Final year law student Elaine Foong was the director of the first-ever TEDxUniversityofMalaya which took place mid-March this year
“If there is one word which best describes myself, I’m afraid the word is stubborn.” Elaine shared with us matter-of-factly. Elaine Foong Sook Yen is a final year student of the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, who recently organised the first-ever TEDxUniversityofMalaya which turned out to be a huge success back in mid-March. Once she sets her mind on anything, this carefree 24-year-old lass from Ipoh, Perak, will not take no for an answer. “I’m not trying to be funny. My close friends can testify,” she sheepishly remarked about her previous statement.
While her sudden active involvement in extra-curricular activities may come as a surprise to many of her acquaintances, her passion for TED events dates back to 2015 where she formed part of the very first TEDx organising committee on campus. Unfortunately, that team did not manage to pull through due to unforeseeable circumstances. After partaking in the faculty’s fun and challenging Internal Moot Competition (IMC) during her freshmen year, she was quick to realise that competitions are not her niche. Her multiple attempts to apply for positions in clubs during that time were fruitless as well.
Her fortune changed in her second year when she was presented with a golden opportunity to be part of the ASEAN Youth Dialogue Kuala Lumpur (AYDKL) organising team. There, she met admirable seniors and formed valuable friendships with members from various faculties who imparted not only knowledge and experience to her but also taught her everything she needed to know about event management. “Those people were overwhelmingly nurturing and inspiring. It was a pivotal moment in my undergraduate life,” she confessed.