My Malaysian Heritage: Understanding, Respect & an Open Mind
Growing up in Malaysia greatly impacted how I move through life. From a young age, I observed and studied the practices of other cultural celebrations around me, which in turn, gave me the chance to adopt and understand differentiating aspects of cultures. When I think of my culture, I think of all the diversity I grew up around with friends and neighbors from Malaysia, China, India and other countries, each having their own religious beliefs. I’m proud of how we coexist peacefully with understanding, acceptance, respect and a constant encouragement to open our minds.
Understanding & Acceptance
I didn’t realize how much the understanding and acceptance I cultivated for those with diverse backgrounds would serve me in my life, especially working for a global company like Jabil with peers and customers from every region. Also, as a professional golfer for eight years, I had the chance to interact with competitors from around the world. This further provided opportunities for me to be around people not like me, learn about them, and accept them as their authentic selves.
Reflecting back on my being raised in the ways of Buddhism, we believe our mind is the source of our own happiness and that helping others is the best way to move through the world. If we respect others, we show care and compassion for them. Whether it’s opponents, coaches, fans, colleagues or customers, respect is key above all else.
From supporting my colleagues to serving our customers, helping others is fundamental to both my personal life and my career. Coming from an athletic background, I had to work twice as hard to catch up on my knowledge of the business. What I lacked in experience, I made up for with work ethic and my drive to help others. I wanted the whole team, our customers, and the business to succeed. I worked hard to be the best that I could be because I care about helping my team - I respect them.
I put this philosophy of pushing myself to broaden my mind to the test when I went from being a professional golfer to pursuing a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). I was taking the experience of being open to diverse cultures from my childhood and turning it into being open to diverse experiences, pushing myself to learn about things I wasn’t familiar with yet.
I still practice keeping an open mind in all I do whether that’s as a mother to my child who’s exploring the world to collaborating with diverse customers and peers to how I approach my leadership style.
When I think now of my Malaysian culture, it gives me a sense of belonging – I am reminded of who I am, as well as where I came from.