15.

A marketing professional by trade, Joanna has over 15 years’ experience in the industry, including senior agency roles with OgilvyOne, Grey Group and ICLP. She’s managed leading brands like Cathay Pacific Airways, DHL, Nestle and New World Mobility, and is currently Chief Marketing Officer of a Malaysian travel technology company.
Joanna became a member of the Malaysia Chapter in 2011, the same year she graduated from UniSA with an MBA. She also served as Chapter Vice President in 2012-13. We sat down with Joanna for a quick Q&A.

1. What has your experience been like on the Chapter Committee so far?
When I first joined the Chapter in 2011, I was really a novice. I was new to the Alumni program, with no prior experience whatsoever in being part of such a group, least of all being on the Committee. The upside is that being new, I had no preconceived ideas of what to expect. Since then, I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to meet many committed Chapter members, and made many new friends that have given me their support to take on the role as President this year.

2. As the new President, which direction are you hoping to take the Chapter in?
I’m working with the Committee on initiatives to drive higher member engagement as well as to grow the membership numbers for the Malaysian Chapter. Our goal is build an active Chapter that our members are proud to be associated with and be part of.

3. What do you enjoy about living and working in Malaysia?
I enjoy the diverse culture – not only amongst Malaysians, but also the many expatriates and foreigners that are working in Malaysia. It’s an interesting eye-opener when you work with people who are from a different cultural background. I’ve always enjoyed working in a multi-racial, multi-national environment as I find that personally very rewarding.

4. Which of your career highlights are your personal favourites?
I’ve been so fortunate to have had many career highlights; it is difficult to pick one that’s a personal favourite. The ones that have made a mark in my personal and professional life were my early days as a flight stewardess with an international airline, living and working in Hong Kong as a marketeer, and my current job being part of an entrepreneurial travel tech company.

5. Do you have any networking advice for other UniSA alumni?
Play an active role in the Alumni program by participating in activities or reaching out to other alumni. The world is full of interesting personalities, and we’ll miss out on making new friends if we choose to only stick to our inner circle that we’re familiar with.

Alumni Reunions

Alumni have a chance to reconnect with former classmates at the annual alumni reunion dinners to be held in Kuala Lumpur on 5 July, in Singapore on 9 July and in Hong Kong on 12 July.

The University of South Australia's Vice Chancellor and President, Professor David Lloyd, and Chancellor, Dr Ian Gould AM, will attend the reunions which are held in association with the annual University of South Australia Presentation of Awards Ceremonies.

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