Dreams are possible when you are serious about making them happen. At the tender age of 16, I had many dreams. I wanted to do more with my life. I wanted to be so much more than what I currently was and to make a positive contribution in society with my skills, talents and experience. At that time, I was a mere high performing student at an international school who developed an interest in accounting and reading. What if I could do more? What would that entail?
7 years later, I’m working at one of the most prestigious consulting firms in the world as a business consultant, currently serving a large client on a nation building project in driving sustainable outcomes for Malaysians.Having pursued an accounting degree in one of the most leading universities in the world and multiple volunteering and leadership roles in various capacities pertaining to social impact (almost 40 to date),and having an amazing support system of close friends and family, I can say that I’m truly living a purposeful life.
At 16, I witnessed (and experienced) many forms of injustice taking place around me. Be it abuse, bullying, emotional blackmail, double standards, poverty and a lack of progress for Malaysians and watching my female friends live in fear, self doubt and insecurity (including myself). I aspired to be more, so I can inspire, empower and contribute in any little way to those who needed it the most.
My transformation journey began when I stumbled upon an opportunity to serve as President at a local charity club at college. It was a truly eye-opening, gratifying experience where I picked up necessary leadership and project management skills to serve the less privileged and most vulnerable children who lacked freedom (refugees) and those who were unable to live their best lives (those stricken with terminal diseases such as cancer).
I decided then that I would live to be the best version of myself so I could make a difference for my community and spread kindness, love, compassion, empathy, and confidence to those who needed it the most. I embraced every single opportunity that came my way, be it a volunteering project, education, event management roles, internships, consulting projects, mentorship including my signature (and most challenging) roles in an animal welfare not-for-profit organisations (that I co-founded and led for almost 2 years) and a recycling-driven social enterprise (currently serving as the head of finance).
Transformation entailed the most basic principles of hard work, sincerity, lifestyle habits and routines, passion, humility, perseverance and acts of service. Building a support system of people (especially young women) that are inspired by you and whom you are inspired by are key drivers of any transformative person or leader. These amazing people believed, supported and enabled me even when I failed to do it for myself. A true mark of a transformative leader is one who succeeds in multiple areas of life, while preserving and growing relationships and bringing the best out of others.