For Tham Jiang Jun (BBA 2019), life at NUS Business School was a journey of self-discovery .
Currently a digital media buyer at entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk’s Vaynermedia, Jiang Jun discovered his love for digital marketing and video editing during his internships at the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) Beijing programme. He also found out that he was not cut out for a career in the public sector after an internship.
He shared his NUS life, his career so far and his tips on making the most out of university life with Outside-In.
Q: What was life in NUS Business School like for you?
I remember choosing NUS Business School during enrolment as it offers the flexibility to explore multiple industries, as I was not sure of what I wanted to do after graduating. The school offered me many opportunities to try and learn new skills.
Having co-founded the Asian Cultural Symphony Orchestra, I was keen on pursuing arts management as a career. I was looking to explore the arts scene in China through my time in NOC Beijing. However, my time at YChina, a digital content agency, showed me a different path – I discovered marketing and video editing there.
I was briefly in charge of running paid ads for Xiaomi in its global social media accounts. That was when I discovered the joys of digital marketing – what type of creatives and targeting strategies can convince people to convert to a particular product or service.
Discovering what I like is similar to a marketing funnel – you try many things at the top of the funnel, and by sheer trial and error you would eventually find something you like. That is how I did it.
Video editing was another thing that I tried and liked. People’s reactions when they watch your video, whether they are angry, happy or sad, knowing their reactions is quite priceless. It is a good avenue to earn some money as a part-time job as well!
I also did an internship with Singapore Tourism Board. While I am grateful for the experience to see up close how statutory boards operate, the analytical nature of the work did not match my creative nature. Even this experience made me realise the type of work environment that would allow me to thrive.
While I will be frank and say that I’m earning much less compared to my banking peers, I love what I’m doing, and digital marketing is a skill I’d like to leverage to promote a product or service I truly believe in.
Q: It’s been over six months since you graduated, what have you been doing?
I joined Nas Daily in hopes of discovering how the world’s biggest influencer works and thinks – it was a great privilege to have been part of it; however, it didn’t meet my selfish interest in honing my craft as a performance marketer – this is someone that is responsible for managing and measuring digital marketing campaigns. We parted on good terms, though!
Jiang Jun (far right) with Nas and the Nas Daily team
I’m currently working as a media analyst at Vaynermedia, a full-service digital agency. As a media analyst, I run digital advertisements to make sure they bring a tangible business result to our clients – I manage and oversee budgets from a few thousand to millions of dollars. Every day is a learning experience to discover what works – the process of A/B testing every single possible step in the marketing funnel is fun!
Jiang Jun (left) with his colleagues at Vaynermedia.
Q: What advice would you give to your juniors on making the most out of their time at NUS Business School?
During my first year, I was in a sharing session with Professor Bernard Yeung, who was Dean during my time at the School, where he said: By the end of your time here, you won’t be expected to remember what you’ve learnt from your modules — the point of your education here is to train yourself to think critically, to respond in spontaneous situations and contribute in a valuable manner to whoever you work with or work for. So here’s advice number one: School is not enough, never limit your learning to the school curriculum.
Advice 2: Make friends — not everything has to do with future career options or competing with one another. Have an abundance mindset because there are plenty of opportunities out there for everyone.
Advice 3: If you never try, you’ll never know. Who would have thought I would have the chance to work at Nas Daily? It’s quite ridiculous, but it just happened because I had the right skillsets that the team was looking for. Keep trying things!
More about Jiang Jun’s thoughts here on his LinkedIn page.