University Scholars Leadership Symposium – Motivating University Students to Change The World Through Leadership and Technology

Posted 22nd October 2018

CMU-A student, Zaidul Alam was one of just over 1,000 student delegates from 87 countries to be invited to attend the 9th University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Thailand – and the first ever CMU-A student to do so.

The Symposium is run by the Humanitarian Affairs Asia and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Their mission is to empower university students and facilitate youth who are passionate about positive social change.

The annual Symposium brings together young people to network and hear from world leaders who are making a difference through their leadership and innovative ideas.

Zaidul, a part-time Master of Science in Information Technology student, is passionate about using his skills and experience to get young people into the technology industry.

It was Zaidul’s volunteer work for the STEMSEL Club Adelaide, coupled with his mentoring work with young graduates in the South Australian public sector and his studies at Carnegie Mellon University, that attracted the attention of the organisers and secured him a spot at the Symposium.

Since 2013, Zaidal has volunteered at STEMSEL club, which runs a program to encourage early secondary school students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and social entrepreneurship development using STEMSEL Kit.

It was Zaidul’s passion for, and commitment to, quality education that motivated him to apply for a place at the 2018 University Scholars Leadership Symposium.

“Education, particularly focused on technology, is the key to building a sustainable world, said Zaidul.

“Attending the University Scholars Leadership Symposium enabled me to network with other students who have the same passion and commitment to make the world a better place to live for everyone.”

The week-long Symposium took place at The United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. There were several workshops and keynote sessions each day with networking events during the breaks.

Education, particularly focused on technology, is the key to building a sustainable world

Part of the Symposium was a service day when the delegates visited different places in Bangkok and were involved with volunteer services.

Zaidu joined the Safari world group as a volunteer photographer taking groups of refugee children for their first ever trip to a local Zoo.

Some other projects included repainting the Suroutmaijaroen School in rural Thailand; collecting weeds and rubbish from local rivers; teaching English to elementary school students and working on projects to improve education, reduce child abuse and care for the elderly in Thailand slums.

“I’m indebted to CMU-A Manager of Admissions and Student Affairs, Nereshnee Shunmugam who circulated details of the Symposium to CMU-A students, said Zaidul.

“It was an outstanding event and one I hope other CMU-A students might consider in future years.

While I was the first CMU-A student to attend the Symposium, I hope I’m not the last!!”

Zaidul is currently working in the South Australian Public Sector as a Systems Analyst but has ambitions to start his own startup business.