27 Oct 2020 05:00:00 PM

TalentCorp's first virtual Semester Break Programme: Guiding youths on surviving adulthood

SBP Cycle 2/2020 Speakers. (top left: Aaron Tang, Suraya Zainudin, Syed Mohd Fauzi; bottom left: Jayne Kennedy, Nadhir Ashafiq, Nasyrah Zainuddin, Aiman Azfar, Xavier Mah, Sean Han).

In September, TalentCorp organised its’ first virtual Semester Break Programme (SBP) themed “Survival Kit for Graduates: Welcome to Adulthood!” in collaboration with Seeds Job Fair. With over 4,300 views via Zoom and Facebook live, the programme covered topics on managing finances, entrepreneurship and personal branding over a span of three days. 


There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has left a dire socio-economic impact on Malaysians, with many losing their jobs or having to take pay cuts whilst unemployment rates remain at a high. According to the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia, Malaysia’s youth face the highest risk of unemployment and precarity; their job opportunities will be severely curtailed by the contraction of the job market. 

What better time than now to have a Semester Break Programme that focuses on important life skills and surviving adulthood for our youths! For this SBP Cycle 2/2020, TalentCorp’s Graduate & Emerging Talent (GET) team took care to curate content that would benefit young Malaysians during this challenging climate.

As such, we focused on: 

1. Providing young Malaysians with insights on how to manage personal finances;
2. Introducing the idea of exploring career opportunities outside of traditional      employment options; and 
3. Exposing graduates to the new way of recruitment in the digital age as well as practical ways to build an on-line presence.
TalentCorp’s Nazrul Aziz stressed on the importance for graduates to rethink their career roadmap.

Nazrul Aziz, TalentCorp’s Head of GET believes that the curated topics would motivate young graduates to think about their future plans. He shared,

The whole idea behind the theme of SBP Cycle 2/2020 is to share knowledge that will allow these graduates to think about charting their career roadmap.”
SBP Cycle 2/2020 Day 1 kicked off with Ahmed Faris, CEO of Impact Integrated giving an introductory address where he emphasised the importance of having life goals. “Know what you want and do your best. Becoming a CEO or a business owner or a general employee must not be determined by your age but by your competency,” he said.

The programme continued with an eye-opening session on managing finances, an important life skill for any young adult looking to take charge of their future. Our speakers were Aaron Tang; founder and writer of mr-stingy.com, Suraya Zainudin; founder and writer of RinggitOhRinggit. and Syed Mohd Fauzi from Agensi Kaunseling & Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) who shared their knowledge and insights on personal finance, investment and saving smart.

Aaron, who spoke on personal finance, shared an important budgeting tip: use the 50/30/20 rule. That would be using 50% of earnings on needs, 30% on wants, and the remaining 20% for savings. 
Suraya shared her personal experience on how she started investing in her early 20s.

On the topic of investments, Suraya had the following advice for our young participants: 

Only start to invest when you feel comfortable and have extra savings. If surviving is your priority at the moment especially during this economic situation, investments should only be your plan in the long-run.”
Speakers of the “You’re the Boss” forum shared their personal experiences on starting a business (from left: Jayne Kennedy, Nadhir Ashafiq, Aiman Azfar, Nasyrah Zainuddin).

On Day 2, we continued with “You’re the Boss”, where our speakers spoke on entrepreneurship. The session was moderated by our collaborator, Aiman Azfar; co-founder of Seeds Job Fair, and panellists included successful young entrepreneurs such as Nadhir Ashafiq; co-founder of TheLorry, Nasyrah Zainuddin; co-founder of The Great Community, and Jayne Kennedy; co-founder of Epic. 

While speaking about his start-up experience, Nadhir who was a former corporate worker encouraged participants to find their passion, sharing that entrepreneurship allowed him to be more creative and build something of value for the community.
Xavier Mah on the importance of building a successful personal brand.

On the final day of SBP Cycle 2/2020, we had Xavier Mah, CEO of Xavier Mah Consultancy share about the importance of creating a personal brand and an on-line presence to stand out amongst peers in the job market. He said, 
Building a successful brand and online presence requires 5 elements - character, communication, community, creativity, and consistency.”
The second half continued with Sean Han from LinkedIn who spoke about recruitment in the new age. Sean shared that the LinkedIn platform has now become more important post COVID-19, not only as an on-line networking tool but as a recruitment platform for companies. 

“Here’s a tip on building a professional network,” says Sean. “Connecting with your first-degree networks also meant that you are connecting to second and third-degree connections. This ultimately leads to a bigger professional network, and you will make yourself more visible to potential recruiters.”

Thank you to our participants who joined us virtually! A huge thank you to all our speakers for dedicating your time and expertise for a better Malaysia! 

Missed out on the SBP? Check out the highlights below.

Keen to know more about our initiatives for young talent, or want to collaborate with us? E-mail us at get@talentcorp.com.my

[1] On the Unemployed Frontline: Malaysia’s Youth and Covid-19 (Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia, 2020)