Tell us about your business
James Cook University (JCU) is an Australian success story in Singapore. Establishing its Singapore presence in 2003 with 34 students, JCU has since grown rapidly to almost 4,000 students. This was made possible by focusing on quality, our students, graduate outcomes, and building upon the already excellent people-to-people ties between Singapore and Australia through the Australian High Commission and AustCham in Singapore. As the only Australian institution in Singapore with ‘University’ status, we have a full-service campus offering pathway, undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs including PhD. Given the importance of high-quality and impactful research to the University, JCU launched the Tropical Futures Institute in 2018 which is the first research institute established by an Australian institution in Singapore.
What’s your role all about?
As the Chief Commercial Officer at James Cook University in Singapore, I am a key member of Executive Management and responsible for commercial strategy, marketing and growth of the organisation. This includes the Departments of Student Recruitment, Branding, External Relations, Continuing Education, Research and Enterprise, and Special Projects. Research and Enterprise focuses on partnerships and funding opportunities with eventual downstream commercialisation including spin-off companies. Special Projects include business development and expansion in the region coordinated with James Cook University Australia. As part of OneJCU, I share responsibility for James Cook University Australia’s international offshore marketing.
What’s the hot topic in your sector right now?
The hot topics are managing student satisfaction whilst adapting to the new normal, and staying relevant in a VUCA world exacerbated by COVID-19. James Cook University overcame these challenges by swiftly adapting to the new normal and incorporating online learning as a delivery mode. Initially, there was a drop in student satisfaction levels in online learning. However, by acting promptly on student feedback to constantly improve and optimise the learning experience we have quickly rebounded to pre-COVID satisfaction levels.
Why are you a member of AustCham in Singapore?
AustCham’s strength lies in the individuals who make up the Chamber. More than just fostering connections between Australian and Singaporean businesses, it is a great way to make long-lasting friendships. I am also proud that JCU is a Corporate Patron member!
Where are your favourite places to go to relax in Singapore?
Those who know me well enough will know that I have a penchant for cars. To unwind I enjoy driving down Alexandra Road and Leng Kee Road which are the main automotive showroom belts in Singapore. It always amazes me to see the number of supercars being test-driven. More recently I saw not one but two Koenigsegg Ageras on the road. This hypercar (not supercar) starred in the movie ‘Need for Speed’ and is among the last breed of purely petrol-powered hypercars. Having said that, I do believe in sustainability and am glad to see carmakers not only making the move to electric propulsion but making electric vehicles exciting.
What are your predictions for the next 12 months?
Although uncertainty continues in the general business landscape, the progress on mass vaccinations and an accompanying economic recovery gives hope that the situation can only improve over the next 12 months. I am sure we are all looking forward to resume travelling!
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To find out more about James Cook University Singapore, click here