First City University College (First City UC) recently collaborated for the first time with 1 Utama Shopping Center on a 5-weeks live project, which involved 30of its second year BA (Hons) Graphic Design students. The collaboration with the Faculty of Design and Built Environment was part of the shopping centre’s Corporate Responsibility effort to expose students to real life project, as well as to gather fresh ideas for its social media content.

Being one the world’s largest mall, 1 Utama Shopping Centre proudly subscribes to a very successful formula that elevates the ideals of shopping, entertainment and dining to new heights. Under            the tagline “It’s all in one”, the mall is a premier lifestyle mecca with something for everyone. At the start of the project in mid-October, the students were divided into six groups, with each required to produce a series of 8-minutes videos carrying different themes to highlight the shopping center’s unique selling points, namely Shopping, Dining, Sportszone, Entertainment, Go Green Initiatives and Social Media. They were granted special permission to record real video footage within the establishment in order to convey their stories and messages.

The project was designed to develop students’ skills in narrating and storytelling, and to allow them to discover the best way of engaging the target audience of a real client. By involving in this project students will have the opportunity to explore and experiment with a wide range of media and technologies, after which they can further develop their technical skills in moving imagery and editing.

Dr. Debbie Gan, the Deputy Dean of the faculty said, “We are very honoured at the opportunity given by 1 Utama to involve our students in the creation of the videos to promote their establishment. This is important as collaboration between universities and industries is critical for skills development for the students’ education and training. I am proud of our students as they have taken full advantage of the opportunity for their personal, intellectual, and professional growth, especially when this is their first foray into the real world.”

Public Relations Officer of 1 Utama, Penn Tan said that the idea to reach out to First City UC came when their team was brainstorming for ways to further enhance their social media content to make it more exciting, while fulfilling their Social Responsibility requirements. He added, “As this is the first ever collaboration we undertake with an education institution, I was pleasantly surprised with the students’ presentations as they were very professional and well-prepared. My team and I were impressed with the students’ works. This project is so successful that we are already thinking of our next collaboration with First City UC.”

One of the participants, Puteri Hanna Binti Megat Osman said, “My group incorporated the concept of a selfie video, with narration from the camera’s point of view to inject the element of humour in order to make it more interesting. The challenging part was in exploring and figuring out the editing style which will best work with our concept. We had to do a lot of research and seek guidance from our ever attentive tutor. Since this is our first experience working with real client, we discovered about company’s standard operation procedures and regulations, which we will need to abide to. We learnt a lot about working collaboratively with each group member and managing our time and resources effectively. Other than that, we had so much fun working on this project.”

Morika S.Banu, the leader of another group who worked on the “Dining” theme said, “At the start of this project, we sat together to discuss the concept for the video based on the theme assigned to us, and discovered the strengths of each group member. As the leader, I learnt a lot about planning, teamwork and work management. We enjoyed the process as we got to experience and had a taste of the real working world.”

At the end of presentation, the group who worked on the “Go Green” concept impressed the 1 Utama representatives with their out of the box concept promoting environment-friendly initiatives in a humorous way and won first prize. Second prize went to the group who presented the “Entertainment” theme while the third prize was awarded to the group working on the “Social Media” theme. The rest of the groups received consolation prizes each. All the videos produced by the students will be posted on 1 Utama’s social media platforms.

Apart from the Graphic Design programme, First City UC also offers bachelor’s degree programmes in Interior Architecture & Design and Furniture & Product Design in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University, UK, in addition to Foundation in Art & Design and Diplomas in Interactive Design and Interior Design. Furthermore, the university college will be rolling out more home-grown programmes in 2017 to meet the demand and needs of both local and international students, such as BA (Hons) in Fashion Marketing and Branding and Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Graphic Design, Interior Architecture and Design and Furniture & Product Design.

January intake is in progress for a wide range of study disciplines in Business, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Mass Communication, Engineering, Computing, Design and Built Environment, Pre-University and Foundation Studies and Languages. Counsellors are available to attend to queries on extended counselling hours from 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. (Weekdays) and 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. (Weekends) from 1st December 2016 until 21st January 2017 (excluding public holidays).