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lina-abdulhalimBefore BU, the last time I was at university was in 2010, when I graduated with a Diploma in Communication and Media back home.

Now before I proceed, I need to clarify that the Malaysian education system works a little differently. I could give you an explanation but it’ll be a long one.

After spending a foundation year in a Creative Multimedia course, and then three years doing a diploma, I made the decision to start working. I was 23 years old and I felt like I was too old to still be dependent on my parents.

Between 2009 and 2014 I worked as a moderator for an online youth community (which has grown exponentially since, and has now split into two entities in the form of a local online news curating site, and Groupon Asia), a copywriter for a design house, a post production assistant, a project manager for a branding agency and after that, a think tank, and I finally went back to being a freelance video editor.

Lina - gapMy team at the Youth Engagement Summit in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Some of the speakers of the summit included Sir Bob Geldof (founder of Live Aid), Biz Stone (inventor of Twitter), Nando Parrado (survivor of the 1972 Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash) and many more (2009).

Lina-gap-2-edMy team at the Asian premiere of the film we worked on (2010-2012).

Through all this, I toyed with the idea of going back to school. It was because I felt like I didn’t know much about the career I wanted to pursue, and also it was incredibly difficult to move further up the career ladder in Malaysia with just a diploma.

This is true for a lot of countries, but that’s the reality!

While nothing can take your work experience away from you, there is an importance in theory. After all, you need to know the rules first before you can break them, no?

I’m one of those people who is fortunate enough to know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I have friends here who chose the courses they are in now because they want a career change, and that’s okay. It doesn’t matter if you have a Bachelor’s degree in Economics but decide that you want to be a film director – taking on a Master’s course here will help you with just that.

And I will tell you what many family and friends have told me: go for it!

By Lina Abdul Halim