Meet Weida Goh, a student who is gaining a different view of the region thanks to his Bachelor of International Business.
For Weida Goh, what sets the Bachelor of International Business apart from a finance or commerce degree is that it’s about more than “things that can be measured in dollars and cents.”
“International business covers regional culture and atmosphere. It equips us with a wealth of knowledge about a particular region, and then on top of that we get business skills. It’s not just technical specialities, financial derivatives or financial systems. International business is more a general, broad view.”
Weida says this is why he chose the degree.
“I’m an international student, from Singapore, so international business is a good outlook in terms of job prospects where I come from. The finance sector isn’t doing that well, and all the other sectors are quite saturated, so international business is a good area to look into.”
Weida is focusing on the East Asia region of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Korea, with a language study in Chinese. He is hoping to work in international trade in this region and believes language skills and cultural understanding will be critical to his professional success.
“If you understand the culture of the region, it’s easier to do business. I think this degree will make me more versatile, and allow me to fit more easily into a corporation or organisation. It’s also a good platform to meet new people from all around Asia, share ideas, and get their perspective.
“For example, I speak Chinese, but it’s a local, colloquial Singaporean Chinese. Here, there’s a mix of mainland Chinese, Hong Kong Chinese, Taiwanese Chinese and Malaysian Chinese and they’re all pretty different. Before this year in Australia I probably couldn’t communicate with all these different Chinese speakers, but now I have no problem. Also, even if we are all Chinese speakers, some of us think differently, so it’s good to get to know this way of thinking.”
Weida says the Bachelor of International Business has even changed his way of thinking about his own country.
“I already have a different perspective on Singapore. The teachers here have given me a critical distance which I couldn’t have gained in Singapore, so that’s very precious to me. I think differently now not just about business in Singapore but the political system and the economic structure that we were taught in school. I think it will give me an advantage when I go back to work there.”
The Bachelor of International Business is taught jointly by the ANU College of Business and Economics and the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, and Weida says he feels like his mindset is balanced between these two Colleges.
“For example, there are compulsory studies on Asia Pacific society about the culture, history, language, human rights issues, politics, religion, and everything in the region. It gives you an insight into the country you don’t usually see in the news media. That broad background is very important so we know what we’re talking about, and for lateral thinking to see everything around you. And then the ANU College of Business and Economics gives me the business background and technical skills I need to interact with those regions in business.”