Carla Lorena Labunda
What research did you do before entering your current institution?
I was more or less familiar with The One Academy from education fairs around my hometown. The May intake was closing in quickly when I thought of applying, so I just went through their website to read up on the available courses, student testimonials, and student works. After some personal consideration and “The Talk” with family, I zipped in my application, and that was it.
What attracted you to pick this institution?
After I completed my SPM in 2014, I did a half-year student exchange program overseas. I took Art as an elective in my syllabus there because I missed that opportunity back in the secondary school science stream. Inspired by that experience, I came back home to Malaysia more encouraged to pursue the creative arts. Locally, TOA seemed like a household name in creative education, so after looking at the location, relevant course structure, the reassuring experiences of TOA friends, as well as the respectable body of student work, here I am.
How convenient is your campus?
Sunway Pyramid mall is next door – enough said. Seriously though, I’d say location-wise, the Bandar Sunway campus is very convenient. Train and bus lines all run nearby, and there is an abundance of affordable food options (four mamaks and counting), stationery stores, and print shops at every class blocks’ doorstep. We’re in the middle of everything. Space feels sparse sometimes, but I’d say it’s a small trade-off to be right above almost everything you’d need.
How would you describe your course to a 17-year-old?
Oof. Digital Media Design... is a buffet. Weird? Sorry. What I meant was that it’s a course that’s flexible and generous with what it gives you. You start off with the fundamentals of design, and before you know it, you’re creating motion graphics, doing videography, designing websites and apps, and building interactive installations... It’s a great big experience where you can learn and experiment with a lot of things creatively.
What words of advice would you give to those who are intending to pursue the same course as you?
Whether you’re ready or not, you’ll be swept into (possibly) the most intense ride of your life so far. Embrace it. Try not to complain. That trademark TOA workload is tough, but you have to be pushed in order to grow. Don’t be discouraged by weaknesses, but keep an eager, open outlook as you try to elevate them into strengths.
One last thing: it’s okay if you’re not sure about what you want to do when you start out. A lot of us weren’t. Just put yourself into your work, so that when you come to the edge of the woods, the paths will be open.
In your group of friends, what role do you play?
I’m many things: the over-thinker, the old soul (grandmother is the ‘affectionate’ term), the homebody, the live-alone-on-a-farm-with-a-dozen-cats lady... The role I most consistently hold, however, is the late-comer. Grandmothers are stereotypically slow, I suppose.
Which movie or song title best describes your life?
“The Pursuit of Happyness”, winning by a slim margin against “Dazed and Confused” and “Much Ado About Nothing”.