NTU WKWSCI: Engage is an outreach initiative that serves as a platform for Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information (WKWSCI) students to engage with the communications industry. Through partnerships with key industry players and alumni, students with leadership potential are given opportunities to connect with leading professionals and go beyond the classroom for situated learning. By equipping them with the necessary skills, insights and opportunities, the committee purposes to help WKWSCI students gain inside access to the industry and excel in their communication pursuits.
By students, for students, NTU WKWSCI: Engage is advised by Ms. Wong Pei Wen, a lecturer at the WKW School.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@wkwsci.engage) to connect with us and keep up to date on our programmes and activities.
A Message from the Committee:
WKWSCI is committed to nurturing a future generation of highly adaptable communication leaders who can take up global challenges both within and outside of the communication industry. In line with the school’s mission, NTU WKWSCI: Engage is led by an executive committee of student leaders from the WKW School who have a passion to shape the future of communication through continued education and collaboration.
Founded in 2016, the committee has since partnered with leading communication agencies, secured valuable networking opportunities with industry practitioners, and organised an inaugural communication-centered conference to keep our students on the frontiers of industry developments.
Now in its fourth iteration, the Engage committee has reimagined its suite of offerings to include student engagement events, industry mentorship programmes, and a thought leadership resource bank.
The Big Scoop
On 8th September 2019, we held our annual launch event, The Big Scoop. The Big Scoop provides a platform for final-year WKW students who have completed their professional internships to share insights and experiences, helping juniors gain a better understanding of the industry.
This year, 200 students attended our panel discussions and mingling sessions, hosted by over 40 seniors representing more than 35 companies within the communication industry.
Please click the link here to browse photos from the event.
Industry Mentor Programme
Our newly-launched initiative, the Industry Mentor Programme, ran across the month of October. The programme seeks to connect students to industry mentors and alumni, building a culture of mentorship and increasing the visibility of WKWSCI and its students within the industry.
The Engage committee secured a total of 37 mentor partnerships, including coffee chats, workshops, and job shadowing opportunities, with 26 reputable companies across the PR and Advertising industry. The programme received 170 sign-ups from WKWSCI undergraduates, who gained the opportunity to engage with and learn from seasoned industry practitioners on a more intimate front.
We would like to give a special thanks to the mentors who generously offered their time and expertise for the programme. Please click here to find a comprehensive list of organisations and individuals who were involved.
Our Mentor Partners
As part of the Industry Mentor Programme, Mentor Day gives students an exclusive opportunity for an agency tour and intimate networking sessions with leading companies in the industry.
This year, 67 WKWSCI undergraduates were kindly brought on a tour of renowned companies IPG, McCANN and TBWA\ to delve deeper into their work and industry insights.
Please click the link here to browse our photo albums from Mentor Day.
Engage with NTU WKWSCI
This year, The Engage with NTU WKWSCI initiative extends from past conferences which featured themes including "Harnessing Technology in Communication", and "Navigating the Digital Economy: Storytelling, Trends and Millenials". As part of our efforts, the Engage committee hosted a panel in January 2020 on the global Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Public Relations (PR) Division Virtual Conference.
The panel, “Rethinking Communication in Asia: Top Trends and Challenges in Leading Change Responsibly”, was joined by Ms Belinda Tan, Head of Group Corporate Communications, Sustainability and Brand, DHL AP/MENA, Mr James Brasher, Managing Partner, RICE Communications, Ms Lavinia Rajaram, Regional Head of Communications, Expedia, and Ms Delicia Tan, Managing Director, Edelman Singapore.
From left to right: Mr James Brasher, Ms Delicia Tan, Ms Lavinia Rajaram, Ms Belinda Tan, Ms Wong Pei Wen
Key insights raised during the panel include the necessity of employee training in the process of digital transformation, which helps employees keep up with technological changes through upskilling.
Our panellists delved deeper into the benefits of digital transformation and new technology. Ms Lavinia Rajaram from Expedia shared that it plays a part in helping communications professionals better understand their audience, where they are at, and what appeals to them. Ms Delicia Tan from Edelman advised employees to remain relevant in the industry by stepping beyond one’s job scope and seize opportunities to grow, and Ms Lavinia Rajaram emphasised to keep one’s passion and having a view to look beyond just one job, to building your career.
Our panellists also shared that the company's support is important to minimise resistance in adopting new technologies among employees. Mr James Brasher from RICE Communications shared that companies should also allow for more flexibility to reduce burnout. Adding on, Ms Belinda Tan from DHL encouraged companies to promote a feedback culture within the workplace, with trust between employees and their managers being crucial to facilitate this. Ms Delicia Tan also noted that the top management will need to take first steps in leading with their actions before employees will follow, especially in the Asian context.
Ms Belinda Tan, Head of Group Corporate Communications, Sustainability and Brand, DHL
AP/MENA shares the importance of instilling a feedback culture in a company
Another challenge Ms Delicia Tan highlighted, is valuing and retaining the bread and butter skills of Communication such as storytelling, while clients now expect more from agencies. Regular employee studies will help to assess the well-being of staff in keeping up with the demands of work.
While PR may seem like a cost centre to management teams, Ms Lavinia Rajaram also said it is important to choose your battles to prove the value of PR to the company. Choosing the right time to fight for things, such as after demonstrating success for the company, will help to change the mindset of PR being non-essential.
Ms Lavinia Rajaram, Regional Head of Communications, Expedia, shares the importance of
having a long-term perspective in building up one’s career
On the topic of which platforms are suitable for which audience, the consensus was that there is no silver bullet, but understanding which channels - be it chat apps, video channels, TV advertising, traditional print - work for different regions and markets is essential.
While there are challenges due to the ever-changing Media and Communication landscape today, our panellists were optimistic that with a right understanding of one’s employees and audience, new technology and data present opportunities for growth.
Please click the link here to browse our video highlights from the panel.
NTU WKWSCI: Engage 2019/20
President: Heather Seet Huiying
Vice-President (Mentor): Yeo Wei Min Justin
Vice-President (Engage with NTU WKWSCI): Lee Jia Qian
Chair (Mentor): Teo Boon Kang Jonathan
Vice-Chair (Mentor): Toh Han Kuang Dion
Chair (Engage with NTU WKWSCI): Lau Zhi Xin
Vice-Chair (Engage with NTU WKWSCI): Fong Yihui
Content Lead (Engage with NTU WKWSCI): Huang Jun Yao Kenneth
Content Lead (Engage with NTU WKWSCI): Aronn Lim Chong Leong
Director of Marketing & Publicity: Joanne Tan
Director of Marketing & Publicity: Julia Tan Kai Yun
Head of Social Media Content: Gladys Seah Jing Ting
Head of Production: Joyce Gao Wenjing