Alumni in the Spotlight Webster University - Amanda Lim

Amanda Lim, Production Assistant at HBO Asia and Webster Alumna

After her graduation in May 2014, Amanda booked a one way flight back home to Singapore because of a job interview at HBO Asia. Fortunately for Amanda, she was hired and began working right away.  Singapore is 7 hours ahead of the Netherlands so we meet via Skype after her work day at HBO is finished and mine is just beginning. When she answers the video call a happy face pops up, it was definitely not another day at the office. 

Working at HBO Asia
“Every day I go to work with a big smile on my face and I finish the same way. It is so much fun at HBO Asia, they do so many awesome things. I am a production assistant in the programming department. I get to do so much stuff and it is a very hands on working environment. We are always writing scripts; then we film and when that is all done we edit them. I deal with everything regarding production. For example, if we have HBO Asia original series that are going to be filmed, then we are on the set all day, just running around. Usually we work 12 hour days from five to five or seven to seven, so it’s a bit hectic. HBO Asia is not as big as HBO, we don’t have series as big as The Game of Thrones, but we will get there!

I am surprised at how much of what I learned at Webster is used at my work. All the hands on classes that I had including Photoshop, photography, and video production classes, have helped a lot in terms of the technicality, the way to handle things and how to draw storyboards.”

“The best part of Webster is the diversity”

Webster feels like home
“When I think of Webster it still feels like home. Webster always had their lights on and the curtains open, it looked so cozy and welcoming. When I had evening classes I would walk through the beautiful city of Leiden and could see Webster from a distance. I always looked forward to the upcoming lesson because the teachers really cared about their students and this showed in their teaching.

The best part of Webster would be the diversity. At Webster you meet so many different people from different cultures. It has been a real eye opener in terms of how to adapt and to learn how to talk to people from cultures other than my own. I do not think I would be as open minded as I am now if I had not studied at Webster.”

Connecting is the key
“While working towards my BA in Media and Communications I went to many different kinds of events, because it is very important to network. You have to go to events and you have to start talking to the attendees, even if it is outside of your comfort zone. I’m not a very naturally social person, I do not like to talk to people I do not know. You have to force yourself to go out there and mingle, and things will start to come easier.

“You can learn a lot from international people, all cultures are unique in different ways. For example, from the Dutch I learned to be straight forward. In the beginning I was afraid to talk to Dutch people, it is just so scary when they just say everything that they are thinking. Eventually you will learn that this can be a good thing. If a company does not like you they will tell you rather than leading you on, making you think that you have a chance working with them. I think that not being direct is a waste of energy and time.”

“It’s a start and I’m so excited!”

Dream job
“I love my job at HBO Asia, but at some point I really want to incorporate media with animals. Then I can get the best of both worlds. I would like to edit videos about animals, which would be the perfect combination!  After HBO I am considering going over to National Geographic. In April I will start to volunteer at the Singapore zoo, I applied and got accepted for Wild life educator. It is a start and I am so excited! I have so many things I want to do; I really need an agenda, I need to plan things. I can no longer just pack my bags, book a one way ticket and go somewhere anymore. Although, I cannot stay anywhere for too long so my next plan is to move to Japan. Currently I’m learning Japanese, I am determined to learn the language well. That’s my goal for now.

My advice for Webster students is to get to know everyone. I think it is so important to network as much as you can during your study stage. This way, by the time you are ready to enter the workforce you are one step ahead of everyone else. And finally: Go big or go home!”