As the term of the first Alumni Committee of DigiPen (Singapore) draws to a close, we reached out to the outgoing committee members to hear about their experiences and parting thoughts. We also take this opportunity to introduce the incoming committee and their plans for the new term.
Paintball, LAN party, movie night, and barbeque gatherings – these were just some of the activities organized by the pioneer DigiPen (Singapore) Alumni Committee. Fuadz Kassim, a 2014 graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation (BFA) program, became the first elected president of the Alumni Committee in June 2017. Leading the eight-member team, he spearheaded activities to connect and bond DigiPen (Singapore)’s alumni.
In the last year, the committee members had the opportunity to plan and execute a variety of events. One that stood out in particular was a beach barbeque held at East Coast Park. “It was a pretty huge undertaking,” says BA in Game Design representative Muhammad Firman. “On the event day, we weren’t sure if the food was going to be enough and had to make some last-minute purchases. Also, there was a possibility of rain.” Setbacks aside, the barbeque still ended on a high note, and those in attendance got to mingle and socialize with other alumni while enjoying tasty food.
As the pioneering committee members, it was up to them to set up processes, plan events logistics, and maximize their budget in a bid to increase alumni engagement. Since there wasn’t a prior committee from whom to seek guidance, the small team of alumni had to rely on their own teamwork, creativity, and dedication to spur them through. Members said they learned to plan gatherings earlier in advance and market their events more effectively, all while working closely with the support of DigiPen (Singapore) staff.
Being able to mingle with current DigiPen (Singapore) students at alumni events was also a highlight for committee members. The interactions allowed them to improve their networking and organization skills while providing opportunities for them to kick-start potential collaborations and stay in touch with industry peers.
Given the alumni committee’s past year of success, the runway is now primed for the new committee to take over. “My hope is that the new committee will be more ambitious than we were,” says Fuadz. “Nothing is more satisfying than seeing the alumni together and having fun even years after leaving DigiPen. My advice to the incoming committee? Hype is important. Build on it and ask yourself why an average DigiPen graduate would want to attend an event before organizing anything.”
Leading the new guard is President Kartina Yahya. She saw the chance to serve on the committee as a way to give back to DigiPen (Singapore) and keep the alumni together. “Being in DigiPen was one of the best times of my life despite all the work, so it’s nice to give back,” she says. Her sentiments were echoed by the rest of the members. New BFA representative Cheryl Lye says her fond memories of DigiPen (Singapore) sparked her to do something for her alma mater, and BA in Game Design representative Jovi Kartolo believes that a strong alumni network will benefit all DigiPen (Singapore) graduates.
The incoming committee is keen to ramp up outreach and communication efforts within the alumni network by increasing the number of both small and large-scale events. The push to do so, they say, will be supported by regular online polls and post-event feedback. This is expected to generate higher engagement via social media platforms, allowing all alumni members to be heard.
Apart from the usual food and entertainment events, the new committee is also keen to connect members with shared interests, as catering to smaller groups could be an effective way to engage more DigiPen (Singapore) alumni. Some ideas include organizing workday lunches based on office locations, creating a running group, holding workshops or talks, and coming together for art jamming or idea-sharing sessions.
Cheryl sums up the goal of the incoming committee with her personal mission: “I’d like to help foster a sense of community within the alumni and encourage people to keep in touch with each other, be it for networking or social purposes. We have much to learn from each other, and it would be a waste to let these connections fade over time.”
Alumni Committee Members for 2018-19
- President: Nurul Kartina Binte Yahya (2012)
- Secretary: Andre Pong (2014)
- Treasurer: Shawn Toh (2011)
- BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation Representative: Kenny Chong (2016)
- BS in Computer Science and Game Design Representative: Mah Boon Kin (2013)
- BA in Game Design Representative: Jovi Kartolo (2016)
- BFA in Digital Art and Animation Representative: Cheryl Lye (2012)
- Continuing Education Representative: Benjamin Chua (2010)