Of the modules taken in my first two years of education in Marketing at SUSS, the Common Curriculum was an unexpected pleasure to undergo. Exposure to the multiple aspects of humanities and sciences had granted me a broader horizon in thinking out of the box and being thorough in my analysis and elaboration.
Though subjects such as literature (Critical Reading) and history (World History and Issues) were foreign to most students, especially so for males due to being away from academia for two years serving National Service, I enjoyed the creative, albeit demanding, nature of the subjects. There not being a single “correct” answer and the lack of rigidity in approach required me to learn to be adaptive and flexible in thinking and problem solving. These skills were particularly applicable in later marketing modules due to the similar nature of assignments, requiring a critical approach to identified problems whilst coming up with creative solutions without losing focus on seemingly unimportant aspects of the issue. Furthermore, the Common Curriculum had trained my tenacity for sifting through large amounts of information, focusing on those of high relevance to craft a fluid message for delivery. Such also aided in identifying useful and credible material for use, rather than mere utilization through ease of access.
Personally I enjoyed the active discussions needed in tackling assignments and class discussions due to the interactivity and allowance for free play. The professors provided constructive comments and criticisms to our expressed thoughts and opinions, granting us deeper insights into related topics and inciting further discussion and thought into matters not commonly tackled in everyday conversations. For that matter, participation was strongly encouraged, of which I feel is a vastly effective method of learning.
Regarding its relevance to Service-Learning, such was particularly applicable due to the nature of Advocates of Thought, Language, and Service (ATLAS). As an advocacy group, it was pivotal that our members are proficient and aware of the fundamentals of an identified issue/topic before any action is taken. Such would ensure credibility is attained whilst avoiding ignorant or apathetic actions, whether it be unintentional or not. Doing so certainly requires in-depth studies to better understand the identified issue, of which the skills acquired in undergoing the Common Curriculum were most apt. Past experiences in in-depth discussions also reminded me to be mindful of differing opinions, striving to be objective and unbiased throughout my thought and decision process.
Additionally, the content delivered in the Common Curriculum expanded my scope of knowledge in the tackled fields of arts and technology. Those of particular interest were topics involving philosophy and literature, of which I was keen to tackle once more at our ATLAS reading sessions, whereby the professors so kindly volunteered to facilitate our discussions. Their aid granted us the opportunity to present ideas and questions regarding issues not commonly encountered in the everyday context, resulting in fruitful discussion and the garnering of deeper insights among our fellow students as well.
Overall, I can say with much confidence that the Common Curriculum had added much intrinsic value to my journey thus far as a student. Though some may argue against its relevance to the business industry, the soft skills inculcated within us students would no doubt benefit essential skills such as thinking, reasoning, information-processing, and decision-making.