When Charmaine Yee (TCFS 2004) was just 15-years-old her drama teacher pulled her aside and said, “one day your voice will be your asset.” Now, a successful radio host of Kiss 92FM and television presenter, Charmaine could not have known how prophetic these words would be. Vivian Chan and Ruby Crysell from the Careers and Alumni team recently caught up with Charmaine in Singapore.
Apart from being a regular afternoon host on Kiss 92FM, Charmaine also hosts events and works as a television presenter including interviewing a number of Hollywood celebrities.
“I’ve gone to Hollywood to interview really nice human beings: Hugh Jackman, Dwayne Johnson and Rebel Wilson, so it’s been quite a journey,” says Charmaine.
However, before becoming a famous radio and television presenter in Singapore, Charmaine moved to Melbourne to study at Trinity, experiencing what she describes as a “brand-new education bonded together by friendship.”
Drama and History of Ideas (HOI) were two of her favourite subjects, but it was the psychology classes with Maureen Vincent that really made an impression.
“She [Maureen] won’t remember me, but I spoke to her a lot, because I was very interested in that subject [psychology] and I thought she taught it very well. What I enjoyed about Maureen’s method of teaching was that she gave every student the same amount of attention, whether they spoke English well or not.”
After completing a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) with a double major in Media and Communications and International Relations at the University of Melbourne, KPMG attempted to recruit Charmaine for a job in taxation.
It was one of those sliding door moments where Charmaine had to decide between a lucrative role with one of the Big Four auditors or pursuing her dream of working in the media. She chose the media.
“Maybe, if I had not turned this job down, I would still be stuck in a taxation job.”
Instead, Charmaine spent time working in an advertising agency, media agency and in hotel communications with the Raffles Hotel before getting a job as a presenter.
She says the media landscape continues to change, “so we’re on-air, off-air, on screen, all at the same time.”
Besides her work, Charmaine is also a passionate advocate for a number of charities and is committed to raising awareness about the fight against cancer.
She also spends time educating the general public about people suffering with autism, having experienced first-hand a family member who suffers mild autism, Charmaine says it can be difficult for autistic adults to maintain steady employment.
“I found out there was an association that matches autistic adults with autistic friendly jobs. This is not a known fact in Singapore, so I help promote that.”
Surprisingly, the Melbourne weather is one of the things Charmaine misses most about living in Melbourne and the “laid-back lifestyle”.
“I think the one thing I do miss about Melbourne is that it’s got a great work-life balance, which I experienced in my last six months there.”
Charmaine continues to keep in touch with her best friends from Trinity holding regular “staycations” in Singapore, where her friends from Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong come to visit.
The Careers and Alumni team enjoyed catching up with Charmaine as well as other Trinity alumni while in Singapore.
Photos from the Singapore Alumni Gathering can be accessed here