Rachael Than Li Ying

Business Development Executive

Age 25

Bachelor of Business (International Business & Marketing), Swinburne University of Technology (Sarawak Campus), 2011

Has been with this company for 2 years

At university
I took up two majors – international business and marketing – at university and I am glad with my decision as I had plenty of options once I graduated. After graduation, I narrowed my focus to the real estate industry. Although my course and current job is not directly related, university has prepared me with the skills required to pick up industry knowledge easily.

My background
During my university days, I taught Chinese language in a private learning centre as part-time tutor. I also assisted one of my lecturers in her project as research assistant over the summer holiday. My internship in a management company of a shopping mall gave me a new prespective on how the ‘real’ working life feels like.

My company and job
Currently I am in the business development department where we identify potential business opportunities for the company. My job scope include conducting market studies on a potential land parcel or area, and keeping track on real estate related news and information to facilitate management decision-making process. Besides, my job involves dealing with real estate agents, potential business partners as well as government bodies.

The best and worst bits
I like the flexibility of my job which allows me to travel and explore new places. I also enjoy brainstorming with my colleagues during the initial stages of property development discussions. Playing a small part in the development of our nation is my greatest motivation!

My challenges at work
My work is challenging as there are many dimensions we have to look at in coming out with our proposal. In addition to that, the tendering process that requires our input usually has a very tight timeline. We need to be prepared for it.

Getting the job
I joined IJM as a graduate associate before my final placement in the business development department. I went through phone interviews as well as a face-to-face interview and assessment. I think being able to communicate and express myself confidently during the interview and assessment was the winning formula in securing my job.

Be prepared for
There are many learning opportunities! Anything ranging from studying an architectural plan to familiarising yourself with land laws and regulations as well as getting to know the cash flow and learning about business deals and contracts. Always be prepared for the next project as it means a brand new challenge!

Some advice
I think it is essential to go through a graduate associate programme or other similar training programmes to be in the property industry because it makes you an all-rounded and competent candidate. Those who have the relevant qualifications, such as property management, will have a greater advantage in picking up the tasks quicker. And yes, having a good learning attitude is important for fresh graduates.