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Harmonizing Skills and Passions: My Transformative Journey in the Global Leadership Program at Macquarie University

By Md Asir Mosaddek Sahil Pathan, Bachelor of Information Technology

Reflecting on my experience with the Global Leadership Program (GLP) at Macquarie University (MQU) as an international student from Bangladesh studying IT cybersecurity, I can confidently say that the program has profoundly impacted my university journey and personal development.

Initially, my view of university life was narrowly focused on academic achievements and scholarly pursuits. However, joining the GLP in my second year, after completing two semesters, opened my eyes to a broader perspective of what university life entails. I regret not being aware of the program from day one, as it would have enriched my first year considerably. The GLP, acting as an umbrella for various extracurricular activities, tracks and enhances soft skills essential for applying academic knowledge. This realization was a turning point, helping me understand that university life is not just about academic progress but also about developing a well-rounded skill set.

As a trained vocal artist in Indian classical music and notation, I initially struggled to find avenues at MQU to express this aspect of my identity. Before joining GLP, I even resorted to singing in RPD toilets – a humorous but telling sign of my need for a creative outlet. The GLP helped me rediscover my passion for music, encouraging me to resume my practice ('Rewaz') more diligently, akin to my training days. As a classical vocal artist, I view music as a divine entity, similar to how Christians attend church every Sunday, Hindus visit temples on Mondays depending on the deity they worship, and Muslims pray five times a day. Music, for me, embodies both divinity and spiritual consistency; it requires continuous practice to maintain its spiritual essence. Just as a saint might lose their connection to the universe if they cease meditating for a day, a musician risks losing their spiritual connection to music without regular practice.

Additionally, my involvement in other pursuits, such as being a blood donor at Lifeblood Australia, was given new meaning through the program. The GLP helped me see the value in every soft skill and how it contributes to making us unique individuals.

Remarkably, I completed 200 experiential credit points in just one semester within the GLP. This achievement wasn't just about accumulating points; it was about the skills, new experiences, adventures, and values I gained. These experiences have not only steered me towards becoming a successful professional in IT cybersecurity but also a person of strong morals and ideologies.

In conclusion, my involvement in the GLP at MQU has been transformative. It has allowed me to integrate my background in music, my commitment to community service, and my academic pursuits into a cohesive and fulfilling university experience. The program has taught me that university life is about much more than academic learning; it's a journey of personal and professional growth, where soft skills play a crucial role in applying our knowledge effectively. The GLP has undoubtedly made me a better student, a better leader, and a more well-rounded individual, ready to contribute positively to the world.

Read more about Sahil's music and IT journey below:

Welcome to the vibrant and lively Macquarie University campus, where education meets innovation amidst green spaces and modern architecture!

Hello, fellow students and music aficionados! I'm an international student at Macquarie University, majoring in Information Technology. But there's more to me than just lines of code and tech jargon. I am also a trained Indian classical vocal artist, a passion that not only fills my soul with melodies but also surprisingly aids my concentration in studies. How, you ask? Let’s dive into this harmonious journey.

Picture this: the second floor's washroom of the 4RPD computing building. That’s my unofficial studio!

A quirky glimpse into my unusual rehearsal space - the washroom at 4RPD, where melodies echo off the tiles.

Yes, you heard it right. It's there, amidst the echoes of the tiles, where I find my musical haven. Amusing, isn't it? But hey, every artist has their quirky corner.

The essence of Indian classical music, captured through the intricate details of traditional instruments and notations, a testament to my musical journey.

The Science of Song and Study

Studies suggest that music, especially classical forms, can enhance cognitive abilities. It’s not just Mozart; even the complex rhythms of Indian classical music have a way of fine-tuning the brain. When I’m lost in the swaras (notes) and ragas, I’m not just singing; I’m also inadvertently boosting my brain's ability to absorb and retain information.

A Tale of Two Passions

Balancing IT studies and music might seem like mixing oil and water, but for me, they are more like coffee and cream – different, yet they blend beautifully. Singing helps me de-stress, which is essential when you’re trying to understand the complexities of programming languages and network systems.

The Washroom Chronicles

Now, let’s talk about my favourite rehearsal spot - the washroom on the second floor of 4RPD. It started as a place to escape the academic hustle, but soon, I discovered its acoustics were perfect for Indian classical music. I’ve become quite a sensation, I must say. People often ask, “Were you the one singing in the washroom?” Yep, that’s me, bringing a bit of raga to the routers and servers!

 Jokes Apart, But Seriously...

You might be chuckling, picturing a student singing away in a washroom. But here's a thought - why confine creativity? If a washroom can become a space of artistic expression, imagine the possibilities elsewhere!

 The IT-Music Connection

You might wonder, how does singing relate to IT? Both require precision, practice, and a lot of patience. Debugging a code is like fine-tuning a musical piece – both need dedication and attention to detail. When I sing, I’m training my brain to be more patient and focused, skills crucial for my IT assignments.

The convergence of coding and melody - a snapshot of how I blend my IT expertise with my love for music in creative projects.


A Question for You

Have you ever found a unique place where you feel most creative or focused? Think about it. Sometimes, the most unusual spots can be the most inspiring.

Singing Through Challenges

Being an international student isn’t easy. There are moments of loneliness and cultural shock. Music has been my steadfast companion, reminding me of home while helping me embrace this new world. It’s my bridge between two cultures, two identities.

Anecdotes from the Echo Chamber

One day, while singing a complex thumri, I noticed a small audience outside the washroom. Instead of feeling embarrassed, I felt proud. My music was transcending barriers, reaching hearts, even in the most unexpected places.

The Future: Harmonizing IT and Music

As I look ahead, I envision a career where I can blend my IT skills with my passion for music. Maybe develop software for music education or create digital platforms for artists. The possibilities are endless, and I’m excited to explore them.


Your Turn to Chime In

I encourage you to find your own unique blend of passions. It doesn’t have to be music and IT. It could be anything. What matters is that it resonates with you. In conclusion, my journey at Macquarie University isn't just about becoming an IT professional. It's also about embracing my musical heritage and letting it flourish in a new environment. So, the next time you hear a melody echoing from the washroom on the second floor of 4RPD, know that it’s more than just singing. It’s a student finding harmony in the cacophony of life.

Now, I turn the mic to you. What’s your unique combination that keeps you thriving in your studies? Share your stories; let's inspire each other in this symphony of learning and life at Macquarie University!


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