I learn really useful stuff in this programme. Even more important to me, the degree I receive on graduation will be no different from those awarded in Melbourne.
Discover SIM GE DESCRIBING himself as a volunteer junkie, Illias Bin Mohammad Iqbal works with youths-at-risk under Mendaki’s mentoring programme. The 23-year-old student leader now in his final year (2013) with SIM-RMIT Bachelor of Business in Management, is also one of the most active bloggers at the SIM GE web site, writing about practically everything under the sun that is of interest to undergrads on campus. Blogging and student life activities at SIM GE are just part of his busy full schedule that also includes community work. “Personally, I don’t feel it as work, more of a holiday,” says Illias of his commitment to help borderline youths who are identified as those at risk of becoming criminals (hence the term, “youths-at-risk”). “By guiding the kids, we’re helping to prevent them from developing into bigger problems later in life. I find the kids have progressed steadily under the mentoring programme. They seem more self-confident of themselves, and are more driven towards their aspirations and dreams,” he explains. Volunteers LIKE Illias who signed up with Mendaki are attached to schools where such kids are found. These kids are around 15 years old, usually in Secondary 1 to Secondary 5. Illias joined the programme about a year ago. He meets the kids on Sunday once a month and takes them out for fun activities such as photo-shooting trips. Photography and videography are his passion. He’s seldom seen without his Canon 650D dSLR camera which can also record HD video. His most recent is the video interview with the editorial founders of a fresh, vibrant lifestyle magazine, CHASE, launched at SIM GE campus in April 2013. In the clip that he posted on his blog, Illias talks to editor-in-chief Sophia Lau and creative director Amantha Koh (both also from RMIT). Illias’ three-minute recording is as good as what you would see in a professional broadcast clip, demonstrating his skill in videography and editing. He concedes though that editing is indeed a killer. For that short take, it took him four hours of cutting and splicing, and captioning, using Adobe Premier Pro. Illias holds a Ngee Ann Poly diploma in Business IT. When he graduates at the end of 2013, he plans to work full-time in a charity, preferably in disaster relief. Best of both worlds On his choice of the RMIT University programme at SIM GE, Illias says this arrangement - the transnational education model - gives him the best of both worlds, i.e. he gets a top-notch Australian education paying roughly half of the amount that he would have to pay for rent, food and school fees if he were studying in Melbourne. “I I learn really useful stuff in this programme. Our classes are just like those at the home campus. Even more important to me, the degree I receive on graduation will be no different from those awarded in Melbourne,” he adds. Check out postings by SIM GE student bloggers here. - Interviewed and posted online on August 1, 2013