From Uncertainty to Success: How Michelle Nandini Found Her Path at MMU

Published by Afterschool.my on Jun 25, 2024, 02:27 pm

Many students graduate high school unsure of their future path. According to a survey of 500 students from the 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 classes conducted by YouScience, an integrated college and career readiness platform, 41% felt unprepared to make a career choice or declare a college major at graduation. This uncertainty may stem from a limited understanding of the variety of career options available or a need for more guidance on connecting their interests and skills to future paths.

This was certainly the case for Michelle Nandini, who excelled in both English and Malay languages throughout her primary and secondary education. While these subjects were her passion, the vast array of communication-related careers overwhelmed her.  It wasn’t until after completing her STPM that Michelle found clarity — a Bachelor of Strategic Communications at Multimedia University (MMU) was the perfect fit.

“One of the reasons I chose the Bachelor of Strategic Communications programme at MMU is its wide career prospects and study scope,” Michelle says. “Most communication courses in other universities are specifically targeted, such as a Bachelor of Broadcasting, Journalism, Public Relations, etc. But this particular course allowed me to venture into all areas in the communication field.”

In other words, Michelle craved the flexibility to explore diverse communication avenues before committing to a specific career path.

Since her primary education, Michelle has enjoyed learning both English and Malay languages.

Thriving at Multimedia University

New beginnings can be daunting, and joining the third batch of a new programme at MMU’s Faculty of Applied Communications was no exception. The faculty, established just a few years prior, initially offered only two courses (one Foundation and one Bachelor course)—today, it offers an extra three courses ( Diploma, Master, and PhD). However, as Michelle progressed through the programme, her initial concerns were quickly dispelled.

“I had many experienced and approachable lecturers, good facilities, and tools that alleviated doubts about the course's quality. Another plus point is that the course has Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) Accreditation.”

The MMU Cyberjaya campus fosters a vibrant learning environment with a vast library, comfortable study spaces, 24-hour learning points, sports facilities, a food court and a cafe in almost every faculty building. Everything is also within walking distance, which makes it easier to travel.

The multicultural atmosphere welcomed students from all walks of life. Michelle, one of only two Indian students in her year, felt a strong sense of belonging thanks to her welcoming classmates. “I truly felt welcomed by them and never felt left out, whether during assignment groups or leisure activities.”

What’s more, Michelle also had opportunities to collaborate with students from other faculties, which further enriched her experience and forged friendships beyond her immediate faculty circle.

The best part? Michelle learned the programme from experienced faculty staff who have helped shape her academic journey and career aspirations. One such staff member was Mr. Aznul Fazrin who stood out as her favourite lecturer. His engaging style, particularly in ‘Promotional Writing’ (a type of writing designed to promote a product, service, or brand), sparked Michelle’s passion for advertising, a path she now actively pursues. Apart from that, Ms. Suhana’s ‘Public Relations’ course, known for its challenging nature, left a lasting impression. Michelle remembers a creative project where students tackled a crisis scenario, a practical exercise that honed valuable problem-solving skills.

Finally, Dr. Yong Chyn Chye, Michelle’s academic advisor, provided invaluable support throughout her three years at MMU. Her guidance and advice were instrumental in navigating the programme’s demands. With these influential educators by her side, it was no wonder Michelle thrived at MMU, laying the foundation for her chosen career path.


Michelle graduated from MMU with a Bachelor of Strategic Communications degree in 2021

Michelle’s time at MMU wasn't just about textbooks and lectures. She actively participated in student clubs, honing her skills in a practical setting. For instance, during her second year, she joined the logistics team for a virtual bazaar that encouraged small businesses to rebound from the pandemic. She leveraged her communication skills to identify and engage vendors for the online event.

The programme also included an internship component, a valuable opportunity to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Michelle secured an internship at Great Eastern in June 2020, where she gained firsthand experience in the corporate world. While the Movement Control Order (MCO) initially forced her to transition to remote work, she ultimately returned to the office, gaining valuable insights into corporate operations and the power of a well-honed Excel spreadsheet.

In essence, studying at MMU nurtured Michelle’s professional skills and her personal growth. Though naturally introverted, the programme’s emphasis on teamwork pushed her outside her comfort zone. Leading assignments honed her communication skills and instilled the importance of collaboration — a vital skill for her future career.

Landing a job at Malaysiakini

Two months after graduating from MMU, Michelle landed her dream job as a Digital Content Writer at Malaysiakini.  But what sparked Michelle’s love for writing in the first place? The answer lies in self-expression. Reading a variety of genres exposed her to diverse voices, narratives, and techniques, inspiring her to develop her own unique style.

At Malaysiakini, Michelle writes articles on branding, politics, technology, medicine, education, property, social issues, and event programmes.

Today, nearly three years later, she is firmly embedded within their advertising department. Her role involves crafting engaging articles in both English and Bahasa Malaysia across various topics including branding, politics, technology and social issues. While she initially gravitated towards medical writing due to my science stream background, political coverage has become a highlight.

“I’ve had the privilege of participating in one General Election, two State Elections and the recent By-election. During the experience, I had to brush up my skills in researching, fact-checking and writing compelling narratives that inform and engage readers. From attending political rallies to conducting interviews with key figures, I am truly grateful to have gained firsthand insights into the political landscape."

Michelle's role at Malaysiakini extends beyond writing. A testament to the versatility fostered by her MMU education, she also delves into social media advertising, event crew work, video scriptwriting and content management.

For aspiring students considering the communications field at MMU, Michelle's advice is clear: embrace the programme's diversity.

“Take advantage of this diversity to explore different aspects of communication, from journalism and public relations to digital media and advertising. By diversifying your skill set and experiences, you'll be better equipped to pursue your passion while keeping your options open for potential career paths.”

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