Hitting the right notes in school

FASS graduand Haseena vowed to make the most out of her university experience

NUS Arts and Social Sciences graduand Nur Haseena Jupri, who will be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (English Language and Literature) with Honours (Highest Distinction) on 19 July, looks back on her rich four-year campus experience with much fondness as she embarks on her new journey upon graduation.

“When I entered NUS as a freshman, my personal goal was to make the best out of my university experience by grabbing hold of opportunities to participate in NUS’ vibrant student life,” said Haseena. In fact, one of the reasons she opted to pursue her degree at NUS was the rich student experience it promised. Her parents, both NUS Business alumni, supported their daughter’s pursuits wholeheartedly.

Musically inclined Haseena began playing the piano at age three and attained a certification of Grade 8 from The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music when she was 14 years old. In secondary school, she joined the school band where she was assigned the saxophone. Her adept handling of the instrument helped her to become one of three inaugural recipients of the NUS Performing & Visual Arts Scholarship, awarded to individuals who possess outstanding academic records with an excellent track record of participating in performing or visual arts events.


Haseena playing the baritone saxophone in a performance by the NUS Wind Symphony

At NUS, Haseena was an active member of the NUS Wind Symphony and participated in their annual signature performances — “Da Capo” series and “In Tempo” series — for two years. As a Year 2 student, Haseena served as the Vice-President where she worked with a committee of 10 students to oversee the production of two performances, manage two recruitment drives and supervise twice-weekly rehearsals for more than 80 members. In Years 3 and 4, Haseena became a member of the NUS Jazz Band. Playing the baritone saxophone, she was a familiar face in weekly rehearsals and participated in the club’s annual events such as “Suppertime @ BluJaz Café” and “Groove Merchant 2018”.

In addition to a whirlwind of music practice sessions and performances, Haseena was an active resident of the College of Alice & Peter Tan (CAPT) at NUS where she stayed for seven semesters. Serving as House Head in her second year, Haseena and her committee of 11 students were responsible for 120 students. “During my term, we carried out activities to enhance the residents’ well-being and provided opportunities for bonding,” she said. The committee also conducted activities in line with CAPT’s theme of community engagement, she added. In recognition of her outstanding service to CAPT, Haseena was presented with the College Award.

Haseena also participated in two of CAPT’s Overseas Service Learning projects to China and India. The trip to China, in 2016 saw the group visiting two schools in Yunnan and helping to develop a programme that introduced the children to sports, arts and theatre. She found to her surprise that language was less of a barrier than she had anticipated. “Another thing I realised was that although the rural kids lead a simple life, they are very easily contented. They are also genuinely excited to learn,” she said.

The intrepid graduand also found time to pick up a new sport — trampoline — when she undertook a Student Exchange Programme at the University of Liverpool, UK. “I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and try something completely new,” she said. Haseena even represented the University of Liverpool at Geordie Cup 2017, a regional trampoline competition, in the Novice category.

When I entered NUS as a freshman, my personal goal was to make the best out of my university experience by grabbing hold of opportunities to participate in NUS’ vibrant student life.

Haseena’s advice to freshmen aspiring to follow in her busy footsteps? “Time management is the main thing. Secondly, communicate your schedules and expectations to the different project teams you are involved in,” she said. She also urged incoming students to plan what they want to get out of university life so that they can better prioritise their time and activities.

On the cusp of leaving NUS, Haseena said that she would miss her friends and the flexibility offered by the University to pursue one’s interests. Central Library and the yong tau foo stall at the Arts canteen will also be sorely missed, she quipped.

A short break to travel and spend time with friends and family is on the cards before Haseena starts on her job hunt. She hopes to land a position in the public sector. “It doesn’t matter so much what work I’m doing. What is more important to me is what I’m working for and that’s why I hope to work in the government sector where whatever I do will be in service of my country.”