Taylor's School of Hospitality, Tourism and Events were pleased to feature the young alumni of the school. They are Ms. Lau Pui Yee, Senior Executive Events Operation, Aavii Worldwide; Ms. Christy Goh Chy Shang, Head of Event, Above Creative Events and Senior Virtual Event Specialist, Hello Virtual Event; Mr. Rio Fernando Bong, Membership Associate, Pacific Asia Travel Association; Ms. Chee Cheng Yee, Conference Assistant, Professional Conference Organizer (PCO), Medical Conference Partners and Ms. Low Khai Nynn, Account Executive, Innity Sdn Bhd.
Ms. Lau Pui Yee (Samantha), Senior Executive Events Operation, Aavii Worldwide
Ms. Samantha Lau Pui Yee, our alumna from the second graduating batch of the Bachelor of International Tourism Management (Events Management) programme. Samantha started her career path in a Destination Management Company (Business Events) company where she worked for 6 years, followed by a year in an exhibition company and is currently back in the business events industry.
Throughout the years, she has seized the opportunity to meet different clients from different parts of the world, and every event ever planned for the client, be it meetings, incentive, exhibition, has always been a great learning process for Samantha. Encountering different clients with different expectations has helped her to grow over the years and to get to know more about the industry.
Another new learning process which may not been deemed possible a few years before, is the new norm of working from home. For these 2 years, we have seen the overall hospitality industry being affected by the pandemic, and the events industry is one of them. With the new norm of people working from home and countries in lockdown, Samantha experienced the conversion from physical events to Virtual/Hybrid Events of livestream and webinar. It was something new for both the client and Samantha. As the event planner, Samantha had to learn about virtual events from scratch. She got to know the virtual platform in the market and generate new ideas to make the virtual event interesting for the audience.
Over the months, she managed it well and the idea of attending events virtually has now become the new norm. Throughout these working experiences, she has learnt that in a world full of endless possibilities and infinite potential, expanding and opening one’s mind can lead to new discoveries each day, making daily life more fun and exciting. “Develop a thirst for learning, pique your curiosity and don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know”. Live our lives to the fullest, go for the long-planned adventure, learn a new language, continuously improve ourselves to be a better person” – Samantha.
Ms. Christy Goh Chy Shang, Head of Event, Above Creative Events and Senior Virtual Event Specialist, Hello Virtual Event
Ms. Christy Goh Chy Shang, alumna from the Events Management programme. She shared her inspiring story on her career in events management. ‘’I love challenges, it makes me feel excited and passionate in things that I do.’’ This was my key phrase to quote whenever was being asked about why had I chosen event management course back in university. The definitions of ‘event management’ were in a complete contrast comparing what I have learnt in theories and what I had to experience when comes to taking this up as a career".
"The power of the word ‘Events’ are indeed impactful and gives us an impression of fun, engaging and rather free and easy career to carry on with a passionate attitude. I believe it was the common thought of all students pursuing the course, including myself. In fact, 3 years & 8 months in the corporate event industry has sublimated that simple thought. The difference of studying the course and executing the management is a huge step to take through".
"Only when you get into the execution, you start to realize how ‘’superpowers’’ could happen in you. It’s not only about the execution of event days, but from the creative ideas, planning to bring in miracles, detailed proposals and contingency plans. From 30 minutes per meal to not even requiring a proper mealtime, what have pushed us to sacrifice our rest and meals are the responsibility and persistency of an event manager to make sure 100% scored in each event. And the outcome was beyond happiness".
"The plot twist of my career life as an event executive waved at me after 2 years in the industry, when the Covid-19 strikes the market. Undoubtedly, it was a total blown to the event industry with shutdowns and major employees cut downs. Imagine an event company with no events ongoing, that was a nightmare to me and the company. And by luck and determination, I had the chance to lead the team to explore a new industry Virtual Events to pivot the company’s business that was where I have started up this new business with several colleagues and leader in the company to create a virtual event platform named ‘’Hello Virtual Event’’.
"From zero knowledge in IT and virtual events, we have studied and researched on existing platforms around the world and have built a platform of our own; and even launched it in June 2020 for Bursa Malaysia’s first virtual conference, which was considered as a pioneer of virtual event industry in Malaysia. The pivot of business has gotten us 2-times recognition in the Malaysia Book of Records in the virtual events field. Considering that I was a fresh graduate working in my first job after university, I am more than blessed to have been given the opportunity to have led the team for numerous event projects as the Senior Corporate Event Consultant. From taking care of personal event projects, achieving sales target, developing and expanding clientele market and profiles, I am also obliged in leading juniors in all aspects of event planning and executions".
