October 2007, VOL.

6

by Career Development & Training Unit

A Quarterly Publication

How I Survived My 1st Year @ Work
‘Strive with determination, stay positive & consistent...there’s no mountain beyond your reach.’
That was the advice given by ANG KER SOON, a graduate of the Australian University Programme (Dec 06) on overcoming the transition from university to work life. Here, he shares with us his experiences and challenges on his first job as the Pricing & Costing Analyst at DHL Malaysia. When you first started, what were your main concerns or challenges during your first 6 months to 1 year on the job? MAKING MISTAKES In the beginning, I was prone to errors. But as I progressed, I began to realise that even a small mistake could cost the company to lose several thousands of ringgit in businesses. HIGH EXPECTATIONS From other colleagues, especially managers who had many years of experience in the logistics industry on taking on more responsibilities and performing on the job. WORKLOAD & DEADLINES Heavy workload & tight schedules; racing against time to complete all in a given period of time.
The working world is a very competitive environment & demands greater responsibilities compared to university life. In the working world, things need to be done fast & accurate.

means staying back in the office. I have to be on-my-toes at all times. How did you overcome/deal with these challenges?
Be PRUDENT in my daily work I take extra care in details and put in extra effort to ensure no errors/mistakes have been made in my work.

Always DISCUSS with my fellow colleagues To get advice or suggestions from them as they have more experiences. PRIORITISE It is important to prioritise work depending on the load, urgency and importance in order to produce quality work on time. What were the key learning points from these challenges? I have learnt the following: 1) Always ASK if in doubt, never proceed if unsure - Things might get worse if we give wrong information. 2) Proper TIME MANAGEMENT - Be effective in work & efficient in performance. 3) Avoid over-pressuring myself; instead I have learnt to stay FOCUSED and keep CALM. Advice to juniors Strive with DETERMINATION, stay POSITIVE & CONSISTENT ...there’s no mountain beyond your reach. Ignite

How were these challenges different from those during your university years? In university, if we fail a paper we can retake the subject. But in the working world, it is very difficult to regain customer’s confidence if the business is lost as it is very competitive in the business world Also, we were given longer period of time to complete an assignment in university. But in the working world, deadlines are tight (sometimes, almost immediate) and it must be met even if it

The Employer’s Perspective
‘Be prepared to LEARN & RE-LEARN’ - Siew Chin Kiang
That was the advice given by MR. SIEW CHIN KIANG, Sta Partner of KPMG during a recent interview with us. With over 20 years of working experience, Mr. Siew is currently overseeing the Financial Advisory and Human Resource Departments. A local graduate who has worked his way up the corporate ladder, he shares his thoughts and views on Employers’ Expectations during the 1st year of work. What do you look for when hiring a fresh graduate? Apart from academic achievements, I believe that ATTITUDE is an important attribute. You have to be RECEPTIVE to new environment, able to interact with people and have a POSITIVE outlook.
LEADERSHIP potential, where the ability of the individual to be developed into future leader/manager, is also essential apart from the ability to take on CHALLENGES and shows PASSION in the work that you do.

How would your company support or assist new hire in this transitional stage? We would normally recruit fresh graduates in large numbers so that the new hires can identify with one another and share challenges/experiences together. This will put them slightly at ease and get comfortable to the new environment.
Most of the time, you would be working in teams where responsibilities are shared and you can discuss with your team members on the tasks given. You can also seek advice from your senior colleagues who have more experience in areas that you nd challenging.

I would also look for those with ACTIVE PARTICIPATION in Extra Curricular Activities (ECA). With “active participation”, I refer to those who held important ROLES and not just merely participating in activities. It is, therefore, important that you have developed skills and experiences in whatever that you are involved in. This shows PASSION and VISION. You will also be able to demonstrate that you are FOCUSED and DETEREMINED to succeed. What are your expectations towards fresh graduates during their 1st year at work? Essentially, the rst 3-6 months is the time where you show your ability to integrate and work with your fellow colleagues.
The 1st year is all about settling down and discovering your interests. You must also be prepared to step out of your COMFORT ZONE as you will be learning new things and meeting new people.

Also, we use an In-House Performance Management System called “Dialogue” where the new hire will meet with his/her Performance Manager every 6 months to discuss on personal development goals and career development issues. This ‘mentor’ is assigned to the individual throughout his/her career. Would you have any advice to graduating students in preparation for their 1st year of employment? Do not be afraid to explore the variety of options with an open mind.
Your degree is only the key to unlock the door to many opportunities. The world is your “oyster” .

