James Foo Kok Chye
Name: James Foo Kok Chye
Master of Communications and Media Studies (2016)
Bachelor of Business and Commerce (Econs) (2006)
Can you tell us briefly about your work or role in your current organisation?
As Director of a specialist public relations firm, I am responsible for the timely production of content for corporate publications like annual reports, corporate profiles and other marketing collateral. Much of my work revolves around comprehending the unique requirements and business profiles of my clients, and then working closely with them to determine how best to present their companies to their stakeholders on both the domestic and global platforms.
Has your study in Monash Malaysia helped to prepare you for the working world and if so, how?
I undertook my studies for the Master of Communications and Media Studies after several years of serving in various capacities in the banking and finance industry, including corporate communicator, economic analyst and business development manager. Whilst each of these functions require different sets of skills, the ability to communicate effectively and efficiently was the common denominator and indeed, a crucial determinant for success in the workplace. My Master’s Degree exposed me to the theoretical frameworks underpinning communications in the real world, giving me new insights into how to communicate more effectively with people across all strata of society.
You first graduated with a degree in business and commerce. Why did you decide to pursue a master’s in communication and media studies?
I have always been interested in good communication practices, especially after my tenure in a leading banking group’s public affairs team where I was exposed to event management, speechwriting, and the production of publications like newsletters, press releases and annual reports. This interest intensified as I continued to undertake communications-centric responsibilities in my career and church life.
Did you take the research route for the MCMS and if so, can you briefly share what your research was about?
Yes, my research was on crisis communications in the Malaysian aviation industry, effectively studying the crisis-communications efforts undertaken by Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia in response to the air tragedies that afflicted the two airlines in recent years. This research utilised textual analysis as its method, with public comments on both airlines’ official Facebook pages being analysed to arrive at a measure of their crisis response effectiveness.
How was your learning experience at Monash?
Challenging yet exciting, as I was exposed to new learning material and methods that enabled me to better appreciate different perspectives and ways of doing things.
What type of opportunities did you participate in at Monash?
I was Chairperson of Meetings in the Monash University Student Council, Writer on the Monash University Editorial Board, and Active Member of the Monash Business Club.
Do you have any advice for current Monash Malaysia students?
Keep pressing on in whatever you do. It’s easy to entertain thoughts of giving up when the going gets tough, but nothing in life worth having comes easy. Your hard work, sacrifice and perseverance would not be for naught.