"In a nutshell, I would say that the key takeaways from my current career would be ‘’Maturity is not measured by age, it’s an attitude built by experience’’. Being at 23 years old, I have never imagined how I could have presented numerous proposals & advises to CEOs, directors, and high-level management of public listed companies like CIMB Bank, Maybank, Bursa Malaysia and many more. I was aspired that age does not matter in our career path, but the attitude and determination are the keys on this road. And fret not, we are the master of this key and I am more than excited to clear the challenges ahead".
Mr. Rio Fernando Bong, Membership Associate, Pacific Asia Travel Association
Mr. Rio Fernando Bong, alumnus from Indonesia and graduated with the Bachelor of International Tourism Management (Honours) programme in 2020. He has been interested in tourism and travel since high school, and this positive spirit has motivated him to pursue his passion in the field of tourism. He is also someone who is easy to get along with and has good communication skills that people will enjoy and want to exchange ideas with him.
Rio completed his internship with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand in 2019. PATA is one of the largest and most prestigious tourism organizations. It was an honour for Rio to have his internship with PATA, as his internship at PATA HQ had taught him a lot. In addition to a great learning experience from his internship, Rio developed key competent skills throughout the duration of his studies that prepared him to work in other industries. He is currently exploring his skills in information technology to widen his experience and hopes that he will be able to return to the tourism industry which he enjoys the most. We wish Rio all the best in his career path.
Ms. Chee Cheng Yee, Conference Assistant, Professional Conference Organizer (PCO), Medical Conference Partners
Ms. Chee Cheng Yee from the Bachelor of International Tourism Management (Hons) (Events Management) who graduated in 2020. She speaks about the greatest challenge she encountered after her graduation which was to pursue her dream career as an event planner. When the pandemic hit, the event industry was one of the worst affected sectors. This pandemic crisis had redefined jobs, hence she decided to explore digital marketing, mainly, to move out from stagnancy.
As the vaccination process was being ramped up mid-2021, she was eager and ready to dive back into the event industry. Hence, she quit her first job as a digital marketing executive and started seeking for event industry related job opportunities. She is now a Conference Assistant in a Professional Conference Organizer (PCO), Medical Conference Partners, which specializes in organizing onsite and virtual medical conferences and meetings for surgeons, specialists, doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals.
As a Conference Assistant, her job scope mainly covers attending meetings and taking minutes of meetings, being the key liaison person for speakers, supporting the programme committee as they put together the conference programme, leading the speaker team during a conference, putting together the content for announcements and conference websites, liaising with virtual conference developers, and managing short webinars and registrations.
During her term in Taylor’s, she had the opportunity to participate in two industrial trainings which enabled her to strengthen her soft skills and gain real-time insights of the industry. While the pandemic may be far from over, she is already looking forward to organizing hybrid and on-site events soon with appropriate SOPs. “I really do miss those days where we could have face-to-face interactions and engaging experiences, instead of just communicating through the ZOOM screen. To be is always to do; being able to go back to what I once was passionate about is truly a blessing.”- Cheng Yee
Ms. Low Khai Nynn (Caryn), Account Executive, Innity Sdn Bhd
Ms. Low Khai Nynn (Caryn) graduated with the Bachelor of International Tourism Management (Hons.) (Events Management) in 2021. She shared her story of job searching during the pandemic.
“Graduating during the pandemic, I always had a question which I believe a lot of fresh graduates had too, especially in the tourism and event industry, “Can I even get a job in this pandemic?” Before graduating, I had started blasting out job applications via websites, emails and more. But of course, I always kept in mind that I should really study the job description before I clicked on the “apply now” button, in order to understand the company’s expectations and not to waste any time and effort of both parties."
"Lucky me, I landed myself a job right after my last day of university with the title of Account Executive at Innity, an advertising and marketing agency. My day-to-day job is to advise and assist the brands to tell their stories through different channels such as digital advertising, contents, KOLs and more. The best part about this job is that I’m given tons of opportunity to sell ideas or creativity to the client in order to meet their campaign objectives. Starting my first job after graduating in the advertising and marketing industry has absolutely been a great start as this industry is a fast-paced industry."
"Hence, it really helps to push us to continue learning and growing from all the little experiences we’ve gained. One of my main goals for my future career would be to develop more connections and assist more brands to share their stories or if possible, be the storyteller of the brands. Sharing a quote that I always follow, “never let fear say no to opportunity” as long as there’s an opportunity, there’ll be an experience. Gain it, and I believe it will be useful one day.”