School Advisor Articles

AISM’s Legacy: Elina Lee’s Path to Professional Excellence

Published by SchoolAdvisor | Feb 05, 2024

Elina Lee’s arrival at the Australian International School Malaysia (AISM) in Year 5 was a seed planted in fertile ground. Stepping away from the familiar settings of a government school, she found herself in an environment that nurtured her curiosity, challenged her intellect and ultimately helped her blossom into the confident, well-rounded individual she is today.

A Launchpad for Growth

Elina vividly recalls her early days at AISM when she joined in Year 5. The transition brought a fresh and unfamiliar educational experience for her. Speaking of the learning environment at AISM, Elina notes the dynamic approach to classes. Unlike the conventional model, students move between classrooms for different subjects, fostering a heightened sense of time awareness. Small class sizes, with around 25 students, enable teachers to provide personalised support, making learning more engaging than mere textbook memorisation.

The school’s emphasis on pastoral care is evident through initiatives like the buddy system for new students, ensuring a smooth transition into the AISM community. A dedicated school counsellor and nurse offer additional support layers, addressing emotional and physical well-being. Elina particularly values the mentorship programme in her final years, providing her guidance through the demanding Higher School Certification (HSC) period.

Elina shares how AISM’s teachers played a pivotal role in shaping her future. “One of the deepest memories I have was with my Year 5 homeroom teacher. He made me feel at ease with the transition and tried to bring me out of my shell.”

AISM’s commitment extends beyond academics, offering valuable guidance through its Higher Education team. Elina’s university aspirations were nurtured by personalised consultations with the career and pathways coordinator, who provided invaluable assistance in navigating the intricacies of university admissions. Workshops on essay writing and CV building equipped her with the tools to confidently showcase her strengths and aspirations.

Elina’s enthusiasm for co-curricular activities (CCAs) at AISM shines through. She says, “I had always loved participating in the CCAs after school. By participating in different CCAs, I was able to explore and discover my interests, as well as gain new skills.” She believes participating in CCAs not only fostered a sense of community but also helped build her self-confidence. In addition, it showcased her social skills and community spirit, potentially adding value to her university applications.

Elina graduated from AISM in 2017 with many beautiful memories and learning opportunities.

Significant Impact on University Admission

Elina’s successful admission to Monash University was facilitated by the comprehensive support provided by AISM's Higher Education team.

The team provided support throughout the application process, offering guidance on essay writing, admission requirements, and document submissions. Workshops on crafting CVs and admission essays, coupled with feedback sessions, ensured that students were well-prepared for the challenges of university applications.

“We also have an education fair hosted in our school’s auditorium every year that is open to senior school students, so I was able to start preparing for my university admission quite early — I started gathering information and preparing since Year 10.”

Skills and Qualities Nurtured at AISM

Elina identifies two key attributes from her time at AISM that have been instrumental in her tertiary education and career journey: presentation and communication skills. AISM’s emphasis on presentations from a young age, including Model United Nations simulations, cultivated Elina’s public speaking prowess. This skill became valuable during her university presentations, contributing to her academic success.

“We were encouraged to speak our mind and to let our creativity flow. Discrimination was frowned upon, and so many different opinions and ideas were shared freely among the teachers and students. Having a safe space to voice out my thoughts and not get shut down immediately has led me to have a more open mindset, and speak up when I have concerns or questions during group projects in university and the workplace.”

Elina (fourth from the left) participated in the Youth Startup Bootcamp 2019 at Monash University Malaysia.


Smooth Transition to Monash University

Elina’s familiarity with Australian culture, instilled through AISM, smoothed her transition into the Monash University community. The similar learning styles, emphasising group projects and essays, prepared her well for the academic demands. Her open-mindedness and willingness to explore allowed her to actively engage in campus life, forging new connections and enriching her university experience.

Elina’s decision to pursue a Diploma and Bachelor’s degree in Business at Monash was rooted in a childhood dream inspired by her father’s entrepreneurial journey. “My dad has always been a role model, and his determination and perseverance in having his own business from scratch is something that I’ve always admired.”

AISM’s subject choices including Business Studies and Economics deepened her understanding and guided her towards pursuing a Bachelor of Business at Monash. “I was able to quickly grasp the concepts and put them into use in my coursework.”

AISM's learning methods, similar to a university, with group projects and essay writing, effectively prepared Elina for her studies at Monash University.

Advice to Parents Considering International Schools

For parents contemplating enrolling their children in international schools, Elina offers a resounding endorsement. She believes that the diverse subject offerings, exposure to different cultures, and the opportunity to explore individual interests make international schools like AISM a worthwhile investment.

She says, “I believe that studying in an international school really broadens our mind and gives us more opportunity to explore and pursue what truly interests us. With the wide variety of subjects on offer, we can choose and learn more about particular subjects that we are curious about, rather than having to stay in a particular subject stream.”

Elina cherishes many memories and learning experiences from AISM, particularly the impactful school camps that broadened her worldview. 

“From a young age, we would travel to different places (in Malaysia or overseas) for a week, and it really opened my eyes to the world. From fun activities such as rope courses and team building games to visiting historical sites, volunteering in children’s homes and refurbishing a school in rural areas, I had learnt so much about the concept of sharing love and giving back to the community.”

These experiences continue to influence her approach to her full-time role as a Marketing Operations Specialist at an Australian company called TMGM, and her part-time role as a Wellness Advocate at doTerra. Her sense of community, problem-solving skills and drive to make a positive impact are values she carries forward, making her a valuable contributor in her professional and personal endeavours.