Follow your heart and study what you love.
How and why did you choose your degree program, and why Monash?
The decision to continue my degree in Monash was a relatively easy one. From the age of 16, I had been quietly sneaking into Monash to train with the Monash Ultimate Frisbee team every week. I have always admired the campus and the facilities they provided and the serene ambience the university emanated. My parents on the other hand, were convinced by the reputation that Monash University held and the quality graduates that the institution has developed over the years. My family were even more enthusiastic when they discovered the university offered degrees in engineering and medicine, which many know is part of the “sacred pillars” of all existing jobs. Jokes aside, I finally settled on the Bachelor of Business and Commerce program which I knew would give me the opportunity to dip my toes in various industries once I graduate, since everything in the world has a business component to it. Furthermore, since my passion lies in the creative arts, all I needed was a boost in business acumen to complement my ambition of being an all-round entertainer. So far, the program has exceeded my expectations and I am learning many things that I can carry on to the working world.
What are your future goals and career ambitions? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I see myself being an entertainer across various fields. Be it music, acting, video production or stand-up comedy. As long as it inspires and entertains people, I want in. Since a young age, I have naturally gravitated towards the creative arts. Coming to Monash to pursue a business degree simply compliments the talent that I was blessed with. Many rising entertainers today have amazing talent but lack the business acumen that can bring them a step higher. This is what I hope to overcome by pursuing a degree in business. I also see myself dabbling in various other industries such as F&B and sports marketing as these are other entrepreneurial interests I have. I think this would also help avoid situations where my parents have to explain that their son wants to be a rapper.
How do you find your degree program?
I find my Bachelor of Business and Commerce degree extremely engaging and fun. In one of our recent assignments, we were tasked to prepare a marketing plan for a real life company facing a real-life problem. We even had to present our plan to the clients. No mock-company simulation - this was the real deal! I appreciate the good balance of theory and practical applications in this degree program as this give us a comprehensive understanding of various aspects of business such as marketing, finance, management and the likes. Furthermore, the program was structured with great flexibility which allows students to choose their majors according to their own interests. You can also opt for one major, like I did, and take subjects from a different department altogether, like environmental science, (gotta go green). This is really the epitome of comprehensive, flexible learning which is 100% necessary if you want to create an astounding individual that is capable of impacting communities.
What advice would you give other students considering what to pursue?
I’m going to give you super cliché advice but it has worked for me. Follow your heart and study what you love. If you are forced to take an accounting degree simply because it is believed to guarantee you a job, sorry to burst your bubble but it’s not true. You are probably going to spend many years studying something that does not excite you.
Do you participate in extracurricular activities in the university or in the community? If yes, how has it helped in your personal development?
I actively participate in many extracurricular activities both in Monash and outside as well. Some of my favourite events include the various Ultimate Frisbee tournaments that Team Monash attended. It is indeed an exhilarating feeling to be part of a sports team and it really instils a sense of drive and grit within players. My emcee career basically started off in Monash. It all started during the ASEAN Entrepreneur Week organised by the Monash Entrepreneurship Club in 2016. After moderating sessions for notable figures such as Bryan Loo from Chatime and Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah, I started getting calls from various other organisations to host their events. This has really instilled confidence in me to further pursue emceeing as a career option.
What do you love most about your student life at Monash?
I absolutely love the environment of the campus. The facilities provided are comfortable and well maintained. Just ask any of the students camping in the library during exam season, it feels as if you never left your bedroom! In my humble opinion, good learning starts from a conducive environment and Monash delivers just that.
If you could provide one sentence of advice to future undergraduate students, what would it be?
Welcome to Monash University! You have definitely come to the right place if you want to improve yourself as a student and an individual. The next three or four years will be some of the most fun years of your life. Come in with an open mind, be prepared to learn new things and most importantly, have loads of fun with your friends because that is what university life is all about! Also, think twice before enrolling for an 8am class.
Heer Raj, more popularly known as Raj Mahal on social media, is an event host, entertainer, and up and coming YouTuber. He is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Business and Commerce program in Monash University.