Name: Crystal Cha
Course Studied: Studied: BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism, 2011
Studied at: Teesside University, United Kingdom
What brought you to study at Teesside University?
I’m an international student, from Malaysia. I did my Diploma in Mass Communications at the Life College, which has a 2+1 twinning programme with Teesside University. I completed a 2.5 year Diploma and then topped it up with a final year of study at Teesside to graduate with a BA degree.
I had a choice to apply to either Teesside or another university. At that time, Teesside had just been named one of the top modern universities in the UK and was said to have great courses related to the field of study I was interested in pursuing. In addition to Teesside University’s reputation, I also chose it because the cost of living in Middlesbrough is much more affordable compared to closer to London. Most of my Malaysian friends tended to pick London to further their studies, out of familiarity and reputation. I guess I was kind of a rebel and wanted something different that would also allow me to travel and see the scenic North East countryside and Scotland while I was studying.
Did you enjoy your time at Teesside?
Yes – the course was 100% project based and so I am actually applying the practical skills that I have learnt while getting critiqued by real-world practitioners. In the field of communications and media, real-life experience is far more valuable than theory. I had great feedback and mentoring from the lecturers who were actual media practitioners themselves. Their guidance was very helpful in building my self-confidence to excel at what I do.
Middlesbrough is a great location - easy for day trips to Newcastle, York, Whitby, Durham and Edinburgh. And I enjoyed getting to explore a side of the UK that most of my Malaysian friends who studied in London didn’t see. I also enjoyed the Tees Extreme Dance Club.
What are you doing now?
I am marketing communications manager with FrogAsia (a YTL company), based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After graduating I was required to serve a three-year bond with my sponsor company. I spent seven months in YTL’s corporate communications division working primarily on corporate writing and reporting. I transferred to FrogAsia, a new subsidiary to support an ambitious project spearheaded by the Malaysian Ministry of Education to connect all 10,000 public schools throughout East and West Malaysia to a high-speed 4G network and on a single cloud-based virtual learning environment.
FrogAsia has grown from a small team of 5 to almost 70 employees in just two years. Having been there since the company was founded, I have had the privilege (and steep learning curve!) of hand-picking and growing a team from scratch. We have worked closely with product development teams to launch multiple company websites, content portals and integrated service portals geared at different user types, and have developed content strategies and editorial calendars for our target market.
We launched FrogAsia’s Leaps of Knowledge series – inspirational talks, conferences and events modelled on the TEDx series and geared at school students, teachers and parents. And we ran a nationwide online spelling challenge which saw 70,000 students and 2,000 schools (20% of all schools in Malaysia) throughout the country participating.