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A world view

A world view

By Andrea de Souza


Michael Chin has extensive legal and business experience across Australia, China, the US, the UK, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. He has legal qualifications and professional experience across the Australian, US and Chinese legal jurisdictions. Besides being multilingual, he also has experience in financial services, business development and PPSA compliance. He was formerly the head of the Asia practice for a Melbourne-based law firm, and had spent time at Accenture, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Bank. His current focus is on growing his corporate and commercial skills and networks across Australia, China and the ASEAN region. In his own words, he’s a “bridge builder” – building connections between countries and people. Was there a particular moment or experience that inspired you to do international work? In 1996, I won the British High Commissioner's Chevening Award to pursue an MBA at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. This was the first step in my international career, as the scholarship opened many doors. Following a successful international career in corporate finance and consulting, I then pursued my childhood dream of studying law and completed the JD Program at Monash University. I was the recipient of the 2012 Prime Minister's Australia Asia Award which enabled me to study at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and to work with global law firms in China. This experience showed me the importance of US laws in Asia. This in turn led me to read a Master of Laws (International & Comparative Laws) at the University of Chicago Law School. What are some of the key ingredients that best enabled you to practise international work? It is essential to have an open mind, and be flexible and adaptable. Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed. Things will get tough, but be joyful and thankful always, in good and bad situations. Have a spirit of humility and a spirit of curiosity – be willing to learn from anyone and everyone and be inquisitive. What was the best/most challenging part of your international work? The most challenging part is being regularly away from family and friends. I even skyped with my dog. You have to learn ways to maintain connections and the use of technology nowadays has made communication easier. The best parts include the opportunity to bring people together, and being able to stretch yourself when meeting new challenges. Moving to new places makes you more resilient and more flexible. You learn a lot of soft skills living in foreign environments and it teaches you to be better, to grow in skills, resilience and capabilities.

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