SMU holds Virtual Graduation and Career Fair specially curated for the Class of 2020
Monday Sep 14,2020
Singapore Management University (SMU)’s Class of 2020 celebrated its graduation on 24 July 2020 with a Virtual Graduation and Career Fair (VGF) specially curated by the University and held virtually for the first time, in light of the Covid-19 situation. The Virtual Graduation and Career Fair was organised in addition to the physical Commencement ceremonies which will be held at a later date when circumstances allow.
Mr Christopher Chew, Director of SMU Office of Corporate Communications and Marketing, led the project team in conceptualising and organising the VGF event. He said, “The University recognises the importance of its graduating cohort not missing out on celebrating its significant milestone this year despite the pandemic. Hence the VGF was organised to provide the Class of 2020 with a platform to relive and rejoice in the best moments of their journey with SMU.
“Beyond commemorating a special occasion, we also wanted the VGF to be beneficial, inspiring and informative by taking into account the challenges the pandemic has posed to the cohort. We had therefore included motivational speeches, discussions by SMU and industry leaders on the qualities and skills needed to thrive in a post-pandemic world of work, as well as interactions with potential employers on employment and traineeship opportunities.”
To enhance the fun and interactivity of the VGF event, SMU had engaged Hiverlab to plan and carry out several virtual activities for the Class of 2020 to take part in with their friends and loved ones. These include:
- Virtual Degree Presentation - a digital avatar of each graduate is created from his or her selfie to provide the graduate with a customised experience of going onstage in full graduation regalia to receive the degree folder from his/her Dean, who is also in digital avatar form (see Image 1 in Annex);
- SMU Memories Gallery - set in a VR-simulated version of SMU’s Li Ka Shing Library where graduates walked down a virtual memory lane to view the curated photos and videos submitted by fellow graduates for the SMU Memories Contest. Graduates voted for their favourite photos and videos in the ‘Favourite place on campus’, ‘Best Global Exposure/Co-curricular Activity/Community Service moment’, and ‘Best SMU moment’ categories, and the winners walked away with attractive prizes (see Image 2 in Annex);
- MobileAR photobooth - uses augmented reality (AR) tools to call up the graduate’s avatar on the mobile phone so as to capture photos of the precious moments of the occasion with family and loved ones (see Image 3 in Annex).
Mr Ender Jiang, Founder of Hiverlab, said: “This project embodies the concept of being adaptable and innovative to navigate the new normal. We are proud to support SMU for its virtual graduation event as the vendor of choice.”
The efforts by the SMU and Hiverlab project team were appreciated and well-received by the Class of 2020.
A Lee Kong Chian School of Business graduate said that the VGF was interesting “… because we became a unique batch of students to do this for the first time. Wonderful memories were also created via the VGF through social media and more.”
A School of Accountancy graduate commented that “The overall VGF event was interesting and engaging. Even though graduates like myself could not have the real-life graduation experience at the moment, the touch of virtual element, receiving our graduation cert via a virtual platform, was a fun way to mark an end to my university life.”
A School of Law graduate, expressing her appreciation for the efforts put into organising the VGF event, said “I felt that the VGF was a fun and creative initiative by the University. It must have taken a lot of effort to make this event possible and I am grateful that the University organised this specially for us.” She added that it was fun “… to see my friends post about the event on social media and share their dedications and virtual graduation clips, as well as their AR photobooth pictures. I particularly enjoyed the Virtual Degree Presentation and the MobileAR photobooth. It was fun for us to watch my avatar walk up the stage to receive my degree, as well as take photos with my avatar.”