On 1 April 2015, the School of Arts and Social Sciences at SIM University (UniSIM) held a talk on the relevance of the English degree in the workplace for its English programmes students. The speaker was UniSIM's Bachelor of Arts in English with Business programme alumnus Mr Mohamed Abdullah, a sports television producer who, in his 12-year career in the television broadcast industry, has interviewed top football players such as Wayne Rooney and Kazuyoshi Miura.
The eye-opening talk covered the many aspects of making a sports programme, such as conceptualising the storyline, pitching the idea, researching the content, gathering the footage, organising the shoots in Singapore and overseas, interviewing key personalities, finding appropriate music, and editing the footage.
Mohamed Abdullah shared that the English programme helped him understand the way language works and how this is invaluable when writing a script for maximum impact. Knowledge of literature and film also enabled him to recognise interesting angles and craft compelling stories. For example, a story about a football player is more gripping when portrayed as the struggle of an underdog. He illustrated his points by showing and commenting on clips from the J-League 20th Anniversary Commemorative Programme, a one-hour television documentary special he produced, which was broadcast worldwide.
During the lively question-and-answer session, the students discussed excitedly the wide range of transferable skills an English degree can provide at work and in everyday life.
Mohamed Abdullah (centre) interviewing footballer Wayne Rooney.