14 May 2020 12:00:00 PM


One for the camera! Students with #TeamCIMB and #TeamTalentCorp at a Semester Break Programme event.

Did you know that TalentCorp wants undergraduates to expand their horizons and grab networking opportunities with industry players, even before graduation? 

Through TalentCorp’s Semester Break Programme (SBP), undergraduates get the chance to familiarise themselves with Malaysia’s key economic sectors through meet-and-learn sessions with corporate leaders and industry experts. The SBP runs twice a year – Cycle 1 between June and August, and Cycle 2 between December and February. Each cycle focuses on a selected industry; previous SBP cycles have covered industries such as finance, engineering, and healthcare. 

The start of 2020 witnessed not one, but two SBP events organised by #TeamTalentCorp. The theme for the first cycle of the year centred on Information Technology. At the first event, more than 70 Malaysian students from public and private universities learned about emerging digital economy trends from representatives from the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Maybank Group, Touch N’ Go, and CIMB Malaysia. 
SBP participant Navindran Thangaratah during the Q&A session. Each SBP event has slotted times for focused interaction between students and industry players.

During the Q&A sessions, the students took the opportunity to ask about career opportunities within the industry as well as tips to succeed in their future careers. 

The session was an eye-opener for many participants to understand the growing digital industry and how they could be part of it after graduating. 

“I attended the event because I found the topic very interesting and in trend with the current market demand,” said Mohamed Sauadi Syamier, a Commerce and Economics student from the University of Auckland.
“The session gave me a broader knowledge about the industry that I never knew of. I was able to connect with specific players in the industry and got to understand the roles they play.” 

“This programme is good for graduates to learn more about the current job market, and assess how they can benefit in the long run,” he said.
SBP participant Mohamed Saudi said the session gave him more knowledge about the IT industry.

For Nicole Yeow, an MBA student from Multimedia University, the SBP was an opportunity to better prepare herself for the job market. 

“The event theme aligned with my interest and my next career move which is in the digital world. The speakers opened my mind to the opportunities available within the industry. I find that the event gave me insights on how I can prepare myself especially with the rapid growth of the industry coming my way,” she said.
Dr Sumitra Nair, Head of MDEC’s Digital Talent Development stressed the importance of learning and re-learning transferable skills so students remain relevant as they navigate through the job market.

Speaking to the participating employers on how the SBP could benefit students and its’ impact on young talents in Malaysia, Dr Sumitra Nair, Head of MDEC’s Digital Talent Development shared:

“I think it’s an excellent programme. We need to figure out a way to scale programmes like these so that more of our undergraduates can get this kind of exposure.”

“This will help them think about how they need to adapt their mindset and what kind of skills they need to pick up as they move forward.”

Touch N’ Go’s Head of People Development & Culture, Nazral Safril commended the programme saying that the event allowed students to gain exposure towards industries and companies for them to explore. He had this advice to share with the young students looking to excel in their future careers:

“Students need to prepare themselves in advance. They need to understand what is required in the industries especially under the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0). Before entering the job market, they need to do their homework and always be proactive in looking for opportunities.”
Students work together as a group for the SBP Shopee Business Challenge.

The second SBP event focused on e-commerce and digital marketing, and was attended by over 60 Malaysian students from different educational backgrounds as well as universities.  

At the session, students got to hear from leading e-commerce and digital marketing experts from LinkedIn, Shopee and Zalora. Not only did they gain insightful knowledge, the students also participated in fun and engaging business challenges that were set-up by Shopee and Zalora. The exercises gave students the opportunity to get first-hand experience on the daily operations within the e-commerce industry. 

The students also received valuable tips from LinkedIn’s regional consultant, Sue Lin who presented a comprehensive guide on professional branding via the LinkedIn platform, as well as current workplace trends and top emerging jobs within the ASEAN region.
Fiqri said that event had enlightened him in preparing for his future in the job market.

SBP participant, Fiqri Farish who was on his semester break from the University of Melbourne shared that he was grateful to be able to attend the event, as he was now more aware of the ins and out of the industry. 

“I was very keen to learn about what the e-commerce sector had for us especially in the Malaysian landscape. With companies like Shopee, Zalora and LinkedIn here today, it gave me a good insight into what we should expect in the future.” 

When asked if he would recommend the Semester Break Programme to his peers, Fiqri had this to say:
“This is a fun event! People should be more aware that this kind of events exist. They really enlighten you and make you more comfortable in getting to the job world.”

Speaking on talent development and demand, Kenneth Lee from Shopee Malaysia’s Employer Branding team shared that they look forward to more collaborations with TalentCorp.

“I think the programme is very relevant to what’s happening in the industry. Speaking about e-commerce and digital marketing is in trend, and students are very curious to know what’s happening in these industries. That is why Shopee collaborates with TalentCorp often because we realise that they have been very active in terms of reaching out to talents, both locally and abroad as well,” he said. 
Tejas engaging with SBP participants during the Zalora Case Study Challenge.

For Tejas Kirodwal, Head of Growth at Zalora, speaking at the Semester Break Programme was personally enriching for him as he generally enjoys interacting with students. 
“This is a very good initiative by TalentCorp.”

“Usually, students will be in their own shells, and are not really aware of what's happening in the outside world, especially in the corporate industries. Hence, this a very good exposure and platform for students to know how companies operate and what they can expect.”

“It is important for us to recognise talents so that we can groom them. This is for a good and greater cause as it is for nation-building and developing a pool of talent for Malaysia,” he stressed. 

TalentCorp’s Head of Graduate & Emerging Talent department, Nazrul Aziz concurred and concluded:
“Professional networking sessions in our Semester Break Programme are not only beneficial for students looking for a job. They allow you to find out more about who you are, what you want to do and what is important to you.”

Employers and students! Interested to experience TalentCorp’s Semester Break Programme? Find out more at our website: www.talentcorp.com.my/sbp