Your parents put you through school. Your teachers imparted their knowledge to you. Your lecturers taught you specialised skills. Your college prepped you for the working world. Your employer gave you a salary. And now it’s your turn to give back.
Whether you choose to believe it or not, we all benefitted from the society. Not just from your family, not even your extended family or close family friends, but everybody that had touched you in one way or another. You could have benefitted from text book loan programme, subsidised canteen food, maybe even sponsored education fees. And that’s only the big and obvious benefits. There are also the not-so-obvious ones, like the company that offered you an internship, the hand-me-down reference books or tools*, even the reference materials made available in your local library to aid in your studies too.
*I had a hand-me-down dissecting set from a senior, for my biology class in Form 6.
So you have now graduated, got yourself a good paying job, and maybe even saved up enough to buy yourself your first set of wheels. Isn’t it about time to be thankful for all that you benefited, and pay it forward, by giving back to the society?
Don’t assume that giving back means contributing a lot of money to some sort of education fund, or that only large corporations can give back to the society as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility programme. Yes, you can do all that if you really want to, and be highly visible when doing it, but every little bit goes a long way. It’s all about being genuine when you decide that you want to give back. And it’s not all about money either. Sometimes, giving your time and effort is worth much more than it’s value in money.
So What’s My Story? How Did I Give Back?
I was an average student all my life. The fact that I even managed to scrape through pre-university exams was a wonder in itself. Long story short, I managed to get myself enrolled into the School of Arts and Science of Tunku Abdul Rahman College (now known as Faculty of Applied Science and Computing of Tunku Abdul Rahman University College).
Fast forward until a couple of years after graduation, I have settled down with a steady job, earning a reasonable income, and even got myself a nice set of wheels too. I suppose you could say that life was treating me well.
It was then that I started joining a couple of social clubs and societies to expand my network, and hopefully make some useful contacts that will benefit me later down the line. And one of the societies that I joined was The Alumni Society of The School of Arts and Science (SAS Alumni Society).
The Alumni Society Of The School Of Arts And Science
Like the others that I had joined, I started out with the same objectives, of expanding my network circle, and hoping to make beneficial contacts. But as the years went on, and I was getting more and more involved with the small team of committee members, I noticed that my personal objectives had changed. Just as the SAS Alumni Society had emphasised on serving the Alma Mater through activities organised that are targeted towards helping its undergraduates as well as the management, I had also slowly changed my personal objectives too.
It wasn’t long before I started to quit the other clubs and societies, and concentrated whatever’s left of my non-working time towards SAS Alumni Society alone.
Take a look at the video compilation of the activities carried out over the past couple of years. You can’t help it but notice just how closely tied the society is with the Alma Mater. All of the activities carried out benefit not only the society members, SAS alumni, the university-college alumni in general, the Alma Mater, undergraduates, but sometimes also spill over to the neighbourhood where the campus sits, at the fringe of Kuala Lumpur city, as well as the society in general too.
And if you watched the video all the way to the end credits, you would have noticed that I created that video too… And also personally shot about 70% of the photos used in the video. This video is currently being used as part of the recruiting tool for the SAS Alumni Society.
What About In The Personal Capacity?
As part of the Corporate Social Responsibility for Solarex Imaging, as well as my personal contribution, I have given several free talks and seminars in various subjects throughout the years.
Aside from giving free talks on Delivering Killer Presentations to Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (obvious choice) and her sister institution Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), I have also given free talks through corporate training agencies too, like this one with iContent Knowledge House on designing creative Curriculum Vitæ for fresh and undergraduates.
Life will not be complete if I haven’t also given free talks about photography too, right? Well, the organisers of the free talks about photography always insist on only scratching the surface with basic photography, although I would very much love to dive deeper inside the topic of my interest, and hopefully stir up some interest among the participants.
What About The Future? Will You Be Giving Back In Any Other Way?
For right now, I’d prefer to stick to what I do best – photography, creativity, presentations, personal branding, and other related subjects. I would love to continue giving free talks, and maybe get some young people interested to pursue these topics further, whether for a career, or just to develop themselves.
On a wider scope, I will emphasise more of my effort into SAS Alumni Society, as it can provide me a wider reach, and not to mention the existing presence and reputation in the society. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t entertain any request for a personal appearance and / or contribution. If you have anything that you need, and you think that I might be able to provide, please do not hesitate to contact me.
The more you give, the more you will receive in return.