Athena's journey since UWA.
I started my career in Perth as an electronics engineer working for TimeZone in R&D. Since then, I have worked and travelled across the Asia Pacific and lived in multiple cities including Sydney, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. I had the privilege of expanding my skillset working in various multi-national companies, performing diverse roles including R&D, sales, marketing, operations, business development, strategy and, later in my career, General Management. I returned to Australia during the 2H of 2019 from China and embarked on the next phase of my career as an entrepreneur.
How did you choose your specialisation?
Choosing to be an engineer for an undergraduate degree wasn’t difficult. As a child, I was always the kid who fixed things around the house.
What was your interview process like?
I have attended a few interviews over the years, but I have also been very fortunate to have been head-hunted for quite a few roles. Interviews early in my career tended to focus on specific expertise and knowledge. As I gained broader experience, the focus shifted towards the delivery of bottom-line results, leadership quality and cultural fit.
Suppose a student was considering your career. What would you advise them to study?
Marketing is an area worth considering as starting degree if you are looking to be in general management one day. I would advise students to continually develop their communication and presentation skills. During university, actively participate in the campus community through student societies and clubs. In the early part of their career, gain exposure in different functions and proactively participate in company projects.
What does your employer do?
Having had 25 years of experience working for multi-national companies across the Asia Pacific, I have taken a different direction for the next phase of my career. I currently wear multiple hats in several organisations, including a start-up in international marketing consulting and tourism and a private investment company.
What are your areas of responsibility?
I mostly oversee general business management, focusing on corporate management. I am also serving as a director for several organisations.
Can you describe a typical workday?
My days are generally segmented into two parts. For the start-up, progress has been impacted due to Covid-19. During this time, we have been focusing on consolidating our overall strategy and digital development. For the investment company, we continue to analyse investment opportunities in the market as part of portfolio management.
What sort of person succeeds in your career?
Having a broad exposure to different functional areas allows you to manage teams with diverse backgrounds effectively. In addition, vision, leadership, a logical approach and problem-solving skills are essential to successfully navigate both the internal and external environments of whatever organisation you work in.
If you could share one piece of advice with an international student at UWA, what would it be?
Participate and be active in all aspects of campus life, not just academically. Enjoy the UWA life and develop an international network of friends. Don’t be afraid to travel and move to different countries early in your career. That experience will be incredibly valuable.