Be prepared to LEARN even though it may not be what you have learnt previously in University. BELIEVE in yourself and INVEST in yourself. Career opportunities @ KPMG There are numerous career opportunities at KPMG. Fresh graduates are encouraged to discover their potential by joining our audit, tax or advisory functions. With the diversity of services @ KPMG, we welcome fresh graduates from various disciplines/majors to discover their potential with us. For more information, visit KPMG’s http://www.kpmg.com.my/careers website at

This is also the year where your ABILITY and POTENTIAL will be demonstrated in the tasks and responsibilities given to you.
Many fresh graduates are used to being spoon fed. Information is given to them without them asking for it. It is very different in the working world. You are expected take a PROACTIVE role and take INITIATIVE in what you do.

Steer

Survival Guide
‘There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.’ - Colin Powell
Preparing and making through a transition from one environment to the other is never easy. Here are some tips to help you get through the rst year with minimal ‘damage’

Observe & Stay Alert (Keep your radars ON)
UNDERSTAND how things work in and around your o ce/company. Find out:- The o ce environment (corporate culture) - Your colleagues and how they interact with one - another - The ‘who’s who’ in your company (From the Top - Management to the tea lady)

Give Solutions (NOT problems)
Always approach your manager with SOLUTIONS to the challenges you are facing and discuss with him/her on the best solution. This shows that you have INITIATIVE and ability to handle your challenges.

Get A Mentor
A mentor is someone who can assist you with problems through previous experience and also celebrate your achievements. This mentor is also able to provide you GUIDANCE whether it is for career or personal development. Mentors can be a senior colleague or a friend who has several years of working experience.

Network & Build Relationships (NOT enemies!)
Making healthy CONNECTIONS with your colleagues will help you cope with the transition to the new environment. - Get to know your colleagues and start building - relationships - Determine who you can rely on for help or advice

Keep Your Attitude In Check
1. Always show INITIATIVE and be PROACTIVE in whatever tasks/responsibilities assigned to you 2. Be willing to LEARN, UNLEARN & RELEARN by taking on new/challenging responsibilities or assignments 3. Never be afraid to fail or make mistakes The transition from classroom to o ce is both exciting and challenging. So, do not put too much pressure on yourself but at the same time, stay focused on what you want to achieve.

Upward Management (Your BOSSES!)
Keep a good ow of COMMUNICATION open with your manager by: - Finding out your manager’s expectations - Occasionally asking for FEEDBACK - Keeping him/her informed of your progress on tasks

Steer

JUMPSTART BULLETIN
ACCELERATE

Aug & Sept Highlights
CAREER EXPLORATION FAIR (AUG - OCT 07)

KPMG 3 August

8TV 21 August

Stem Life- Stem Cell Bank 12 September

Digi Telecommunications 14 September

FEEDBACK FROM PARTICIPANTS
‘I have learnt about the real life experience of an accounting rm. The people are friendly and helpful. The visit (to KPMG) clari ed some of my doubts of working in an accounting rm. It was really fun and informative. ‘ - Lee Pei Xuan, AUP ’The visit (to 8tv) has given me a better understanding of the company and its career opportunities‘. - Tan Lee Ling, MUFY ‘The Stem Life visit was informative. Thus, I have a better understanding of its nature of business.’ - Emma Ng Yenn Ling, A Level ‘I now have a better understanding of the various departments in Digi and the nature of a particular job.’ - Belquzrin, American Degree Programme

MORE EXPLORATORY VISITS coming up!
CryoCord - Stem Cell Research Lab (Cyberjaya) 8 October, Monday 9.00am - 1.00pm GE Engines Services Malaysia (Old Subang Airport) 8 October, Monday 9.00am - 1.00pm SHELL Refining Company Berhad (Port Dickson) 31 October, Wednesday 8.00am - 5.00pm North Port (Port Klang) 2 November, Friday 9.00am - 1.00pm

To register, complete the Registration Form & Letter of Consent available @ Student Services Department and submit to Adelene Goh/Ee Sarn at least ONE WEEK before the scheduled visit.

Contact Us
Adelene Goh / Elisa Dass / Soo Ee Sarn / Judith Chan / Vincent Hah
Career Development & Training Unit, Student Services Department – Student Centre Call 03-7491 8623 Ext. 8021 / 8069 / 8019 OR Email prepare@sunway.edu.my

Accelerate

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