Get the UniSIM edge at any age
RAIHAN Abdullah was in her 40s, and had not considered furthering her education since she started working.
But her boss encouraged her to pursue a degree and upgrade her skills.
Now the assistant director of hospitality and business studies at Shatec, the 47-year-old is glad that she graduated with a Bachelor of Human Resource Management from SIM University (UniSIM).
"The journey has been very enriching. I gained a lot of satisfaction after finally completing the programme," she said.
Ms Raihan completed her part-time degree late last year, and lauds the programme for helping her to think critically and enhancing her effectiveness at work.
In fact, she hopes to use what she learnt in the Cross-Cultural Intelligence module to develop a programme on the cultural sensitivities that her students should be mindful of when serving customers from various cultures.
The UniSIM degree stands out from similar ones in Singapore, as selected social science and business courses are taught as part of the degree programme's core competencies.
For Ms Raihan, picking UniSIM was "an easy decision to make (due to) its reputation, robust curriculum, government subsidy and the opportunity to network with working professionals".
She met people from various industries during her programme, and appreciated the fact that the lecturers were knowledgeable and experienced in their respective fields.
"I now encourage my students to get a degree as a platform to develop analytical skills...and I hope to inspire them and my kids on the importance of lifelong learning," she said.
For Rossana Chen, Ms Raihan's fellow alumna from the university's School of Human Development and Social Services, it is all about picking up skills that will be essential in helping her and others for a lifetime to come.
She initially pursued a Bachelor of Counselling cum Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling, but decided to take a leap, embarking on a Master of Counselling programme soon after completing her bachelor's.
After her six years of higher education, Ms Chen is now a programme manager with the Agency for Integrated Care's Community Mental Health Division.
The degree has helped the 29-year-old, who has an interest in human interactions, dynamics and relationships, to better understand the people she works with.
"Counselling skills are handy skills that any individual can use to gain insights into oneself and others. My understanding of individual perspectives has certainly taken my relationships with family, friends, colleagues and others to the next level," she said.
UniSIM is the only local private university to offer a bachelor's programme in counselling.
One of the biggest takeaways for Ms Chen was the lecturers and classmates she met at UniSIM.
"They are from all walks of life but share a common interest in counselling. As trainee counsellors, we looked out for one another. We would share our own experiences as case studies to apply and contextualise the theories we learnt," she said.
Since graduating with her bachelor's degree in 2010, Ms Chen has kept in touch with her classmates, half of whom are now working in the social service industry. They organise yearly gatherings to keep in touch.
Choosing UniSIM was "one of the best decisions" she has made, despite the challenges that came with working and studying at the same time, Ms Chen said.
"It was challenging, but the journey was the most rewarding. Certainly a path worth embarking on," she added.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY SIM UNIVERSITY