When Mr Jin Keng was pursuing his undergraduate studies at the Singapore campus of James Cook University, he was able to learn from professors from various countries such as Australia and China. He also had many opportunities to collaborate on projects with classmates from Myanmar, Thailand, Australia, Vietnam, China and India.
The 26-year-old, who graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Majoring in International Business and Management) from James Cook University early last year and completed his studies at the Singapore campus, says that having an international exposure has prepared him well to assimilate quickly into a multinational corporation and enabled him to work collaboratively across teams.
He is currently a performance activation executive at one of the world’s leading digital performance marketing companies, iProspect, where he manages multimedia campaigns for a multinational software client across 11 Asian markets.
At JCU, Mr Keng was vice-president of the Mateship programme that provides a peer support system and functions as the orientation team which welcomes hundreds of freshmen every trimester. Meeting people from all walks of life helped him to develop strong communication skills and gave him the opportunity to forge life-long friendships with people from different courses, across cultures and with interests. Being a key member of the orientation team also helped to build his organisational, design and planning skills.
“These are transferable skills which I acquired outside of the school’s curriculum,” he says.
Learning from different perspectives
On the academic front, Mr Keng enjoyed learning about global markets through team projects in various business modules and studying case studies from all over the world.
“Through these team projects, I was able to immerse in the working styles of classmates from various countries,” he says. “It was exciting to explore thought processes from different perspectives.”
For instance, he found it interesting to work on a case study about product marketing strategies and his team debated the pros and cons about using the same message worldwide, adapting to local communication styles or reinventing new products for the foreign market.
He says: “By studying different strategies employed by international brands like McDonalds and Dove, I learnt that we have to be aware of cultural and environmental differences to discover opportunities that best represent a brand while allowing the business to stay relevant and inspiring in today’s interconnected world.”
He credits JCU’s lecturers for inspiring him to help him broaden his mindset as they go beyond the curriculum to share what it means to be a global citizen.
“One of my lecturers, Ms Virginia Wu, who has an extensive background in hotel management, says that humility and pride are key things that any professional should uphold. In that sense, she has helped me build a certain resilience in my attitude to overcome challenges and not to take things for granted.”
Making the right choices to excel
As Mr Keng has always been interested in a marketing and advertising career, he chose to major in International Business and Management at JCU.
“This field suits my hunger to learn, discover and play with endless strategies that can influence positive actions,” he says.
“I like that the Business modules emphasised on modern sustainable business practices and corporate responsibility towards stakeholders and our environment with a global twist to them. Enrolling in these majors made me feel confident to thrive in a connected world,” he adds.
Looking back, enrolling at JCU has proven to be the right choice for Mr Keng as he feels he has become more confident in navigating an increasingly interconnected business landscape. He recalls being convinced by the relevance of the modules that would prepare him for building a career in a multinational setting. It also helped that the university’s trimester system allowed him to complete his degree in two years with accredited courses led by international lecturers and professors.
His supervisor, Ms Kimmy Koh, director of client activation at iProspect is impressed by his positive attitude and hunger to learn more.
“His enthusiasm at work shows that he is passionate about learning and improving himself,” she says. “His strength is his patience and being good at following up on his day-to-day tasks.”
Visit www.jcu.edu.sg/courses-and-study/courses/course/bachelor-of-business for more information on the Bachelor of Business offered at James Cook University.