20 August 2012
Alumni keep it in the family
As a young boy watching his father receive his testamur from RMIT University, Ghazali Rajab could not have dreamed that one day he would follow in his footsteps.
But nearly two decades after Effendy Rajab completed his business degree at RMIT, his son joined the University's extended alumni family by graduating with a Bachelor of Business Management.
"I was proud of my father but I was only eight when he graduated so I had no idea at that time where my studies would take me," Ghazali said.
"My father always encouraged me to take responsibility for my own learning so there was no pressure to follow his lead, but he did encourage me to consider RMIT because of how much he had benefited from his degree."
The pair undertook their RMIT degrees in Singapore through the University's partnership with the Singapore Institute of Management.
This year, RMIT and SIM are celebrating 25 years of working together to deliver higher education programs in Singapore - a partnership that has produced more than 24,000 graduates.
Effendy Rajab graduated from RMIT with a Bachelor of Business Administration - now known as the Bachelor of Business (Management) - in 1993.
The undergraduate degree came about half-way through 11 years of dedicated studying, starting with a certificate and diploma, and finishing with a Masters and PhD in Human Resource Development from George Washington University.
"I embarked on my studies because I didn't have the academic qualifications I needed to progress up the corporate ladder," Dr Rajab said.
"But on completion of the bachelor degree, somehow I began to appreciate the value of knowledge and so decided to continue the learning journey to the doctoral level, purely out of the love for knowledge I'd discovered."
Dr Rajab's association with RMIT and SIM continued after his studies, as an associate lecturer for RMIT and later for SIM University, where he still teaches part-time.
His full-time role is Executive Director of the Singapore Scout Association, whose core values he credits for contributing significantly to his personal and professional development.
Ghazali Rajab, who graduated from RMIT last year, is following his father's example in dedicating his skills to the non-profit sector, as the Public Relations and Marketing Officer for the Muslim Missionary Society Singapore.
"My RMIT degree really helped develop the problem-solving, analysis and planning skills I need in this role," he said.
"I majored in Marketing, which has proven extremely useful in my work, where one of my main tasks is fundraising.
"Knowing how to craft messages for target audiences has been essential in the strategy I've devised to help the society raise much-needed funds."
Years of watching students develop and grow have convinced Effendy Rajab that RMIT degrees offer something beyond a mere qualification.
"RMIT graduates are totally different people," Dr Rajab said.
"The degree doesn't just give you a skill and knowledge base, it helps shape personalities, bringing people out of their shells and encouraging them in independent learning.
"The way the courses are structured forces you to discover learning in a different way, through groupwork and practical projects.
"Working as part of a team, people learn about the importance of good dynamics in groups and they are far more prepared for the real world."
RMIT alumni, Ghazali and Effendy Rajab.
Effendy Rajab receives his RMIT testamur in 1993.
Professor Gill Palmer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and Vice-President, presented Ghazali Rajab with his RMIT testamur last year.