The lecturers always made it fun and easy for you to absorb the contents. I like the way they engaged with students.
Discover SIM GE Narendaren showing the two pages of sports news that he designed and subbed the day before He wanted to study mass communication but only in an American university and when he graduated, he wanted to work as a sports journalist. Narendaren s/o Karnageran, 27, got his wishes. He enrolled in the BA (Communication) programme with the State University of New York at Buffalo, conducted at SIM Global Education. There, he experienced and enjoyed the full range of American teaching methods which were innovative, diverse and often unorthodox. “UB gave me room to move around and tested me to the best of my abilities,” says Narendaren. He graduated in 2009 and the following year got a job in sports journalism with The New Paper. It wasn’t a sports writing job, but as a sub-editor, someone who cleans up reporters’ raw copies and lays out the stories on the newspaper page. Scholarship recipient During his third semester, SIM GE launched a scholarship scheme, and Narendaren was among the first batch of recipients. The scholarship paid his school fees but there was no bond attached. The criteria for the scholarship were straightforward. The candidate must have excelled in his or her studies or in CCA. “I also wrote an essay where I talked about my aspirations and the things I was passionate about. Finally, I went for an interview which was essentially a conversation with the selection panel. “I am thankful for SIM’s financial support,” says Narendaren. He also received a grant from the Singapore Indian Education Trust. All-round education Wanting more than just an academic programme where exams alone make or break your grade, Narendaren chose the UB programme for its promise to deliver an all-round education comprising of not only examinations, but also projects, compulsory class involvement and engaging assignments. Majoring in Communication allowed him to pursue his passion for sports and writing and gave him the option of spending a semester or two at the Buffalo campus in New York although he didn’t take that. Narendaren said he truly enjoyed the modules and the freedom to choose what to study after completing the required modules. UB also had both local and foreign professors who had flown down from New York, so students in Singapore were not losing out at all because they get to experience similar and different cultures of thinking. Another attractive feature for Narendaren was the fact that class participation played a key role in academic performance as most professors would not start the class without contribution from the students. “The lecturers always made it fun and easy for you to absorb the contents. I like the way they engaged with students.” Narendaren quotes an example of a lecturer who made students take turn to teach in class. So, the student who was assigned to be teacher would be forced to study their subject thoroughly before the class session! His favourite module was Advanced Writing where different genres of writings were presented, such as commentary, expository or argumentative piece. In his current job as sub-editor, he shows how he designed and laid out two sports pages (page 56-57 of The New Paper, January 25, 2013, see picture above). The work involved choosing the photographs to go with the story and writing the headline. He also has to check the story’s angle, grammar and the appropriate use of language so that the entire page layout is presented in a reader-friendly format. Narendaren’s aspiration is to start a sports magazine. “But this is a long-term plan,” he says. “My goal now is to become sports editor so that I can develop my own version of what constitutes sports news.” - Interviewed and written by Vivienne Tay, 20, first-year student with State University of New York at Buffalo. Like her interview subject Narendaran, Vivienne aspires to be a journalist after her studies. Story published in VIBES magazine, March 2013, posted online, March 2013.