Mark Fong Kim

One of the ways to survive a COVID-19 impacted workforce, and secure long-term employability is to embrace lifelong learning. Mark Fong Kim, a graduate of the University of Stirling’s Events Management programme, is an exemplary example of how upskilling can help you outpace and adapt to the unprecedented developments that can befall your industry overnight.

10 Aug 2021

5 mins read

Resilient in the Face of COVID-19

Tell us about yourself.

I am a mature working adult with two children (aged 21 & 23) and a loving husband. I have been in the hospitality industry for close to two decades, and I am currently the Manager of the Culinary and Catering Management at Temasek Polytechnic.

What made you decide to further your studies with the University of Stirling at SIM?

I am a staunch believer in lifelong learning and have been taking many short courses to upskill myself all these years. It has always been one of my goals to upskill myself formally since my twenties. As my children are all grown up, I decided to take a leap of faith to pursue an undergraduate degree.

Through my research, I learned about the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Sustainable Events Management* programme from the University of Stirling at SIM. The modules are structured, real and relevant to the real world. This gave me the confidence to undertake the programme as the curriculum is relevant to the topics I have encountered in my industry.

In your opinion, how has the degree and your SIM experience empowered you in your career journey?

It was challenging at first because it has been more than twenty years since my last formal education. Nonetheless, completing the degree has equipped me with the relevant knowledge and skill sets to value-add to my work. It has also created many opportunities for me to lead projects and new initiatives.

The experience of studying alongside a diverse group of younger course mates has given me a profound understanding of how the youth comprehend learning in the classroom. The insights and expertise shared by the local and visiting professors also made the lessons very engaging and enjoyable.

What are your opinions on the events sector in the new normal?

It will never be the same; it was a steep learning curve for all! This pandemic has made stakeholders across the industries realise that there are countless ways of organising events. From traditional face-to-face to hybrid / virtual events, labour-intensive work to streamlined digitalisation efforts, from limited capacities to unlimited opportunities.

How has the degree enabled you to be adaptable even in the face of a pandemic crisis?

It has empowered me to be more adequately prepared and responsive to changes and ideas. To keep an open mind, adapt and always listen for ideas.

“You have to try the impossible to achieve the possible – Hermann Hesse”

*Programme is now titled Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Events Management
Click here to learn more about the programmes awarded by the University of Stirling.


Posted online, 10 Aug 2021