Bridging the gap between cultures: Maxer Lye - Choose Brisbane

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Bridging the gap between cultures: Maxer Lye

Maxer Lye

By Maxer Lye

Having studied in Brisbane since his youth, Maxer has used his skills to work with Chinese manufacturers and Australian importers and retailers.

Name: 

Maxer Lye

Country:

Singapore

Degree and institution:

Bachelor of Arts with an International Relations Extended Major, alongside multiple language electives at the University of Queensland

Current career: 

Maxer works with Chinese manufacturers and Australian importers and retailers.

Brisbane in a sentence: 

“Brisbane, to me, is the most Australian place in Australia.”

Maxer’s Brisbane journey:

Maxer Lye lived and studied in Brisbane from the age of 14, where he attended both middle and high school, before returning to Singapore at age 18 to fulfil his national service obligations in the Navy. However, he couldn’t stay away and in 2014 Maxer returned to Brisbane and enrolled at the University of Queensland, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2018.

“I work with Chinese manufacturers and Australian importers and retailers. A job that has me ostensibly based in China, but its scope often sends me flying around the globe to attend international trade fairs and conferences, as well as seeing to business meetings and sales presentations,” Maxer says.

“My day-to-day activities vary incredibly. Sometimes I’ll spend an entire day working on a product catalogue with a team of designers, and other times I’ll be making sales calls from dawn ‘til dusk.”

Maxer says the most interesting part of his career - which coincides with what he experienced as a Brisbane International Student Ambassador - is being able to build close relationships with people from all walks of life, and from different countries and cultures.

“My language studies in Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and French at the University of Queensland, combined with my native fluency in English and Mandarin Chinese, greatly helped me to bridge the gap between cultures. Something as simple as saying, ‘Hello, how are you?’ in someone’s native tongue can make a world of difference in building important relationships,” Maxer says.

His focus on international relations throughout his degree uniquely equipped him to understand the socio-cultural nuances in different countries, which he says has allowed him to not only act appropriately, but also take advantage of his deeper understanding of a client’s cultural background to better deliver on their needs.

“Studying in Brisbane, a city where people from all walks of life and from all cultures congregate to live, study, and work together, has undoubtedly refined my skills and equipped me with the know-how to act in international scenarios.”

Prior to coming to Brisbane, Maxer says he had little opportunity to meet with people from such a diverse pool of backgrounds, much less speak with them or get to know them.

Being in Brisbane from such a young age embedded him with a deep sense of multicultural understanding, and instilled in him the importance of international cohesion.

Maxer Lye

While studying at the University of Queensland, Maxer often participated in activities with the Boxing Club and assisted with day-to-day training and recruitment of new members. Later, he was appointed as the club’s social convener and organised activities such as its annual dinner.

Maxer also worked with fellow club executives to bring back inter-university boxing competitions and exhibitions with other Brisbane institutions, such as the Queensland University of Technology.

“My favourite thing to do in Brisbane is to get up and go on an impromptu 30- to 45-minute drive to a nearby beach, waterfall, or mountaintop for a dip in the ocean, to jump off a cliff into rock pools below, or hike up towards the peak of a mountain,” Maxer says.

“Brisbane just makes the great outdoors incredibly accessible, and there’s so much natural beauty within reach.”

Maxer Lye

Maxer frequently revisits Brisbane, coming back to the city as much as three to four times a year, and staying here for as long as six months to a year.

“I have many business partners in Brisbane, and I work with local producers and warehouses to establish a strong international supply chain between China and Australia. Bamboo furniture comes in, and organic Australian beef goes out,” he says.

To potential future students thinking about coming to study in Australia, Maxer would heartily recommend Brisbane.

“Sydney might be the ‘business capital’ of Australia, Melbourne might claim to be the ‘cultural capital’, and Canberra is, well, the official capital. But Brisbane? Brisbane is the capital of gorgeous white sand beaches, lofty and serene waterfalls, and rolling mountains filled with peacefully grazing cattle, all at once,” he says.

“It is the capital of the good old-fashioned Aussie barbecue on a lazy Sunday spent gazing up at the baby blue sky.

“Brisbane, to me, is the most Australian place in Australia.”

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