Meet the Future Leaders of British American Tobacco Malaysia

By Ahmed Wafi

Three bright young Global Graduates have taken their first step in BATM’s renowned Global Graduate Programme that will see them take the fast track to accelerate their career growth once they complete the 18-month-long programme

Competition to be enrolled into British American Tobacco (BAT) Malaysia’s world-renowned Global Graduate Programme has always been very tight with many graduates flocking from universities around the world for a chance to join one of Malaysia’s Most Preferred FMCG employers.

The Global Graduate Programme is designed for those willing to put in the extra mile and who are more courageous, more resourceful, more adaptable and willing to stand up for their own ideas. It’s tough, fast-paced and it will stretch you to the limit.

The 18-month rotational programme will see talent explore the different facets of the business, what it takes to run the company as well as get first-hand experience into what it’s like to make a multi-billion-dollar company like BAT that operates in 180 countries worldwide employing over 55,000 worldwide tick. From close to 2,000 applications, only three talent were chosen to go on this career-changing journey that will transform them from bright, young talent to energetic, extraordinary leaders. Here are your BAT’s 2021 Global Graduates.

Amanda Gan
23-year-old First-Class Honours Business graduate from the University of Nottingham, Amanda Gan is an avid foodie with a passion for reading life stories. Her favourite being that of Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates. In his book ‘Principles’, Dalio highlights the importance of developing meaningful relationships as his primary goal in life. Connected by the same virtue, Amanda looks to foster meaningful relationships while contributing to the meaningful work and projects at BAT.

Lim Ker Ryn Ker Ryn is a Psychology and Marketing graduate from Monash University Malaysia. She has a year of experience in the e-commerce industry and is known amongst her circle as being a vibrant individual fuelled by passion. She loves challenges and is super excited to bring fresh ideas to the table as she embarks on her journey at BAT.

Pua Yen Li
After graduating with a Marketing Degree from Newcastle University in 2020, Yen Li went on to intern at a multinational digital marketing agency under the Social Media and Outreach department before going into freelance work. Yen Li also carries with her experience as an e-Commerce Manager at a local organisation. Not bad for a fresh graduate.

GRADUAN® caught up with these exceptional talent that will be starting their first day in BAT's Marketing Team to find out their expectations going into their latest role and what they hope to achieve.

How does it feel to be the only three recruited Global Graduates of 2021?
Amanda: I’m definitely excited to be part of a company with such a huge global footprint. From an early point, I loved the culture at BAT and I knew in an instant that my values and goals were perfectly aligned with the ethos at BAT. As excited as I am, it feels special and surreal to be a new addition to BAT's huge family consisting of 55,000 members, spread across 180 countries. As cliché as it sounds, BAT is an environment where I can truly be myself and I can’t wait to get started!

Ker Ryn: It’s a dream come true! This feat gives me the drive to step out of my comfort zone, and to perform the best that I can! I can’t wait to be part of the transformative drive and to be part of the initiative to bring the organisation to new heights. I also can’t wait to work alongside the other two Global Graduates as well as to learn and grow with one another.

Yen Li: Till this day it still feels unbelievable that I am one of the three Global Graduate of 2021. I feel extremely proud of myself to make it this far and of course I am extremely excited to embark on this next journey ahead with BAT!

Why do you think you were chosen to be a Global Graduate and how do you think your strengths will contribute to the organisation?
Amanda: During the recruitment process, it is important to showcase you are equally capable of working independently and in team settings. However, I believe compatibility played a huge role in my successful application at BAT. As mentioned, my assumptions, values and beliefs were perfectly aligned with BAT’s ethos. I truly believe when there is compatibility, synergy is created and values are added to the organisation.

Ker Ryn: I strongly believe that passion drives a person. It fuels us with the energy to constantly want to do better in what we believe in. I think I was chosen as one of BAT’s Global Graduates because I have a strong passion towards people and how I can make an impact. This passion gives me that fire to keep learning and to be open to change and improvement. I also believe my past experiences and achievements have equipped me with the leadership and communication skills to see things from different perspectives, which I believe can also contribute to the organisation.

Yen Li: I think one of the main reasons I was chosen would be my confidence and curiosity to take on new experiences. Throughout the interview, I constantly showed how keen I was for the opportunity and also at the same time I presented the best version of myself. With these particular strengths, I will be able to contribute to the company as I am always ready to take on new challenges and gain new experiences along the way.

What are your career aspirations and how will BAT help you achieve them?
Amanda: My career aspiration is to be a ‘change agent’. No matter what project I will be working on at BAT, I know that I will be working towards the betterment of the company that translates into the society. Earlier last year, BAT took a huge step to pivot its business model and purpose by reducing the health impact of its business by exploring different spaces beyond nicotine. My parents have always instilled in me the importance of working for the greater good. Beginning with my time at BAT, I hope to enact a lasting, positive change.

Ker Ryn: My career aspiration is to pioneer a better and more integrated shopping experience for consumers. I believe in the importance of integrating digital resources for a smoother consumer journey and that BAT will be a great place to learn and to explore this goal. BAT is constantly investing into technology which translates to a digital transformation of the market. Being in BAT, I believe I will be given the opportunity to lead projects and to come up with solutions, which can further sharpen my knowledge and understanding of this industry.

Yen Li: My current career aspiration is as simple as to be able to work in a global company. I am proud to say that I manage to achieve this goal with the help of BAT. Moving forward with one step at a time, I am looking to climb the corporate ladder as I advance past the Global Graduate programme.

What advice would you give fresh graduates struggling to start their careers during these times?
Amanda: Like any other graduate, I was under tremendous pressure and anxiety when it came to the uncertainty regarding employment prospects. Whilst it might be hard to stay positive, know that there is definitely a job for everyone so do not compare your journey to others. What really worked for me was thinking optimistically and having a clear direction of what I wanted. It really helped me focus on finding the right opportunity and channelling my energy there. Hence, landing me my dream job at BAT.

Ker Ryn: My favourite quote – “Be the change you wish to see in this world” - Mahatma Ghandi. This has constantly pushed me forward ever since I was young. I always believed we need to take that very first step to change, to progress and to improve.

As a fresh graduate, it is really important to equip yourself with the right knowledge and skill sets. Especially now when we are all staying at home most of the time, pick up a new skill, start an online course or join workshops. You will learn more about yourself and you will be able to see things from a broader perspective. From there, take the courage to apply for roles that you see growth in. Whether big or small, just take that first step and it will guide you to the path of success. Most importantly, believe in yourself, and that change starts with you.

Yen Li: As a fresh graduate I know the struggle of choosing and picking the right company that you feel motivated to work in and also the struggle of going through rounds and rounds of interviews with the possibility of getting rejected multiple times haunting you. My advice is to just keep going and really be patient. Eventually you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

From what we heard from the Global Graduates, it’s safe to say that the future of BAT is in good hands. And if you’re looking to kickstart your career with British American Tobacco, watch this space to see when the applications to the programme will open!

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