Stories from FS alumni: Indar Gill

Indar Gill, from Foundation Studies February Main 2002, shares his career journey and reflections on success.

My time at Trinity will always stand out as some of the best of my life. Coming from Malaysia, Trinity helped ease my transition into life in Australia, which was no easy task. Not only did I connect with students who were in a similar boat as me, I was supported by staff (teaching and non-teaching) at the College that were skilled and equipped with helping me through this new journey.

After my year at Trinity I went on to complete double degrees in Law and Commerce (Accounting) at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 2007. Looking back at my five years at university, I found studying Law a huge struggle and I am proud that I persevered until the end. It was as though there was a constant wrestle of the mind.

I’m so glad I didn’t give up as today I have a fairly sharp analytical mind which helps me in all aspects of my life – personal and professional – teaching me that you can achieve great personal growth from  challenging times.

After university I decided to start my career in Melbourne rather than to go back to Malaysia. I thought that with my double degrees I would have my pick of jobs and my career would be off and running.

How foolish of me. I still have a spreadsheet that I kept at the time of all the jobs I applied for – upwards of 80. That experience taught me that having strong qualifications from a good university was not enough in today’s competitive world. Most graduates come out with CVs that highlight solid work experience, involvement in clubs and societies…as well as strong qualifications from a good university.

Thankfully through sheer persistence and perseverance I landed a role with EDS, a large American IT outsourcing company, focusing on commercial and contractual management. I had a fabulous boss who knew that I was overqualified for the role but promised to support me find a more challenging opportunity if I paid my dues.

True to his word, after 18 months or so he helped me land a role in the organizational change management consulting team. I was always mesmerized by consulting and felt this could be a good fit for me given there was a strong focus on people – a personal interest area of mine. The timing also coincided with Hewlett Packard (HP) taking over EDS so it was a good opportunity for me to tackle my next career challenge – new role and new company. 

I really enjoyed my new role in consulting where I helped with people related change linked to IT projects. Some of the projects I was involved with were evaluating the skills of our IT staff to perform client work and assessing the people related changes we needed to make based on clients moving work offshore.

After about 18 months in this role I felt that I was ready for my next challenge. I wanted to venture out of IT and an opportunity with PwC presented itself and I jumped at it. I’ve been with PwC for almost 5 years and specialize in change management and workforce planning. I advise and consult clients across telecommunications, higher education, postal services and energy distribution industries.

Throughout my career I’ve always been searching for what I’m passionate about. I truly believe that if you pursue what you love will have a happy and successful career. After a lot of searching it dawned on me that I really enjoy helping people find what they are passionate about. I’m now in the process of looking at how I can focus on this as my career evolves. I’ve started a survey to learn what makes people happy at work as well as coaching people to find their passion and pursue it – check it out my website.

Which brings me to my final lesson I’d like to share – in today’s world we spend a lot of time at work. Given the investment we make, we owe it to ourselves to pursue what we are p

28 Mar 2016
Category: Foundation Studies