Discover U.S. Education ’07 (formerly Experiences)

So it turns out that the branding rumor that I’ve been hearing is true, that some bastard from the “other” side cannot co-exists. 🙁 I really hate it when Singaporean and Malaysians cannot work together.

Or before I continue to bitch, let’s talk about the important thing first. Discover U.S. Education ’07 is the successor event to last year’s wildly successful Experiences ’06 in Sunway Pyramid. Save the date: 15 July 2007 at Sunway Pyramid also (actually the convention center).

Discover US Education Logo

If you’ve never heard of this event, and especially if you’re considering going from Malaysia to US to further your studies, Jiin Joo says: You Must Attend DUSEKL! Here you’ll get to:

  • Meet alumnis
    • Your parents always wanted the truth don’t they?
    • You always want your parents to talk to someone other than MACEE right?
  • Meet school admin officers
    • Some schools will actually send their admin officers down to answer questions, especially if they help sponsored the event.
  • Meet new friends
    • Know which school you’re going to? Make some friends at the booth 🙂 I’m serious! I’ve seen (last year) some hard core fans of my alma mater just hanging around, end up helping me do the job of answering questions. Very fun!

Although the so called “mission” of this event is “To create a greater awareness of American education among Malaysians“, I thought it is important to point out that this is also a very important networking event for all the American school alumni from Malaysia (and neighboring countries… people like me run home to help run the show), a very important forum between addressing the needs of Malaysians to some of the right channels (like the education ministry people, the US admin officers etc.) and others. Just think of it as a great party even if you don’t think you can afford a US education.

There’s always ReCom too 🙂

Now back to the story. Can someone tell me why we can’t do something together? Let me see if I got the story right. “Experiences” is a name that has been popularize in Singapore first, as a bunch of Singaporeans who wanted to create this very same awareness in Singapore decided to book a hall in Suntec and invite budding JC kids and others to start making friends even before departing to US. It started in 2000, so by the time the model was copied to KL, it has morphed for 6 years. I think it is fair to say that within this 5 to 6 years, every year the “model” has been different, and there’s no such “copyright” of this event model.

But after the first Experiences in KL, someone is annoyed by the fact that Experiences in KL is taking a different face, and thus wants to limit the way Experiences is being conducted as they “own” the name to “Experiences”. Instead of encouraging each other’s committee member take part in that other party’s activities so that this model can grow beyond the shores of this puny island / peninsular, maybe developing its own franchise etc., here we have KL side going its own direction, each still under the very same guise, serving a very similar purposes, but branded differently. In doing this, we lost the advantage to grow a big enough organization to leverage for looking for sponsors, press coverage, and many other things.

Malaysia Forum Malaysia Forum

This reminds me of a very similar discussion a few years back during the inception of Malaysia Forum. The first so called “chapter” was in Stanford University, and there has been a 2nd generation cluster around Harvard/Yale in Boston. As the group is still small and growing, future cells might be possible, but there should be no restriction as long as the vision is the same: promote Malaysian civil society. Why would you want to “control” everything? Grassroots are in their nature free in form but focused in their mission. To impose anything at all is to me meaningless.

All the best to the gang running DUSEKL. 🙂

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