Name: Abdul Rahim Bin Mohamed Amin
Company: Open University Malaysia Johor Bahru (OUM JB)
Associate Professor Abdul Rahim has been the Director of OUM Johor Bahru branch since 2009. Prior to joining OUM, he was actively involved in Corporate Training, covering topics such as Corporate Organisation, Retailing, Human Resource Development and Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship.
He has lectured on a part-time basis at SEDAYA College, UiTM, UUM and a few other private colleges in Johor Bahru. He holds a Diploma in Business Studies and BBA Hons (Finance) from UiTM, as well as a Master’s Degree in Technology Management (HRD) from UTM. Upon completion of his Degree from UiTM, he ventured into various private and public organisations namely UTM, Johor Education Foundation Group, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturer, SCA Packaging, Swan Malaysia, Horizon Hills Development S/B and UEM Land Berhad.
With over 30 years of working experience, his research interest is in Marketing, Management and Human Resources. Currently, he is pursuing his Doctorate in Business Administrations at OUM.
Tell us more about OUM and its unique selling points.
Open University Malaysia or OUM is the first self-managed and distant-learning education institution in Malaysia. Established in August 2000 with the motto “University for All”, OUM believes in the democratisation of education, giving everyone a chance at self-actualisation and fulfilling their potential.
Being the University of Choice for working adults, OUM promotes flexibility in education where students can tailor their studies to suit their own convenience, study at their own pace, anytime, anywhere, without having to sacrifice time off work or personal interest.
OUM also lets you make your work experience count whereby students can include their experience at work to be accredited for enrolment into programmes.
The OUM learning centres which are found in convenient locations also allow students to attend classes or seek advice without having to travel far.
What are the courses offered at OUM?
As mentioned earlier, OUM is a centre of learning and education for all. However, we focus more on management and knowledge-based subjects such as business, IT, early childhood care, maintenance, manufacturing, safety and more.
The variant education level courses available at OUM range from Diplomas all the way to PhDs.
What are among the facilities provided at OUM?
Facility wise, we are like any other educational institution. We have classrooms (offline and online), a café, halls and a common area. We are also equipped with facilities that are catered to the working class and the differently-abled such as nursing rooms for working mothers, a wheelchair ramp, as well as an examination centre for the finals. Yes, even though we promote online learning, but the exams still have to be taken the conventional way, as all centres will hold the exam at the same time and day across the world.
How does OUM facilitate job matching and placements?
OUM does not have to do much in job facilitation and placements actually. However, our unique selling point as an open distant-learning institution has made it easier for students who are already employed or looking for better opportunities in their career to improve and up-skill themselves by taking relevant courses, which will in turn result in a promotion or a better offer at another organisation.
Why did you make the shift from a corporate career to a career in education?
Honestly, I fell in love with teaching. I never thought I would be an educator but as many others would agree with me, there is a sort of fulfilment or feeling of contentment when you see yourself passing on knowledge to the ones who are seeking it.
I think it started when I was in HR conducting training and facilitating enrichment programmes for employees. The spark made me pursue my own journey of education while also empowering the people around me, especially people from the working class.
From your experience in education, what advise can you give to the fresh graduates?
I will have to say one simple thing: just do not be fussy and be open to learn. Sure, the economy and market now is at a downturn state, but many are unaware that this is the perfect time to upskill and educate yourself. Why? Because eventually when the economy is up and running, you will be ready to jump back in with an enriched skillset and knowledge.
As for jobs, just try out anything. You do not really have to get into something that you have studied for because, at the end of the day, the educational journey never ends. That is where OUM offers perfect education courses for the working class.
What is your take on life-long-learning? Taking a diploma at 40? A degree at 60?
I think it is a terrific opportunity for self-enrichment. This is actually a subjective question because for some businessmen or entrepreneurs, there is no need for certificates or degrees. All you need is an idea and some start-up capital. The rest is up to your effort.
As for those who are looking for something to do or more knowledge in certain fields, they will come to enrol and take exams at any age. Some are just bored, whereas some didn’t get the chance earlier on, but everyone has their reasons.
If you were given a choice to change your career, what would you be?
I have always loved plants and gardening. I wanted to learn more about horticulture and plants but was not good at biology and the science of botany. I do gardening just by instinct and enjoy how calm it makes me feel. It is a good form of therapy in my opinion.
What do you do in your free time?
I would normally be in the garden with my plants or spend time with my family.