Carmen Loo has worked for UWA for nearly three years but you wouldn’t have seen her grabbing a coffee at Hackett lately. In fact you won’t have seen her anywhere in Perth for that matter because she calls Malaysia home, and works out of Kuala Lumpur.
Carmen is one of UWA’s seven Regional Managers (RMs) promoting the University to the international market, a role she enjoys but isn’t highly visible.
“A lot of the UWA community may not really know what we do because we aren’t often on campus, so we don’t have a lot of interaction with staff and faculty other than our international recruitment colleagues,” she says.
“Essentially we’re offshore business development managers. Every task I perform contributes to increasing UWA brand awareness in the Malaysian and Singaporean markets. My primary objective is converting this brand awareness into student enrolments.”
On any given day Carmen may attend education expos, speak to high school students, meet prospective students or liaise with recruitment education agents all while keeping an eye on market trends and identifying new market opportunities.
“My time is split between developing marketing strategies to raise UWA’s profile, and getting out in the market and putting them into action! I can definitely say that no two days are the same, which is something I love about my job,” she says.
This week Carmen’s in Perth as part of Pursue UWA Week. This week-long program showcases UWA campuses, courses, student life and the city to international agents and RMs whose job it is to advise students looking to study abroad.
Pursue UWA Week is one of the most important events in UWA’s calendar focused on international student recruitment. Currently international students bring in just over 17% of the University’s operating budget. It’s a strategic priority for UWA to increase the number of international student enrolments and by 2020 that number is expected to be over 25%.
“The Week is so valuable because the agents get to see UWA and Perth for themselves. We rely on them to deliver our messages to prospective international students so it makes sense to show them exactly what student life at UWA is like and what sets us apart from Sydney or Melbourne,” she says.
“Living and breathing the full UWA experience really brings it to life for them and this will come through when they’re advising prospective students. It’s also a really useful experience in this respect for the Regional Managers too.”
Pursue UWA Week also provides RMs with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their global and Perth-based colleagues which is invaluable for knowledge sharing, relationship building and provides the opportunity to give accurate and relevant feedback to us.
“It’s the only time we can all meet up, brainstorm, and share our ideas, experiences and challenges. We’re all working towards the same objective, to increase international student enrolments, and the more we can learn off each other, the more effective we will be,” she says.
“This is a really passionate and hard-working team. It’s great to be on campus this week and have the opportunity to spend some time in the city as well as talk not only with our direct colleagues but other UWA staff and faculty too.”
So maybe this week you will spot Carmen in Hackett Café. If you do, say hi, she’d love to have a chat.