The start-up day
Under the need of strengthening the IT community within RMIT, the IT Club was first founded by a group of enthusiastic IT students in semester A, 2009. The club’s executive board included:
- Nguyen Hoang Long – President
- Nguyen Huu Anh Vu – Vice President
- Bui Cong Phap – Treasurer
- Do Thanh – Secretary
Although the IT club’s founders were all junior students and inexperienced at setting up an organization, the successful establishment of the new IT club was the fruit of their motivation and enthusiasm. Certainly, the above achievement could not occur without the unfailing support from Mr. Barend Scholtus – IT Program Manager, Mr. Huy Le – IT Program Lecturer and our friend Ksenia Kholkina – RMIT Design student.
New clubs usually require a lot of effort and time of not only their founders but also their members to finalize their official name, club vision as well as to plan for their development strategy and organization management. The RMIT IT club was not an exception. Finally, the IT club got its official name: RMIT Magnificent IT club, abbreviatedly as RMITC, carrying the wish to develop the strong community of RMIT IT students. RMITC’s original objects were to provide an environment for IT students to share their knowledge, to learn more and spend leisure time to have fun with each other. Fun and helpful club activities were also meant to enhance the number of IT students and advertise for the IT program at RMIT to other universities.
For the very first promotional activity for the club, the software buffet event was planned as a place where students and staff can come and collect as many useful, licensed and free software as they want.
However, the plan never came true. Inadequate member management lead to delays in responding to the Sport and Recreation Department‘s requests. As an inevitable result, in May 2009, the IT Club was banned by the Sport and Recreation Department, mostly due to its long idle time after the establishment.
Major change point
RMITC was disbanded. Nevertheless, that could not change the fact that IT students, just like students in other program, really need to have a community where they can extend their relationship, receive guidelines for their potential development and cover the gap between academic and industry environment.
In semester 2009C, Nguyen Nam Khang, a 4th semester student, came up with an idea: “We are having a lot of networking events for current students, professors and some of the alumni, yet there is no such event exclusive for IT students. So let’s just make one”. The plan received great help from Mr. Tuan Nguyen, President of RMIT Alumni Association as well as other RMIT lecturers and staffs: Mr. Barend Scholtus, Mr. Kevin Kuruvilla and Ms. Thai Hai Yen – Alumni Relations Officer from Work, Careers & Lifelong Learning Unit.
The event was held on 18th December at K&K cafe with the attendance of more than 150 students coming from the IT related programs such as Business Information Technology, Information Technology, etc, alumni and guest speakers of well-known IT enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City. The event was far more successful than what its organizers expected since the planning target was only about 80 attendances in total. The main reason was because the networking event met the need of students for an insightful view into the IT industry. It also helped to initiate a tight connection between students, alumni and potential employers.
The event demonstrated that the indispensability of establishing a well-structured IT community within RMIT would never stop. It also showed that IT students were competent and experienced enough to organize an event together with different departments and academic programs in RMIT.
Re-establishment and head for bright future
From the lack of extra curricullum activities for IT students shown in the above networking event, the idea of re-establishing the IT Club was once again proposed to the IT Program Manager with a well-defined development direction and management structure. Learning from the failure of the previous IT Club, the club objectives were envisioned more concisely with clear objectives:
- Promote an active student-centered learning environment
- Fulfill the gap of academic and industry requirement
The new club operations were built up with the four core activities: competition, seminar, industry tours and student projects.
With the proper planning and hard-working preparation, the club re-establishment proposal was approved. From February 2010, the club officially started its probation time. Five months later, which was in July 2010, it successfully passed the probation time and has been fully recognized as an official RMIT Club from then.