Chong Ai Rene

Name: Chong Ai Rene
Age: 26
Nationality: Malaysian

Masters of Communication and Media Studies (2014)
Bachelor of Arts (2012)

Tell us briefly about your work or role in your current organisation.

I am currently not attached to any organisation on a full-time basis. I have been working with IMG on a freelance basis since 2012. I am in charge of the media, PR and social media aspect of their tennis tournament, Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur. In 2015, the tournament moved to Chengdu, China and I resumed my role as the Media Manager for the event. I will also be flying to Shenzhen, China later this December for another tennis tournament by IMG.

My role is to assist the Media Director on all media related matters such as press conferences, press releases, photo shoots, media monitoring and more.

Besides that, I am also a contributing writer for DiscoverSG, a lifestyle website on the mission to discover the most fun and exciting things happening in Singapore.

How has your study in Monash Malaysia helped prepare you for the working world?

Being a journalism major, I was able to see things from the media's perspective. I could understand their needs when pursuing a story or when covering an event. I was able to use that sense of empathy to smoothen the communication between IMG and the press.

Besides that, cross-cultural communication is something the School of Arts emphasised a lot on. Studying in a diverse environment has made me more culturally sensitive and open-minded when it comes to something new or foreign.  I have also learned to see things from different perspectives and school of thoughts.

How has the master qualification helped you?

The master qualification has contributed greatly to my career. As I am involved in the sports industry,  I chose to write my dissertation on Fantasy Football, an online game based on the real-time results of the English Premier League. Through this thesis, I developed a better understanding of the sports consumers in Malaysia and was able to apply some of my findings at work.  

Also, to complete my thesis, I interviewed several key personalities of the industry and was able to expand my contact list. Today, I still receive emails from my interviewees inviting me to join their projects and some of them have become my clients.

Why did you choose to further your studies?

After completing my degree, I felt that there was so much more to learn about communications and media studies. I wanted to further my research on audiences, communication practices, and issues in international communications.

I then came across the Masters in Communication and Media Studies program which I thought was the perfect post-graduate program for me as it would be useful for my career.

What advice would you give to fresh young graduates looking for a masters qualification?

It can get a little hectic when it comes to time management but as long as you plan your schedule well, you'll be able to cope with it.

Also, if you have a topic of interest, or something that you'd like to further research on, doing a masters qualification is a great way to fulfill that desire to learn more.

Whilst at Monash, did you have any industry exposure/placements? How has it made a difference to your own life or the life of others around you? 

While I was doing Sports Journalism (a journalism unit), I was very lucky to receive media credentials from several sports event namely the Malaysian Open and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Awards in 2011. In the following year, I was offered jobs by both organisations (IMG and AFC). It has definitely opened my eyes and changed the way I view the industry. Besides that, I also did an internship with a German company during my semester break.  I was in charge of two of their CSR programs. One of it was the Young Environmental Envoy competition. It was inspiring to meet people my age who were putting a lot of effort in contributing to a greener earth.