Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) held the "Alumni Networking Event" on 13th May 2017 at the UBD Business Library organised by the Office of Alumni Relations and Advancement (OARA).
Over 80 members of UBD alumni attended the first university-wide meet and greet session. It was a platform for invited alumni and relevant UBD representatives to network with one another as a way to foster future working ties and collaborations. Present at the session were the Assistant Vice Chancellor (Corporate and Administration), Hjh Rubiah Hj Yacub, principal officers from UBD, invited alumni from within UBD, representatives from public and private sectors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), as well as entrepreneurs.
Hjh Rubiah called the alumni present "UBD's ambassadors to the world" with the power and ability to convey the message about UBD beyond the campus and the community. She announced that the university has included recent initiatives to "provide opportunities to further advance their careers while strengthening alumni relations and building on positive networks."
Deputy Director of OARA Lim Kok Shien and CoNECT Manager Gavin Crewe then shared more detailed information on the Mentorship Programme which is aimed at students and alumni of UBD. Among the main objectives of this programme are to contribute to the professional development of participating mentors and mentees as well as to maintain strong bonds between UBD and its alumni.
While both mentor and mentee benefit from expanding their contacts through the programme, the latter has much to gain in respect to industry insight, information and advice from experienced professionals while being able to discuss their expectations and concerns in a confidential environment.
Under the programme, mentoring start at the beginning of each semester and can last up to six months. Selected mentees will be asked to attend compulsory information session held at the start of the semester where they will learn more about the programme as well as get the opportunity to choose their mentors. After that first contact with their mentor, mentees would set their objectives to achieve by the end and progress checkpoints will be set every two months to monitor that both parties fulfill their respective duties.
Hj Amin Hashim, a graduate of 1990 took to the podium to represent his peers and imparted words of wisdom to those present. He acknowledged how times have changed and more people are telling youth to get out of the comfort zones. "There are so many young risk takers now," The 60-year old pointed out. "They venture into entrepreneurship and some find success even before graduating." He added that the UBD alumni has many roles to play and one of them is to contribute to nation-building, through which the Mentorship Programme could be a great aid.
Established in 1985, UBD produced its first batch of graduates in 1988 from an intake of 176 students. Since then, the university has produced a total of 100 PhD holders, 2,922 Masters holders and 12,287 Degree holders. Currently, the university is home to 2,993 students, 21 per cent of whom are international students.
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