Beauty and Brains
Mon, 2010-11-22 15:19 — admin
Who'd have guessed that beneath a Miu Miu-carrying exterior, lies a financial brain that literally whizzes around the dollars and cents? No one, because Melissa Tan is a girl full of surprises. She is about to take the financial world by its horns and foray into where the money is... all in a pair of four-inch heels.
Melissa Tan, 23, is not what anyone would expect. Well-dressed and well-turned out to the very smallest detail, she is soft spoken, but not the least bit shy. She walks as if she'd been born in heels, and she is a girl who knows what she wants in life and in her career.
Born to parents who are both in the manufacturing business, Melissa is a KL-girl through and through. The eldest of four, she has backpacked through China on a shoestring budget, lived on her own and found her calling in a field many may see as boring, or tedious.
And she has a plan for herself.
Currently in the UK pursuing her Masters degree in Economics and Development in the famed Oxford University, she is focused and determined to make her career in investment banking.
"All this while I've been very interested in different business ideas. The very nature of the course I am taking - using economic tools in development -helps me to do this. I intend to specialise in corporate finance, as it will give me a lot of exposure to different industries. Corporate finance is about helping organisations find capital or get financing, so it gives me a lot of exposure and networking opportunities Nothing else would give me the kind of exposure I want," she said.
She could easily follow in her parents' footsteps, but this far-thinking lass wants more.
"My parents are in the manufacturing industry, they run a business manufacturing mattresses," she explained. "I've always thought of joining the family business, but it limits me in a way. Once I start I may be in it forever!
"I want to give myself the exposure and see the world."
Her opportunity came knocking when two of her Norwegian friends piqued her interest in backpacking.
"Me and four friends - two Norwegians, one of them my best friend in university, a Singaporean girl and another fellow Malaysian (my best friend) - backpacked through China for a month earlier this year, in May, mostly in the Southern region, covering over 14 provinces in just one month. Yunnan, Szechuan, Hunan... It was challenging!
"It was quite a struggle, as transportation was expensive because we went to so many regions. The reason why I just started backpacking was because two of my Norwegian friends had already backpacked around the Asian region and it sparked my interest. I was on a year's break as well. I wanted to be part of that adventure, and since I wasn't working yet, it was the perfect timing."
The timing was, in fact, perfect not be design, but by a missed opportunity in disguise.
"I had a gap year because I had not realised that most of the jobs I was looking at in London required me to apply one year ahead. I had missed all the deadlines and so I couldn't get the jobs I wanted. But instead of wasting the year, I took that time to do research on the job I wanted and travel."
She also has plans, ultimately, to run her own business.
"One of my long-term objectives is to build my own company. I am not sure yet, but I am looking to look into something along the lines of corporate finance consultation.
"I want to take control of my financial security and so my business will have to be profitable!" she joked.
But all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl, so she knows how to have a good time too.
"People ask me what my hobby is! But I never have an answer except that I love to let loose, let my hair down and have fun! I enjoy a good night's out, couple of drinks with friends," she said.
"I very much enjoy living by myself, the freedom that comes with living on my own. I like to go out and have a good time, but I don't want to get my parents worried when I come home late sometimes. But oddly enough, I am more disciplined living on my own. It came naturally to me; I would know how to prioritise, I know my 'job' in the UK is to study. I will get things I need to get done, done!"
With a clear goal in mind, a firm belief in her abilities, Melissa is certainly going places. And yes, maybe in a Louboutin.