Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lion Group foundation website for scholars

Extract from News Strait Time, 30/11/09:


PETALING JAYA: The Lion Group educational and charitable foundation yesterday launched its website at Sunway Pyramid shopping mall.

The website features a symbol of a rising sun spreading its rays, "symbolizing the giving of hope and extending assistance to the less fortunate".

The website,, is designed to give the foundation a more independent profile.

Previously, all information about the foundation and its activities was published on the Lion Group's main website.

As well as providing information about the foundation's core objectives, the student loans and scholarships available for higher learning are also featured.

At the launch, foundation chairman Puan Sri Chelsia Cheng said: "Students can access information on the foundation and our activities. The website is also linked to the Lion Group of companies and it highlights job vacancies."

She said the website would soon incorporate a database on the foundation's scholars, allowing them to network and act as role models for those still studying.

Tan Shi Win, 24, is one scholar who has benefited from the foundation. After receiving a bachelor's degree in accountancy from University Utara Malaysia, she was employed in the Lion Group as personal assistant to one of its senior managers.

"I have learned a lot through the foundation and from the training I received when I graduated from university. I'm enjoying myself and learning a lot from my work in the company."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What Does It Take To Get A Job Nowadays?

Note: This is not a paid advertisement. You are fully responsible if you decided to respond to them. I did not validate the information below.

In 2006, a survey done in Malaysia revealed that there were 20,217 graduates who failed to find a job (The Sun). What on earth happened? After all, graduates would have undergone 3 - 4 years of studies and they would have graduated with their certificates. Employers should be fighting each other to hire them, right? Apparently, not so.

Very often, employers are heard lamenting that the graduates who come for the job interview are not ready or not prepared. Some even commented that many graduates don't even know what the employers really need. So, employers hire experience over qualification. But this is a catch-22 situation. If the graduates don't get a job now, how do they get the experience that employers seek?

But business is business. Employers won't just hire fresh graduates for the sake of providing them the experience. The candidate has to earn his right to work in the company. Believing the opposite is true would be a fantasy, unless of course if the company in question is owned by the candidate's family. That's an entirely different story.

A graduate faces several hurdles before s/he can get a job. S/he has to know how to write a good cover letter and resume that stands out from the other job applicants. Next, s/he has to impress the interviewer more than the other interviewees and several things are at play here (professional etiquette or manners, communication skills, maturity of thinking, dressing). Once the candidate gets the offer letter, there's another hurdle that will determine how far s/he can go, i.e. can this person work or perform? Many of these things are not taught in school.

Don't get me wrong. School does a good job in supplying the knowledge but I'll let you in on an open secret. Everyone goes through the same system and learns the same knowledge! In other words, it is pretty safe to assume that all the interviewees are well learned and knowledgeable, in the same areas. But besides this, what else is there? The big question to ask is, "If they are all the same, whom should I hire?"

Graduates must be able to answer the following question: I'm the right person for the job because..." And the answer had better be original and different from the others. Otherwise, we would be back to square one. "Why should the company hire you?"

Lighthouse Education and Training, a Miri based company is organizing a 1 day intensive workshop named "Career PowerSkills Workshop" to address this need. Participants will learn how to 'brand' themselves and stand out from the rest and how to continue to build this personal 'brand' to advance in their career. Besides this, participants will also learn how to write powerful and original cover letters and resumes that highlight what employers are looking for today. In addition, participants will learn what are the 30 most common interview questions and how to handle an interview professionally. Last but not least, participants will learn how to dress for career success. The workshop (in English) will be conducted on 29 November 2009 from 9.00am to 5.00pm at the Lighthouse Training Centre in Miri. Fees is RM200 per person only inclusive of learning materials and meals. Please call 014-6992900 or email for more information.