Crafting Success: Hailey Chung’s Journey through Taylor’s University

Published by Afterschool.my on Mar 18, 2024, 11:11 am

From unexpected places, a spark of inspiration can ignite the most extraordinary journeys. For Hailey Chung Wee Kye, this journey began amidst the pews of a church, where her passion for media was kindled through diverse roles as a cameraman, video editor and designer.

“My initial experience opened doors beyond the church community, leading me to assist part-time with media projects for corporate and charitable organisations.”

Initially finding solace in writing as an introvert, Hailey transitioned from pen and notebook to writing personal stories on a blog aimed at uplifting and supporting others. Her knowledge of current global affairs also improved due to her father's habit of keeping news channels on television.

The positive reception to her work and the connections formed therein affirmed her aptitude in media-related tasks, propelling her towards her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Mass Communication (Honors) at Taylor’s University. Over the next three years, she diligently crafted her own narrative, honing her skills and shaping her future in the media industry.

Hailey earned a Bachelor of Mass Communication (Honours) with a focus on broadcasting and a minor in journalism through a dual certification programme by Taylor’s University and the University of West England (UWE).

Studying Mass Communication at Taylor’s University

During her university days, Hailey specialised in broadcasting and minored in journalism through a dual certification programme offered jointly by Taylor’s University and the University of West England. Taylor’s University, renowned for its exceptional quality of education, was named the best private university in Malaysia according to the QS World University Rankings 2024.

“When deliberating on my university options, I compared the prospectuses of several local institutions. Despite the higher tuition fees at Taylor’s University, I was attracted to its comprehensive course outline, especially its emphasis on newsroom training,” Hailey says.

Taylor’s University offered abundant facilities that greatly supported Hailey’s academic endeavours, including well-equipped classrooms with iMacs and Windows desktops, a recording studio, broadcast facilities, an experimental theatre, a library, around-the-clock study spaces and breakout areas.

These facilities attracted many ambitious students to expand their horizons at the university. “The large student cohort fostered a vibrant social environment, enabling me to forge meaningful connections. Moreover, my peers’ involvement in part-time work provided opportunities for us to share industry insights and experiences.”

Empowering Minds: The Role of a Lecturer

The quality of lecturers can significantly influence students’ trajectories. Hailey was fortunate to have access to an array of outstanding lecturers who played a pivotal role in inspiring and sharpening her skills. “Mr Rubin Koo and Ms Kalei Joethi, both former journalists, brought valuable real-world experience to our learning environment. They demonstrated a genuine commitment to nurturing the next generation of journalists, emphasising integrity and truth.”

Mr Rubin approached teaching by candidly sharing his past mistakes, serving as a practical guide for the soon-to-be journalists. On the other hand, Ms Kalei collaborated with the public relations lecturers to simulate realistic mock press conferences. These exercises equipped the students with skills to ask pertinent questions and compose news articles under tight deadlines.

Hailey's inclination towards journalism was reinforced by her preference for non-fiction, especially documentaries and knowledge-based literature, over fictional works.

In Hailey’s final semester, she had the opportunity to learn from Mr Justin Gerard Victor in the Reporting for New Media course. “I was working part-time at BFM during that time and struggled a bit with the work-study balance, but Mr Victor consistently showed interest in my professional development at the radio station.”

Upon Hailey’s graduation, their paths crossed again as she was involved in producing a documentary on suicide prevention. It was then that she learned Mr Victor served as the chairman of Befrienders Kuala Lumpur, a non-profit organisation providing a 24/7 helpline for those in distress.

Life beyond the lecture halls

Hailey's active involvement in extracurricular activities at Taylor’s University showcased her commitment to holistic development and seizing diverse opportunities. She served as the assistant director of design for the university’s magazine club and contributed to establishing Taylor’s Pay It Forward, an initiative to assist underprivileged students. What’s more, she worked part-time at the career services centre and tutored IELTS students to supplement her income as a B40 student.

“During my time at the career services centre, frequent interactions with counsellors motivated me to pursue internship opportunities proactively rather than waiting for designated semesters.”

Consequently, during the summer break of her second year, she secured an internship with the office of the Subang Jaya state assemblyman, YB Hannah Yeoh, as Subang Jaya coincided with Taylor’s University’s location. Subsequently, during her mandatory internship period for her degree, the career services team supported her in securing a position with BFM Radio, where she received an ‘excellent’ overall performance rating and an ‘extremely satisfied’ appraisal from her employer.

“Achieving an ‘A’ grade for my internship significantly bolstered my confidence in transitioning to the industry, a testament to the preparation provided by Taylor’s University.”

During her degree internship, Hailey secured a position at BFM Radio with support from the career services team.

Navigating the Workforce with Purpose

Hailey’s journey at Taylor’s University, along with her experiences before embarking on a full-time career, has been eventful. She has acquired many valuable skills that have proven instrumental in shaping her career. One that she singled out was the spirit of volunteerism.

“While some may approach tasks with a sense of obligation or to meet requirements, I've developed a genuine willingness to contribute and go the extra mile. This positive outlook has been crucial in my career journey, allowing me to enthusiastically tackle challenges.”

Taylor’s University’s active approach in inviting industry representatives to campus, engaging with students and hosting informative talks has greatly enhanced the positive perception employers hold of its graduates. This concerted effort underscores the university's dedication to equipping graduates with real-world experiences, positioning them as highly valued candidates in the job market. As a result of this commitment and Hailey's experience of working while studying, she received job offers even before her graduation in August 2017.

Currently, Hailey serves as the Manager of Content & Investment Advisor at CGS International, a stockbroking firm. “Although I initially aspired to pursue a career in journalism, particularly focusing on social welfare issues, my journey guided me towards financial journalism and eventually into the finance industry,” she reflects.

Now, she aims to use her experience to assist young individuals and the less privileged enhance their financial literacy. Her goal is to empower them to confidently navigate the intricacies of personal finance.

At Taylor's University, Hailey cultivated a genuine volunteer spirit, where she enthusiastically approaches tasks and goes the extra mile.

Seizing Opportunities: Advice for Taylor’s University Students

Hailey holds her alma mater in high regard, grateful for the role it played in her life. She understands that a student's journey at university is not only academic growth but also personal and professional development.

“For prospective Taylor’s University students, my advice is to maximise available resources while balancing fun and productivity. Connect with students from various cohorts, faculties and backgrounds to enrich your experience.”

She also urges students to proactively explore the multitude of grants provided by corporate bodies and government agencies. “These opportunities are yours for the taking, so seize them and make the most of your university experience.”



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