Many students have found themselves in this position. One of them is RMIT graduate, Khairil Fazmi (or Khai), who decided to make the switch from a biomedical engineering degree to digital marketing. For Khai, this ended up being the best decision he’s ever made.
Khai used to rush home from school to watch science programmes such as Bill Nye the Science Guy on television, and worked hard in his classes to earn the marks he would need to study biomedical engineering at UniSIM (now known as Singapore University of Social Sciences).
But when he began his undergraduate studies, Khai soon discovered that the reality of a science degree was very different from his childhood dream.
“It was a lot of solitary work in labs, managing experiments and documenting results,” he says. “I didn’t like that the other students wouldn’t talk much, and I felt alone. I’m very social so it became obvious that although I loved the subject matter, this type of work wasn’t the best fit for me.”
At the same time, Khai was working part-time as a roadshow events assistant for Volkswagen in Singapore. This introduced him to the more vibrant world of marketing.
“Whenever a roadshow took place, the entire marketing team would come down. I would sit with them and chat about what life is like in marketing,” recalls Khai. “It sounded like interesting, creative work. The more I learnt about it, the more I was drawn to it.”
That was in 2009 in the midst of the digital revolution, and Khai could see the marketing industry changing in front of his eyes.
“At the time, all the brands wanted to shift from offline to digital. It was quite a huge movement and a very exciting time in the industry,” he says.
And so a motivated Khai switched from a biomedical engineering degree to an RMIT business management degree with a major in marketing. Luckily for him, the transition was extremely easy.
“The transition between the two courses was very smooth,” says Khai. “The website had most of the information I needed to make my decision, and any other queries I had were promptly answered by the admissions team via email. I also attended the open house, where I was able to speak to course advisors and students who were already pursuing the marketing course. This helped me understand exactly what I was signing up for.”
Even after making the switch, the support continued and Khai thrived in his new course.
“RMIT organised study groups for those who didn’t have any, and also provided ‘survival packs’ during exam time,” says Khai.
He joined the student council in his first year and was involved in organising events such as career days and job fairs. He was also impressed with his new lecturers.
“Our lecturers were very experienced industry professionals with a lot of industry knowledge and working experience,” he says. “They taught us much more than just what we could find in books. They shared their experiences with us, which helped us prepare for a real-world role in the marketing industry.”
After graduation, Khai worked in several marketing roles before taking up his current position as Engagement Manager at Isentia.
He enjoys the social environment at work, which is very different from his experience of working by himself during his days as a biomedical engineering student. However, he still draws on his scientific background in his role as a marketing professional.
“I deal with a lot of numbers every day, and I use a lot of formulas for my reports for clients. I analyse and scrutinise the numbers to draw insights and provide recommendations, which is a similar approach I took to lab work,” he explains.
Khai firmly believes that he wouldn’t have experienced the success he has today if he hadn’t switched courses. He is extremely happy with his decision.
“Study what you feel strongly about. If at any point you realise you aren’t enjoying what you’re learning, don’t be afraid to make a change. It’s scary, but it’ll definitely be worthwhile,” advises Khai.
As long as you choose the right educational institution that provides the support you need to pursue your passion, success is sure to follow when you trust your instincts. Thinking about making a change? Our website and course advisers can help you out with the steps you need to take.