28 Aug 2020 11:13:13 AM

These 3 #KisahSiswa Coaches Come from Different Backgrounds but Share One Common Goal

These 3 #KisahSiswa Coaches Come from Different Backgrounds but Share One Common Goal
TalentCorp launched #KisahSiswa in May 2020 to support young Malaysians with their career planning. Four months later, we registered more than 1,512 participants and over 120 coaches from various industries for the initiative. 


We took the opportunity to speak to three #KisahSiswa coaches from different backgrounds who have the same goal: to help their coachees become employable. Our coaches shared with us their experience so far with #KisahSiswa, and gave generous advice for undergraduates and fresh graduates who are still figuring out their career journeys. 

Winnie Khong (50, General Manager) 

Photo Credit: Winnie Khong
“Priceless,” said certified coach Winnie Khong of her #KisahSiswa experience.


With over 25 years of professional experience, Winnie Khong decided to volunteer as a #KisahSiswa coach when she heard about the TalentCorp initiative from her coach, Sunil Hasmukharay. During her #KisahSiswa coaching stint, Winnie had the opportunity to coach more than six young minds, all of which she still keeps in touch with.    

On why she wanted to be a part of the initiative: 

Back in January, Winnie joined a TalentCorp YES-2-Work event, where she had a satisfying experience interacting with Malaysian graduates. She also discovered that many young graduates need strength-based, solution-focused career coaching. Upon learning about #KisahSiswa, Winnie knew that this was her opportunity to give back to the community.

“People may wonder, why would I voluntarily take on an additional task in my life? To be honest, it’s a priceless experience. I find fulfilment when I can make a positive impact to just one life, and shift their perspective of the working world.”

On her approach to the coaching sessions:

Winnie’s strategy was to focus on encouraging her coachees to break away from the norm and gain confidence, instead of just helping them to land a job. 


Photo Credit: Freepik
Winnie encouraged her coachees to talk about how COVID-19 has affected them emotionally.


“I took a personal approach,” Winnie shares. “I’d guide my coachees to reflect on their experiences, especially during the on-going pandemic, and how it affected them.” 

“I wanted to them to recognise and build on their strengths, to be solution focused and self-driven to take action.”

On the most important thing she gained from #KisahSiswa:

Throughout the #KisahSiswa programme, Winnie took time to reflect on her personal journey. Helping her six coachees made Winnie realise that she wants to do more for graduates.

“These sessions do take up a lot of my personal time. So I asked myself, how can I effectively reach out to more graduates and students? That was how I started a Career Advice of The Day (CAD) Series on LinkedIn.”

Winnie has posted more than 50 CAD content on her LinkedIn, sharing tips, tricks and insights on employment. 

“I hope the CAD sharing can help as many graduates as possible. In such challenging times, it is important to reach out and offer a helping hand in any forms. From this experience, there are some who have reached out seeking career planning advice too.”  


“The #KisahSiswa programme jumpstarted my dream initiative, and it’s an ongoing inspiring and humbling experience.”

Syaza Nazura binti Noor Azmi (26, Higher Education Support) 

Photo Credit: Syaza Nazura Noor Azmi
Syaza wanted to strengthen her own coaching skills through #KisahSiswa.


Syaza has always been interested to help students and fresh graduates who are figuring out their career paths. At 26 years old and as one of #KisahSiswa’s youngest coaches, Syaza finds it slightly daunting to be surrounded by fellow coaches with far more experience. Nevertheless, she looks at it as a golden opportunity to network with her peers and to hone her coaching skills. 

“My age makes it easier for my coachees to relate to me. This helps them to feel more comfortable to open up during our sessions as they can talk to me like a friend.”

On what her coachees are most worried about:  

Syaza’s coachees had the same common uncertainty about their career progression, and were unable to figure out long-term career plans.

"They have a rough idea on what they want to do for their first job. But when I probe further, they struggle to imagine where they see themselves in the future,” Syaza shares. “That’s why I work on helping them to learn more about themselves, and to discover which careers are best suited to their interests and strengths.”

On her most memorable session: 

Syaza shares about a coachee who wanted to move into a different industry as she thought she did not fit in her current job. Syaza then encourage the coachee to network with professionals on the LinkedIn platform, to get a better perspective of both the industry she’s currently in, and the one that she plans to change to. 

In the end, the coachee decided to explore opportunities within the same industry. 

“I was so proud when I found out that my coachee managed to secure a new job at a larger corporation!” Syaza beams. 


 Photo Credit: Syaza Nazura Noor Azmi
Syaza believes that coachees need to take their own initiatives to improve their employability.

On the most important lesson graduates can learn from #KisahSiswa: 

Syaza believes that all graduates need to be proactive and be independent to improve their employability. “Having a career coach does not mean that the coach will tell them everything that they need to know,” she says. 


“The coach is just a guide, and it is up to the graduates to take the initiative to learn and find out more.”

Professor Dr Balakrishnan Parasuraman (53, Professor of Human Resources and Industrial Relations)
Photo Credit: Professor Dr Balakrishnan Parasuraman
Professor Balakrishnan emphasises on building individual personal brands.


With over 20 years of experience under his belt, Professor Balakrishnan is not new to the graduate employability scene. A full-time educator, he has been featured in the media where he shared his views on human resources-related issues. In 2019, Professor Balakrishnan was nominated as one of the 10 final candidates for the MyHero Award, organised by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor (KLSCCCI), presented to Malaysians who have contributed to society and national unity.

Here’s what Professor Balakrishnan has to say about his #KisahSiswa coaching experience. 

On the importance of personal branding and networking:  

It helps to come from a top university, but graduates need to be more creative in order to stand out when they apply for jobs. One way to do this, according to Professor Balakrishnan, is to develop their personal branding. 

Personal branding is more than just picking the right clothes to wear at the job interview. It’s about identifying goals, learning how to promote oneself through speech mannerisms and storytelling, while having a mindset that’s always ready to learn new things.

“All of this will distinguish graduates from their peers in a competitive job market,” he says. 

Professor Balakrishnan also took the initiative to connect his coachees with his postgraduate students, who are able to give the graduates exposure on what to expect from the industries they’re interested in. 

On the right step for graduates to take once they’re employed: 

Professor Balakrishnan believes that graduates should grab the opportunity to prove that they are valuable to their company, and are worth more than what they’re paid for. 


“They should utilise their talents properly, and make contributions or provide solutions to their respective industries.” 



If you’re a Malaysian youth looking for career advice as well as tips and tricks on graduate employability, do join our #KisahSiswa: Graduate Employability Telegram Channel at https://t.me/KisahSiswaGEChannel 

For employers looking to collaborate with TalentCorp on similar programmes for Malaysian youths, get in touch with us at get@talentcorp.com.my.