Like many school reunions, the returning students were awkward and shy, unsure how the session planned for them would pan out. But once they met familiar faces, smiles broke out, hugs were exchanged and the catching up began in earnest.
On September 28, the Diploma in Mass Communication (DMC) held its first ever tea session at the VIP reception room at The Republic Cultural Centre (TRCC). The idea was conceived to get graduates of the diploma to come together and discuss the idea of setting up an Alumni Committee.
Said Ms Chan Yen Ting, DMC academic staff and a key member of the team: “A DMC alumni is important to provide a platform for our graduates to connect with the DMC family. We want to use this opportunity to expand the DMC network so that we can help each other to grow stronger. Not only will our graduates be able to contribute to their alma mater, they can also be a valuable peer coach to their juniors.’’
Indeed, being a coach and coming back to give was the main thrust of the opening remarks given by Programme Chair Ms Gan Koh and Director of the Centre for Communication and Enterprise (CEC) Mr Warren Wang. Both talked about the changes CEC and the diploma had gone through. Ms Koh highlighted two significant ones – the renaming of the diploma (which was previously called Diploma in Information Design or DCID) and the creation of a student newsroom called the Media Lab.
As she proudly showed the alumni the student work that came out of the Lab, in the form of the campus newspaper Republican Post, its online version republicanpost.sg and broadcast channel RepTV, there were oohs and aahs among the audience, with many jokingly saying it was “not fair” how current students got to experience so many wonderful things.
As soon as the formalities were done with, the graduates were grouped to discuss and brainstorm two main topics: how their diploma helped them in university or at work and the feasibility of creating a committee made of up ex-students who would give back by mentoring current students.
Angeline Wong, 20, from the 2010 batch who currently works for a design firm, said she was glad for the PBL (Problem Based Learning) system. “In the industry, we face new problems every day. We are required to think on our feet, be proactive, and to speak up for ourselves when we disagree with something. In that aspect, RP has done extremely well in preparing us,” she said to agreement all around.
As for forming an alumni committee, Joy Gomes, 20, who is doing a diploma in early childhood education thought it was a great idea. “What makes anyone come back to continue their relationship with the school is the warm friendships we make, how close the facilitators are to the students,’’ she said.
For all graduates, the key consideration is the amount of time that they need to commit to keeping the committee going. But judging from the warm, inclusive atmosphere on that Saturday morning, things look very promising indeed.
– Reporting by Aaron Wee