Melody Song

Name: Melody Song
Age: 31
Nationality: Malaysian

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) (2008) 
Bachelor of Communication (2007)

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

I am currently a Communications Officer at Menzies School of Health Research at Charles Darwin University in Darwin, Australia. In my role I write copy for the institute’s publications, social media, media releases and assist with coordinating events. I also take photos for publications and manage web content.

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

My time at Monash provided me with the necessary theories to form a strong foundation for learning. During my time as a tutor, I also became familiar with university policies and practices, which has come in handy as I’m now currently working at a university.

However, in some respects my time at Monash also didn’t adequately prepare me for the more practical aspects of working in journalism and/or marketing – there was a lot of theory and maybe not enough practical skills, like learning the use of equipment and software, or more hands-on practice with cross-media posting. That said, this was almost 10 years ago and the technology has changed significantly!

While at Monash what type of opportunities did you participate in?

I took the opportunity to participate in the intercampus exchange program in my second year to Monash Gippsland.

During my student exchange year, I was part of the journalism students’ publication, Threshold, while at Monash Gippsland. There, I also participated in a student mentoring program and was the publicity officer of the International Students Association.

In my third year of my degree, I was a returning officer for the student elections. During my Honours year, I also tutored first year journalism students.

When you were choosing a course and a university did you have a clear picture of your future (and if so what was it)?

I had hoped to end up in a career in journalism, which I did. So, it was helpful that I could work towards that goal.

I was lucky to have had lecturers with newsroom experience, though in retrospect they didn’t mention (or I wasn’t paying attention!) the constant stresses and pressures of being a journalist in Malaysia – the pressure to break news fast, cross-media news, social media, and the political/business/advertiser pressures or line to be towed. I enjoyed the practical writing exercises and most of my lecturers were genuinely passionate about teaching and helping us be our best.

I also really enjoyed my Honours year – I had the intellectual stimulation and was challenged by my supervisors to look at things differently. I felt like I was listened to, and that my ideas mattered – this was exciting and made it easy to become passionate about my work. The high point of my Honours year for me was being accepted to present my research findings at an international conference, and to have my paper published in a book alongside other notable academics.

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?  Did it consolidate what you have learnt from your undergraduate course?

There weren’t really opportunities for placement in the journalism/writing course, which was a pity – all the industry experience I got was through my own initiative. However, studying at Monash helped keep more doors open – there’s a certain level of admiration when you say that you’re studying at Monash and people tended to have higher expectations.

What was it about Monash that made you select this university in the first place?

It was close to home, for a start! There were also excellent student exchange opportunities, which I embraced, and the chance to work with academics and experts in their fields. Monash’s high research standards meant students could learn from lecturers with proven research and industry experience.

What do you love most about your student life at Monash?

The best part for me was meeting  the man who is now my husband! We’re now parents to an active and curious toddler, and have moved across Australia for exciting new careers (I’m currently on a balcony in Seville, Spain, overlooking a pool as I’m writing this!).