Taking over from Ashleigh Hruz is Gaffar Rampage, our new Community Coordinator for the EIT Digital Alumni Foundation! Please join us as we extend a very warm welcome to him. Based in The Netherlands, Gaffar works out of our Eindhoven Co-location Centre (CLC).
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi! My name is Gaffar, and I was born and raised in Singapore. I am a communications professional, freelance training facilitator and mobility advocate. I joined the Alumni Foundation in March this year to support the alumni community and help it flourish.
By now, I’ve spent more time outside of Singapore than in it. I studied communications in Rotterdam, did an Erasmus exchange in Ljubljana, and lived in Brussels for two years while working as Communication Manager for the Erasmus Student Network (ESN). I have also worked for the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), and 2-3 times a year I facilitate workshops and trainings on topics such as interpersonal communication and gender diversity.
My experience of living in various places and meeting all kinds of wonderful people have made me a strong advocate of mobility and international collaboration - and that’s why I joined EIT Digital Alumni! The foundation is a beautiful example of what young people can achieve in international and intercultural settings - both professionally and personally.
What is your role in EIT Digital Alumni?
I am the foundation’s Community Coordinator - simply put, I support the Board in the day-to-day maintenance of the community. The community has grown tremendously in the past few years, and along with that comes many opportunities to connect, network, learn from and inspire each other. All of you come from very different backgrounds, and that’s exciting!
In practice, I maintain the Alumni Directory to help everyone connect with each other. My job is to liaise between the Alumni Board, the community, and other relevant stakeholders such as the various Co-location Centres, or other EIT communities. I also provide communication support to the Board, and constantly work on ideas to grow and improve the community.
To succeed in this role, however, I need your help! The community is nothing without its members, and there are so many ways to contribute. You could organise events, share job opportunities, tell us about your success story.. Find out more about how you can play a role!
How do you do all that during this Coronavirus crisis?
Like most people, I am currently working from home. I am lucky because I live in a beautifully spacious house with the most wonderful housemates! For me, this has been the most important factor in staying mentally healthy in these tough times.
The trick is to spice things up and keep things interesting. To follow natural daylight, I work in the kitchen in the morning and in the dining room in the afternoon - and if I happen to be working late I reward myself with a comfortable place on the couch. We take turns to cook, and with 5 people in the house there is always something different for dinner. It helps a lot that we have a garden where we can get some fresh air - the weather has been fantastic in the past weeks so I have even worked outside some afternoons!
To #StayHealthy, I take walks in the nearby park every couple of days (with social distancing!). I also skip ropes a few times a day. It’s an easy activity that’s effective as cardio, keeps the blood flowing and the brain sharp, and can be done anywhere there's a bit of space. To #StayConnected, I play board games with my housemates, and spend time connecting with friends and family in Singapore and around the world - I really couldn’t do this without Skype ;)
Hopefully when this is all over I will get to meet the community at an upcoming event!