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Med student uses TikTok to teach Kiwis about personal finance

social media

15 March 2022

Kiwis scrolling through MoneyHub’s TikTok might be surprised to learn that Junius Ong, Director of Social Media Marketing at MoneyHub and the familiar face seen in many of the videos, is in fact a medical student at the University of Auckland. How does a fourth-year Medical and Health Sciences student from Palmerston North end up creating content for “New Zealand’s home of all things money”?

MoneyHub is a free online resource dedicated to helping New Zealanders make important financial decisions. They give comprehensive, objective, and up-to-date information to help people make the best decisions for their needs, and direct people to relevant financial products and services. Their TikTok, which has accrued over 23,000 followers since its launch in August, delivers key financial lessons and advice in easy to understand bite-sized videos.

Junius’s experience with social media marketing and content creation began in year 11 when he decided to start barbering as a hobby. He says, “I made social media accounts hoping that it would be a way to share my work and get mates to let me cut their hair (it often took a lot of convincing). It ended up being really useful in getting clients outside of my friend group too.

“Later on, I became interested in the idea of being a med school vlogger like Ali Abdaal so I started my own YouTube channel and then my own TikTok. I’ve since stopped posting on my personal channels to balance med school and MoneyHub, but doing these side projects, learning from others on YouTube and trying things out was invaluable in allowing me to develop my content creation skills.” 

It was on his personal TikTok that Junius posted a video mentioning that he often used MoneyHub as a resource. MoneyHub founder Christopher Walsh reached out to say thanks, and Junius took it as an opportunity to pitch the idea of MoneyHub getting onto TikTok. It began with him simply summarising the guides already on the website, writing scripts, recording voiceovers, and finding stock videos. However, building trust over time has led to Junius having more creative freedom over the account, and he is now involved with strategising campaigns for some of their clients.

Junius’s strategy for creating consistently engaging content and building a loyal following is anchored on five things: focusing on adding real value; making content native to the platform; leveraging the first few seconds of a video with an interesting hook; consistency (he’s found that posting once a day works well); and finding a balance of content that speaks to the masses and content that is tailored for their true fans.

He says, “I’ve noticed that many New Zealanders feel that their financial literacy is not where they want it to be. This especially comes to light when we explain things such as tax brackets and the Consumer Guarantees Act. Some believe that things such as budgeting and taxes should be taught in schools while others argue it’s the individual’s responsibility. Regardless, I’m glad we’re addressing this need by ensuring that anyone with an internet connection can learn to become more financially literate for free.

“Financial literacy is so important for Kiwis because money is such a big stressor for so many people and it does not get discussed enough. It’s quite frequent that money is the factor limiting people in doing what they want. In my opinion, making smart financial decisions is a very actionable thing many people could do to achieve their life goals.”

While studying, Junius has also been involved with Velocity, the University of Auckland’s flagship student-led entrepreneurial development programme delivered through the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He says, “Velocity has really shown me the value of surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Going to Velocity events allowed me to connect with people who share my interests, such as personal development and entrepreneurship, and being a part of that community has been incredibly empowering. I also entered the Innovation Challenge a couple of times – both unsuccessful – which taught me a lot about resilience, learning from ‘failures’, and how to keep working at ideas that I genuinely believe in.”

Junius is driven by the knowledge that his work is making a real-world impact, and hopes to continue to do this through a combination of his medical knowledge and passion for entrepreneurship. He says, “The highlight of my job is whenever our founder Chris forwards me an email from someone who has really benefited from our resources. It reminds me that the work we do is meaningful, and it’s different from receiving views and likes. It feels so much more personal.

“For the future, I aim to continue medical school and pursue whatever I find exciting on the side (which is currently educating people about personal finance). I am sure that the skills I learn from medicine and my entrepreneurial pursuits will be useful no matter where life takes me. Medtech companies such as Clearhead really inspire me as they positively impact people at scale. I’m not too sure where my journey will take me but right now, I am focusing on developing my medical knowledge and my entrepreneurial skills.”

