Zakiah Syerina Balqis binti Taha

Learning to speak up

Masters of Communications and Media Studies (2013)

1. Full name / Age / Nationality.

Zakiah Syerina Balqis binti Taha / 33 / Malaysian

Scholarship: Hadiah Latihan Persekutuan (HLP), Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam


2. Where are you working / studying presently, and describe your general work scope. 

I’ve been attached to the Integrity Unit in the Ministry of Education since April 2014 as a Principal Assistant Secretary. My line of work includes:

a) To ensure the implementation of good governance

b) To inculcate, institutionalise and implement the concept of integrity in the organisation.

c) To identify and verify complaints in regards to criminal misconduct and the violations on the code of conduct and ethics of organisations and ensure appropriate actions are taken and also to report criminal misconduct to responsible enforcement agencies.

d) To receive and respond on all complaints and information concerning violations of criminal misconduct and ethics of the organisation.

e) To ensure that the compliance of laws and regulations are enforced


3. How has your degree at Monash prepared to be where you are today?

Studying in Monash Malaysia gave me exposure and opportunity to learn about international relations especially in communication. The culture of learning in Monash Malaysia is different from any local university that I have attended previously. They gave students a chance to speak up their ideas, particularly in the many seminars, presentations and discussions in class. I have the opportunity to practice these skills here at work especially in conducting meetings with Ministers and my other respective bosses.


4. How has the MCMS qualification helped you?

Honestly, I was aiming to be posted to departments which involved meeting and communicating with the public. However, since I am posted here in the Ministry of Education and dealing with integrity, I am able to use my MCMS qualification to institutionalise, or in other words, advertise integrity to the staff in this organisation.


5. Why did you choose to further your studies?

I choose to further my studies because I needed to be more competitive in my line of work. I needed to have an extra qualification to be more relevant and distinctive from my other co-workers.


6. What advice would you give to fresh young graduates looking for a Master's qualification?

Master’s study requires self discipline. Make sure you are prepared mentally for all the work and self study. It requires more and the expectations from the lecturers are high because you are already a degree holder. Look for subjects that is useful for your work. Also, it’s better for you to work first and have a bit of exposure in the working world before you further your studies because it is advantageous to have an insight into the working world for better understanding of the subjects.