GRADUATION often means the start of job hunting, but for Monash University Malaysia student Ronald Chuah, it marked the start of an adventure that has taken him from the campus to an exciting job and Switzerland.
Chuah, who graduated with a Bachelor of Computer Science in September, is undergoing a two-month training stint at the headquarters of his new employer, AGB Nielsen Media Research, in Lugano, Switzerland.
AGB Nielsen is an international media research firm that specialises in providing analysis of people's television viewing habits through its Television Audience Measurement (TAM) services.
This information is then used by television and advertising executives to plan programmes and advertisement campaigns.
The firm distributes its TV ratings to more than 4,000 users across four continents and has programmers who continuously modify or update the firm’s software.
“Technologically, it is a challenging task as complex software is used to analyse the data gathered by the TAM machines to create usable information,” said Chuah.
“The processed data is then provided to advertising firms to plan and gauge audience response to advertisements,” he added.
Chuah said the foundation in Computer Science he gained at Monash University helps him in his current work at AGB Nielsen, which includes customising software modules and developing new features to make software more effective or easier to use.
“We use state-of-the-art tools to customise our software for individual markets, or add new capabilities,” he said.
According to Chuah, a foundation in computer science facilitates better understanding of computer systems as opposed to a general understanding of Information Technology.
“People think Computer Science is IT, but it is not.
“Computer Science covers the theoretical and practical aspects of computing and its applications.”
Monash University’s emphasis on industry certifications also gave students an extra advantage when it came to job hunting.
“These certifications add to the skills acquired by students, and make their education more complete,” said Chuah.
“What's more, these industry certifications are recognised in the world.”
The workshop, entitled Techniques in Molecular Morphology, Imaging, Gene Expression and Behavioural Analysis, was attended by 28 participants from local and foreign universities.
Leading neuroscientist and Monash Malaysia’s director of research Prof Ishwar Parhar, who opened the workshop, said that there should be more research and training collaborations between universities in Malaysia and abroad as these would strengthen Malaysia’s position as a centre of education.
“We should develop stronger educational ties with other countries at the institutional level.
“Our aim is to share some of the technical expertise available at our laboratory with researchers,” he said.
Prof Parhar and his team of researchers - Dr Tomoko Soga, Dr Takashi Kitahashi and Dr Satoshi Ogawa - are carrying out research in neuroscience at Monash Malaysia.
The workshop was sponsored by technical and health sciences firms Eppendorf, Hi-Tech Instruments Sdn Bhd, Neuroscience Inc, Intelgene Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd and GE Healthcare.