A stepping stone to a rewarding career in tech marketing
Studying business at the Singapore campus of James Cook University didn’t just give Ms Angie Farah the education she needed to succeed, it also connected her to her first full-time job.
Arriving in Singapore in October 2011, Ms Angie Farah spent the first few months grappling with homesickness.
It was her first time being away from her family in Indonesia. Having enrolled in a Bachelor of Business degree course at the Singapore campus of James Cook University (JCU), she was also adjusting to life at university.
Fortunately, the vibrant campus life soon drew her in and she began to explore student activity groups in areas she was interested in, like volunteering and yoga.
JCU’s community-oriented culture was one of the factors that first attracted Ms Farah to the university, alongside its diverse course offerings and international accreditation. JCU is one of only four universities and business schools in Singapore to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) – an honour held by less than 6 per cent of the world’s tertiary institutions offering business degree programmes.
“Since I was young and exploring my passions, I wanted to have options so that I could choose the right course for my future career,” said Ms Farah, who eventually decided to major in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and International Business. “Studying at JCU helped me to meet people and made me more confident and internationally oriented, which is useful as I am now working with colleagues of different nationalities and backgrounds.”
A BRIDGE INTO THE WORKING WORLD
Besides shaping her academically and professionally, JCU gave Ms Farah a leg up when it came to job hunting.
“I got my first full-time job via JCU’s email updates on available career opportunities,” she recounted. “I was grateful that JCU offered resources to help job-seeking students like myself.”
JCU’s unique trimester structure also allowed Ms Farah to complete her degree in two years – she graduated in 2014 – and enter the workforce earlier than her peers.
Ms Farah, who started out as a sales executive and rose to brand manager in her first workplace, eventually transitioned into the tech marketing sector. Today, she is a team lead at TDCX Singapore, a provider of business process outsourcing services, where she manages 12 team members and provides leadership coaching.
She believes that her JCU education and chosen majors have prepared her well for the workforce.
“I chose to study International Business as one of my majors because Singapore is a global business hub and learning about the core of business is important for any role in a company,” she said. “Hospitality and tourism management skills are also very useful as I now know how to interact with people from different cultures. Combining the two majors gave me confidence and the competencies needed to navigate my career.”
As a team lead, she finds herself relying on skills acquired from the business management classes at JCU, especially when she carries out business analytics and planning for her team to ensure that they meet their goals.
THE SOFT SKILLS TO SUCCEED
Soft skills were an important aspect of Ms Farah’s time at JCU.
She explained: “In my hospitality courses, I learnt what makes good service and how to manage projects. This came in handy when we had a client who was unhappy about his business results. We managed to ease the process of managing his company’s accounts through cultivating a good relationship, and he has since become one of our top clients.”
She cited Dr Jenny Panchal as a lecturer who was especially inspirational. Dr Panchal, who taught Ms Farah in her events management module, coached students on creating successful projects with their own personal flair. “Dr Panchal told us that execution is always the key. Besides having great ideas, we should also have great strategies, the proper implementation and high spirits in order to exceed the planned goal.”
To students who are considering taking up a business degree at JCU, she has some words of advice on making the most of their academic experience: “Prepare yourself to be the best version of you. Learn, seek guidance from seniors and expand your connections, so that when the right opportunity comes along, you are ready to take that chance and achieve whatever you desire.”