How our English programme alumnus spun his education and passion into a dream career

We would like to share a fantastic reflection by English with Business alumnus Mohamed Abdullah, who leads a fulfilling life as a regional journalist and producer. He covered sporting events and has interviewed iconic athletes from F1 legend Lewis Hamilton to historic badminton player Kento Momota:

GETTING THE STORY ON A GLOBAL STAGE​

Interview with Wayne Rooney on the World Feed during the FIFA Club World Cup 2008 in Japan

“There often comes a point in your life when you seek something to learn about and further certain interests that have captivated you during your younger days. For me, that interest was always literature. Back in secondary school, a teacher once told me, ‘Every book represents a window to the world.’ That got me going to read and through time, I’ve accumulated interest in biographies, current affairs and sports. When I started working, I realised there was so much that you can learn about the Asian culture through the novels written by the respective native writers. From there, I realised those writers had huge influence from the English classics and one of the many was actually William Shakespeare. 

CONTENT FOR KOREAN SPEAKING AUDIENCE

Securing an exclusive interview with Park Ji Sung in 2008

With South Korean international Ki Sung-yueng in 2014, who has represented his country at three editions of the FIFA World Cup Finals, won the Olympic bronze medal in 2012 and played professional football in Scotland, England and Spain

 

Going to classes often set your pulse racing like you are in the middle of a Formula One race day. You plot your journey from work to school while battling the peak hour traffic. When the heavens opened, your punctuality was at the mercy of the rain. Then you had to plan on getting the notes printed, read through them, rip apart the novels and essays that have been given to you earlier. If you had been able to do all this, that was just the first step towards getting ready for class. By the time lecture ended at ten at night, your mind was buzzing with the plethora of possibilities on how dynamic the meanings within a book could be. Just as that adrenalin started to stabilise in your system, you faced another hurdle – the assignment. And, nothing is more frightening than having a blank A4 document staring back at you from your computer. You realise how loud the fan can be as you figure what to type alone in the night. When you finally understood the demands of what were required, you realised that you had to repeat all of this for the next couple of years, only that the modules would get tougher each time. 

CONTENT FOR KOREAN SPEAKING AUDIENCE

With South Korean international Ki Sung-yueng in 2014, who has represented his country at three editions of the FIFA World Cup Finals, won the Olympic bronze medal in 2012 and played professional football in Scotland, England and Spain

 

Talking to Shinji Kagawa right after Japan qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil

Talking to Shinji Kagawa right after Japan qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil

Developing exclusive content for Denmark clients – interview session with Viktor Axelsen in 2019 at the All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham, United Kingdom

Working and studying is a complex combination and I would not have been able to graduate without the support of the teachers and fellow students, who came together and encouraged each other during some of the most unbelievable times of your life. My work involved travelling and I remembered having to pack an extra luggage to accommodate the textbooks required for my essay submissions. I finished my studies in November 2014 and looking back now, I have to say that the times at SIM University were truly special and the knowledge gained not just from the books and the lectures, but of yourself, is something absolutely priceless. When I turned up for my convocation, it was not just making the official step of conquering my own Everest. The biggest prize that you can take away from the educational experience is that you learn how to plan, cope with changes, respond to adversity and navigate your way to your goal. This new-found thought process is the residue of the education. As you develop your own character, you realise the true value of your own potential. That is the greatest gift from learning at SIM University. 

DEVELOPING CONTENT FOR CLIENTS WORLDWIDE

Talking to Spanish international Fernando Torres as he embarked on the final chapter of his football career in Japan with Sagan Tosu

Talking to Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic as they made history at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, going all the way to final before losing to France

Developing news content stories for Portuguese-speaking clients following an interview session with 1994 FIFA World Cup winner – Bebeto from Brazil

Multi-tasking on assignment in Japan – developing content to reflect Yokohama F.Marinos’ fairytale season in 2019 as they won the J.League title. Talking to manager Ange Postecoglou and doubling up as cameraman for interview session with Japanese striker Teruhito Nakagawa

Providing Athletics coverage from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with South Africa’s 400m gold medallist Wayde Van Niekerk and Shaunae Miller from the Bahamas

 

Exclusive session with Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton in 2015

It is coming to five years now since my convocation in October 2015. The name of the school has changed, the layout of the lecture settings have altered and perhaps some of the food in the canteen may not be available anymore. The learnings of some modules too, may require much of my memory powers to recollect. But I never lost a guide in Shakespeare. Arguably the greatest innovation of the teaching in the university was that of the English playwright and the discussion of how storytelling through film were inspired from Shakespeare’s themes and language. The modules Shakespeare on Film (ELT370) and Film Studies (ELT251) threw up numerous debates and discussions on the relevance of Shakespeare’s works and the scope of its influence in reel and real life. To that, I have to thank Ms Khoo Sim Eng for her patience and persistence to guide students through abstract ideas and developing clarity for sustained discourse for our studies.

It is therefore a testament to the ethos of the institution that we see new courses like the expansion of Film Studies being offered as part of the bigger picture of constant and relevant learning. The critical thinking acquired in the BAEB programme was beneficial in my work as a Video Journalist at Sports News Television. Working in an international news agency, the scope of attention is global and often demanding as you deal with a plurality of perspectives. You need to develop the necessary skill sets to ensure quick decision-making in the path towards news accuracy. On top of that, I had to present my stories visually by filming to acquire the necessary footage. Since graduating from SIM University, I have been privileged to be selected to cover the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. I have also travelled overseas to cover various events such as the Australia Tennis Open and the All England Badminton Championships.

As I conclude my reflection, I am proud to say that SUSS has been the prism for me to open new windows of opportunities. This journey continues.”

Mohamed Abdullah,

Video Journalist and Producer at Sports News Television (SNTV)

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