Extended Tutor Time with GIS Alumni!

Organised by the GIS Higher Education Department counselors Mr Samuel Wickham and Ms Ellena Morrison, our Year 12 students recently enjoyed an online session with six Alumni who generously gave up their time to share their career tips, experiences of working life, and general life lessons. 


Mr Samuel Wickham and Ms Ellena Morrison – Higher Education Counselor at GIS 

‘It was wonderful to hear pearls of wisdom from our Alumni at different stages in their careers. What was particularly encouraging was seeing the reinforcement of GIS’ message that careers are increasingly dynamic and that in the modern workforce, skills development, lifelong learning and the ability to work with people is of significant value.’


Here are some of the words of wisdom shared during the session:

Alumna Hannah Worall, Class of 2013

Surveyor at Savills, Dubai, UAE

‘I really enjoyed speaking to the Year 12s as it reminded me how it felt to be in their position – excited and ready to take on the world. There are so many more life steps to face after GIS and I can only hope they all make the most of their time in school. Those Sixth Form years were definitely my favourite years of life thus far!’


Alumni Gregory Das, Class of 2007

Partner at Steven Thiru & Sudhar Partnership, Malaysia

‘It was a pleasure speaking with the students of Year 12. I was glad to have been given the opportunity to share how much of an impact my time at the School has had on my professional life. On an almost daily basis at work, I find myself applying the skills I learnt in English and History classes at the School. All the very best to Year 12!’


Alumna Melissa Chong, Class of 2008

Sustainability | Business & Human Rights – Consultant Corporate Citizenship, Singapore

When I first graduated from University, the field of sustainability wasn’t really a career option yet. But in the last few years, it has emerged as a new field. So in this rapidly evolving world, be prepared to keep learning and adapt along the way! Also, It’s OK to make U-turns in your career and have a meandering rather than linear path to success, because #adulting is rarely so straightforward. I’ve learnt a fair bit navigating the world of work over the last 8 years, and was happy to have the chance to share my journey with Yr 12 students.


Alumni Stuart Milne Smith, Class of 2013

Process Engineer at Minelab Electronics, Australia

‘It’s beneficial to think back to what it was like back at the Garden and try to help show students the endless possibilities that life presents. I hope that telling my personal story so far provided some guidance or food for thought into how they may take on their own path.’

Alumni Zaid Haque, Class of 2007

Senior Program Manager at Microsoft Teams, Seattle, Washington, United States

‘I had a great time talking to the students at GIS about my story! One thing I realized whilst speaking was how much my perception of “success” has changed from when I was a student. Back then, I just wanted to get into a nice university, and after that I just wanted a nice job – but the real success was enjoying everyday along the way, taking the opportunity of being a student to explore and try new things just for fun, and without any understanding of how they’d shape my future career. 

I was originally studying to be a doctor, but after being exposed to friends in the tech world, I felt like that was my calling. I took a design course for fun, and loved it so much that I decided to focus on becoming a designer. I hosted a talk show for a local radio station, without realizing how much it helped me in public speaking, doing interviews and even presentations. Now, as a Product Manager at Microsoft, a lot of these aspects of my life that I wouldn’t consider relevant, play a huge role – for example, just the fact that I grew up in KL alongside so many cultures, has made me more empathetic when I’m talking to my customers. Even classes I took in secondary school like DT, which I thought was just for fun, ended up being useful as I have supported my wife with her own startup. 

Never be afraid to try new things; you never know how your past experience can shape your future. College/university is the best time to do this! At the end of the day, when I’m hiring someone, I’m looking forward to listening to stories of all their great experiences, rather than just learning about their good grades!’


Alumni Shaun Fendi Gan, Class of 2017

BSc Physics (1st Class) – Imperial College London / Masters in Business Analytic – MIT Sloan

‘My key takeaway from talking to the students is that everyone has gone through / is going through the process of figuring out what to do. Being in their shoes only a few years ago, I understand what a daunting and difficult job it is to decide on what to do. My advice to them was always to just follow their interests, and maybe one day it would turn into a passion. Keep pursuing new interests and trying things out until something finally sticks!’


A huge ‘Thank You’ to these inspiring Alumni, who generously shared their time and experiences with our Year 12 students virtually, despite their busy daily schedules. If you are interested in sharing your journey post-GIS, then please get in touch with us at alumni@gardenschool.edu.my

We are always updating our page with news from the Alumni community across the continents, and would love to hear from you and share your stories. Please get in touch via FacebookLinkedIn or simply send an email to alumni@gardenschool.edu.my.  We can’t wait to hear from you!