University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education
University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education

social media

15 March 2022

Kiwis scrolling through MoneyHub’s TikTok might be surprised to learn that Junius Ong, Director of Social Media Marketing at MoneyHub and the familiar face seen in many of the videos, is in fact a medical student at the University of Auckland. How does a fourth-year Medical and Health Sciences student from Palmerston North end up creating content for “New Zealand’s home of all things money”?

MoneyHub is a free online resource dedicated to helping New Zealanders make important financial decisions. They give comprehensive, objective, and up-to-date information to help people make the best decisions for their needs, and direct people to relevant financial products and services. Their TikTok, which has accrued over 23,000 followers since its launch in August, delivers key financial lessons and advice in easy to understand bite-sized videos.

Junius’s experience with social media marketing and content creation began in year 11 when he decided to start barbering as a hobby. He says, “I made social media accounts hoping that it would be a way to share my work and get mates to let me cut their hair (it often took a lot of convincing). It ended up being really useful in getting clients outside of my friend group too.

“Later on, I became interested in the idea of being a med school vlogger like Ali Abdaal so I started my own YouTube channel and then my own TikTok. I’ve since stopped posting on my personal channels to balance med school and MoneyHub, but doing these side projects, learning from others on YouTube and trying things out was invaluable in allowing me to develop my content creation skills.” 

It was on his personal TikTok that Junius posted a video mentioning that he often used MoneyHub as a resource. MoneyHub founder Christopher Walsh reached out to say thanks, and Junius took it as an opportunity to pitch the idea of MoneyHub getting onto TikTok. It began with him simply summarising the guides already on the website, writing scripts, recording voiceovers, and finding stock videos. However, building trust over time has led to Junius having more creative freedom over the account, and he is now involved with strategising campaigns for some of their clients.

Junius’s strategy for creating consistently engaging content and building a loyal following is anchored on five things: focusing on adding real value; making content native to the platform; leveraging the first few seconds of a video with an interesting hook; consistency (he’s found that posting once a day works well); and finding a balance of content that speaks to the masses and content that is tailored for their true fans.

He says, “I’ve noticed that many New Zealanders feel that their financial literacy is not where they want it to be. This especially comes to light when we explain things such as tax brackets and the Consumer Guarantees Act. Some believe that things such as budgeting and taxes should be taught in schools while others argue it’s the individual’s responsibility. Regardless, I’m glad we’re addressing this need by ensuring that anyone with an internet connection can learn to become more financially literate for free.

“Financial literacy is so important for Kiwis because money is such a big stressor for so many people and it does not get discussed enough. It’s quite frequent that money is the factor limiting people in doing what they want. In my opinion, making smart financial decisions is a very actionable thing many people could do to achieve their life goals.”

While studying, Junius has also been involved with Velocity, the University of Auckland’s flagship student-led entrepreneurial development programme delivered through the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He says, “Velocity has really shown me the value of surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Going to Velocity events allowed me to connect with people who share my interests, such as personal development and entrepreneurship, and being a part of that community has been incredibly empowering. I also entered the Innovation Challenge a couple of times – both unsuccessful – which taught me a lot about resilience, learning from ‘failures’, and how to keep working at ideas that I genuinely believe in.”

Junius is driven by the knowledge that his work is making a real-world impact, and hopes to continue to do this through a combination of his medical knowledge and passion for entrepreneurship. He says, “The highlight of my job is whenever our founder Chris forwards me an email from someone who has really benefited from our resources. It reminds me that the work we do is meaningful, and it’s different from receiving views and likes. It feels so much more personal.

“For the future, I aim to continue medical school and pursue whatever I find exciting on the side (which is currently educating people about personal finance). I am sure that the skills I learn from medicine and my entrepreneurial pursuits will be useful no matter where life takes me. Medtech companies such as Clearhead really inspire me as they positively impact people at scale. I’m not too sure where my journey will take me but right now, I am focusing on developing my medical knowledge and my entrepreneurial skills.”


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