Global Go-getter

Despite having worked in Japan for the last eight years, Singapore seems a lot more like home to Adam Hogue — the only American graduate student at WKWSCI.

Hogue is pleased to have chosen WKWSCI, where he is completing his Master of Mass Communication programme within the year. PHOTO: NINA BRÜLS

Hogue is pleased to have chosen WKWSCI, where he is completing his Master of Mass Communication programme within the year. PHOTO: NINA BRÜLS

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While based in Tokyo working in the public relations and global communications sector a couple of years ago, Adam Hogue’s career hit a wall. His search for new job prospects yielded one rejection after another. He soon realized that there was only one thing that hindered him from getting ahead.

“I was hitting the barrier where the prerequisite was that I needed to have a master’s degree,” said the 34-year old from Virginia.

While Hogue had numerous options in the region, the graduate programme at the Wee Kim Wee School for Communication and Information caught his attention, prompting him to relocate to Singapore. Hogue, who speaks fluent Japanese, had lived in Japan for eight years since graduating from City University of New York.

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In recent years, WKWSCI’s graduate programme has seen a steady stream of international applicants. In the last academic semester, a fifth of its cohort were foreigners, with a majority from China.

“I applied for an MBA programme in Japan, but the curriculum didn’t really appeal to me,” he said. “So I thought NTU was the better option. The curriculum and content of NTU is a lot more in line with what I wanted to study,” said Hogue, who added that the good reputation of WKWSCI was a factor in his decision.

Director of the MMC programme, Professor Augustine Pang, said students apply to the programme for various reasons. “The Wee Kim Wee School is renowned internationally for communication, and provides value for money from a school of our stature.”

“The MMC degree prepares students for leadership positions in the communications and media industry. We have graduated students who have assumed key positions in organizations and some have gone on to academia,” he added.

Divided into two tracks, the 12-to-18-month-long MMC programme offers general Mass Communication studies and Strategic Communication.

Hogue, who chose the latter, said: “The programme kind of bridges theory and practice; it is more alike to the work I have been doing and it is more of what I will be doing after I graduate.”

Taking classes like “Media Law, Ethics and Policy” and “Public Issues and Persuasion,” Hogue is thankful for the theoretical grounding.

“The programme kind of bridges theory and practice; it is more alike to the work I have been doing and it is more of what I will be doing after I graduate.”

Adam Hogue

“I haven’t studied Communication or Public Relations before. I learned it by working on the job. Now I am actually spending time to read and reflect everything,” he said.

Meanwhile, yearning to “try a new environment,” Adam felt that Singapore was the right choice because of its reputation of being a melting pot of cultures and races.

Although he’s the only American in class, Adam appreciates not being the “stranger” anymore.  

“In Japan, you are an extreme minority in a lot of cases,” Hogue said. “Here, I am the only American student in my class, but there are lots of students from other Asian countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea or China.”

“I think it’s a good experience for anyone to work outside of their comfort zone, especially in a place that is very different from where you used to be operating,” he said.

Looking ahead, Hogue said he is open to any opportunity that might come his way.

“I’d like to continue something in the Asia Pacific region where I can use my experiences and my language skills,” he said. “The big market is here.”

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