When Miss Nur Nafisah Noordin received her O-level results in 2009, she was dismayed.
Her grades could only grant her a place in integrated facility design and management - her third choice for a diploma from a polytechnic.
But during the course of her studies, she was undaunted and decided to explore other fields that truly interested her.
"I have always found myself keen towards language, film, arts, media and literature," she said.
"I then started reading up on communications and this fuelled a greater desire in me to want to know more about the subject."
Her passions influenced her decision to pursue a Bachelor of Communication in Communications and Media Studies and Public Relations (double major degree) offered by Murdoch University at Kaplan Higher Education Academy (KHEA).
KHEA is part of Kaplan - a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses, catering to more than one million students from more than 500 locations around the world.
"A major factor that I took into consideration was the affordability of the tuition fees as communications degrees offered in private institutions tend to be rather costly," Miss Nur Nafisah said.
"Murdoch University is a good university in Australia. Coupled with the cost savings at KHEA, this degree was a clear choice for me."
She also took the initiative to further her interest by volunteering for various events such as the Youth Olympic Games, counselling programmes and media seminars.
With the help of a lecturer, she was also able to volunteer for nonprofit organisations, and coach under-performing secondary school students through effective psychology techniques.
Through these opportunities, she gained invaluable experience in the communications industry.
"Through the Youth Olympic Games, I saw the immense impact media and communications have. It also helped me to work better under pressure," she said.
"I realised that I am a people person." The transition from polytechnic to university can be unsettling. But for Miss Nur Na sah, that wasn't the case.
"Some of our modules are pretty heavy in theory and technicalities and at times they seem overwhelming but the lecturers are always there to help us understand concepts better," she said.
"They explain the theories by putting them in perspective, localising the context of our study materials and sharing their personal experiences, all with youthful enthusiasm."
In the communications sector, the ability to apply what you've learnt to real life situations is often the decisive factor in the employment process.
"The structure of our curriculum, which includes a robust mix of assignments, class participation and exams, is ideal for my learning," she said.
"The assignments greatly help us to develop these skills by giving us the opportunity to apply our learning to real life scenarios."
At Kaplan, great emphasis is placed on a holistic education. MADCamp is a student-led conference where students majoring in public relations collaborate with non-government organisations to apply what they have learnt to real issues.
As a result of MADCamp, Miss Nur Nafisah managed to snag a coveted internship at Waggener Edstrom, the public relations firm that counts Microsoft as one of its clients. While she was there, she learnt the ropes and emerged with an impressive resume.
"The internship at Waggener made me a more cognizant person as a whole," she said. It gave me good exposure to the work of a PR practitioner and through media monitoring and research, I understood how various parts of the puzzle comes together," she said.
Although Miss Nur Nafisah has just started her career, she already has plans to continue studying in the next 10 to 15 years.
"I have not decided on the Masters that I would prefer to take on," she said.
"However, one thing is for sure, a Masters from Murdoch University at Kaplan would be my rst choice to consider when the time comes."
WHY THIS COURSE
The Bachelor of Communication in Communication and Media Studies and Public Relations (Double Major) is awarded by Murdoch University, Australia.
This degree provides students with the skills and expertise for work in both the communication and media, and public relations industries.
Students are equipped with practical skills for analysing and producing both traditional and new media texts, as well as understanding communication and cultural processes in the emerging creative industries.
They are also exposed to international theories and practices with an emphasis on ethical communication and engagement with a diverse range of stakeholders.
"The Murdoch communication programmes aim to equip our students with the necessary thinking skills that give students an edge to compete in today's dynamic media landscape. It also drives them to critically conceptualise strategies for better engagement with the audience." - Miss Piya Chee, Adjunct Lecturer, Kaplan Singapore
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