Please tell us more about yourself.
My name is Melissa and I am currently a Year 3 SOSS student doing a double major in Sociology and Arts and Culture Management. When I'm not nose-deep in notes, I spend my time at the beach with my headphones plugged in and kindle in hand. Occasionally, I enjoy letting my hair down and having a fun night out. When I absolutely have to, I can be found running (read: jogging) on a treadmill at the SMU gym. Also a strong believer of giving back, I do volunteer work both overseas and locally.
What are some of the opportunities you have been given in SOSS/SMU?
I am extremely fortunate to have been given many opportunities here at SMU that have helped me develop holistically.
In Year 1, I led an Overseas Community Service Project to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. There, we offered our services through teaching basic English at a local orphanage as well as building a shelter for the villagers living in Takeo Province. Leading the trip was definitely no easy task – my co-leader and I had to plan the trip, recruit members, and manage finances – but with great guidance, we managed to pull it off and it was definitely rewarding! Such an opportunity definitely helped to hone my leadership and communication skills.
In Year 2, I was appointed the Vice-President (Membership) of SMU Toastmasters. There, not only did I manage to improve my public speaking skills, but as Vice-President of Membership, through having to recruit new members, I also learnt the basics of marketing (which definitely helped me in landing my first internship).
In my second semester of Year 2, I took a class on Post-Modern Theatre Studies. That was extremely exciting, as I never imagined I would be able to relive my theatre days here at university through a module! We worked together with students from ITE Central and Republic Polytechnic to put on 4 sell-out shows, and saw all the late nights we invested pay off in the end.
I have also been given the opportunity to head to Spain for my exchange programme next semester, something I am very much looking toward to!
Tell us about your internship / exchange / OCSP experience.
I recently concluded my 3-month internship programme at Ketchum, a public relations firm. It being my first internship, it was there that I was introduced to the world of Public Relations.
The learning curve was definitely steep – in three months, I went from knowing close to nothing about public relations, to being able to put together media monitoring and coverage reports, drafting by-lines, writing press releases, and crafting briefing documents. While still not an expert, hopefully I will get there!
It was a fruitful three months, but I now understand what they mean when they say working life is tiring! There truly is nothing like being in school!
What are your plans and goals for the future?
Public Relations is something I have known I wanted to do since I was 15; I have always enjoyed working with people. Now having completed my first internship, I have never been surer.
Post-graduation, I hope to move overseas (ideally Australia or Europe) to continue working in this field. The end-goal would be to build up a wide enough network which would allow me to do this freelance, allowing me to work with many different clients on a wide array of projects.
Do you have any advice for prospective students who are considering SOSS, SMU?
There is so much more to university life than just “mugging”.
This is the best chance to network, and meet people from all over the world! It is also the last chance to enjoy being a student before you enter the life of adulthood.
Last updated on 13 Sep 2017 .