Tan Wei Shang (Shane)
Full name: Tan Wei Shang
Degree studied: Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) (Honors) 2012 & PhD (Microbiology) 2017
Were you on a scholarship? What awards have you received?
- Postgraduate Scholarship (2012-2016)
- Dean’s List Award 2008
- Top Scorer for Cellular Metabolism
Who is your current employer and what is your role?
I am currently working for Merck KGaA, a 350 year-old vibrant science and technology company. I started off as a Sales Specialist specialising in Bioscience portfolio, and was promoted to Business Development Executive three months after that. In this new role, I have to source for new projects (local or foreign investment), build partnership, and enhance brand awareness in both the government and private sectors. Besides the commercial roles, I organised company town-hall meetings, emceed for various company events and celebrations, and have eventually been selected to be part of the Merck Millennial Council to organise various CSR activities and talent development programs for Merck employees.
Why did you choose Monash Malaysia?
Monash University is renowned for its teaching and research excellence. Choosing Monash Malaysia means I could get a quality education with a much economical alternative.
While at Monash, what type of opportunities did you participate in?
During my undergraduate, I was part of the Green Representative Network (GRN) to initiate the ‘Be Stylo, Don’t Use Styro’ campaign to ban the use of Styrofoam in this campus, and to increase awareness of the Monash community on the repercussion of climate change. During my postgraduate years, I was the representative for School of Science in MUPA to organise various activities for the postgraduates, and get the school to provide individual computer for all postgraduates in School of Science (all my juniors these days are enjoying the fruit of my initiative!). On top of that, I am still an active member (even after graduation) of the Monash Dance Fusion Club since my undergraduate years, performing diverse types of dance during our annual dance concert in May.
What insights, skills or experience made a difference to your own life or the lives of others around you?
I am always curious on how far I could go in every aspect, and I work very, very hard to achieve my goals.
Whilst at Monash, did you have any industry exposure/placements? How has it benefited you?
I did an internship at the laboratory of Penang Pantai Hospital. Due to the knowledge and skills acquired from the Biochemistry and Microbiology courses in Monash, I was given ample opportunities by the seniors to learn different lab testing for various biological samples. From time to time, I was also given chances to witness small surgeries, radiotherapy for cancer patients, and walk around the wards with the seniors to understand the daily operation as a laboratory technologist. Overall, this placement experience complemented perfectly with the theory I acquired in Monash.
What do you love most about your student life at Monash?
The lecturers are very helpful and always provide constructive feedback on our work. My supervisor during my Honours year and eventually PhD program, Associate Professor Adeline Ting gave me sufficient opportunities and flexibility to discover and develop myself. I particularly loved the brainstorming sessions, the excitement during data analysis, and the intellectual discussion about the future of our research study.
Where did you live and how did you find that experience?
I rented a room around Bandar Sunway and I must say I love Sunway very much for its convenience and diversity. It was my first time staying out from Penang (yes, I’m a Penang boy) and there was no problem for me to adapt to this place at all. Public transportation such as the shuttle bus, BRT, and GrabCar were extremely convenient! Other plus points include the availability of food everywhere and easily accessible entertainment (yes you need it, especially after assignment/report submission)!
Outside work or study were you able to build on your interest i.e. volunteering, mentoring other students, other educational pursuit?
Yes! I had never thought that I would be able to teach until I took up a role as a lab demonstrator. Since then, I developed my confidence in sharing what I know and public speaking. These days, I’ll drop by orphanages once a while to teach them academically, and inspire/motivate them with my own story. My dream is to gather more people to be involved in this initiative to help the less fortunate one.
Has the experiences you have been talking about above made a difference to the way you approach your work and your career?
The leadership, management, stage performance, and public speaking experiences in Monash have boosted my confidence and courage tremendously. it gave me more opportunities to showcase my talent and hence enhance my career growth. I managed to get promoted, become the emcee for the company’s new year kick-off meeting, and won the Merck Idol contest within the first four months after starting my career in Merck. I was then selected to be part of the Merck Millennial Council, and we won the Managing Director’s Award one year after that.
What is your goal/dream in life? Where are you headed to in the future?
I aim to start up a school with a unique teaching system in five to 10 years. This school will prepare the students with necessary soft skills, financial knowledge, and a strong mental power to face the challenges in the real world.
What is your advice to current Monash Malaysia students?
Monash Malaysia provides an excellent platform for growth and development, both intellectually and personally. Give yourself a chance to go boldly, make full use of the resources and take as many challenges as possible. You would be grateful in the future for what you have done today.