THE shift towards globalisation has resulted in new demands and expectations heaped upon our future leaders who are now expected not only to be master strategists but also customer relationship builders and even talent developers.
This capability to multi-task and wear multiple hats was emphasised at the second undergraduate conference for accounting students organised by Chartered Public Accountants (CPA) Australia, Malaysia division.
The conference theme, Becoming leaders in business with a CPA Australia qualification, was a real eye-opener for most of the participants as it strove to paint a more realistic and accurate picture of the challenges awaiting students when they enter the working world.
CPA Australia's (Malaysia division) director Tarn Kam Peng said: “The business environment is constantly changing. With the emergence of new challenges and opportunities, we need to equip students with the appropriate skills and traits required to succeed.”
During the conference, the undergraduates were exposed not only to the core skills that businesses usually looked for but also shown how they may effectively apply paper qualifications in the real world through presentations by industry professionals who willingly shared their personal working experiences and keys to success.
The conference, held at Taylor's Business School (TBS), was officiated by TBS's dean Dr Kok Kim Lian.
On hand to officially welcome the participants was CPA Australia's Director International Jim Dickson who gave an overview of the accounting profession and CPA Australia's role in producing qualified accountants. Participants were also given realistic insights into the auditing industry and the profession by up-and-coming audit firm Sang and Company's auditor and partner Lim Sang Chee.
The students were also brought up-to-date on current business environments and the challenges and skills needed to overcome obstacles at the workplace in a presentation by Khairuddin Hasyudeen and Razi's executive chairman Nik Hasyudeen Yusoff.
“Leaders are not born but made” was Richard Jacob's contention during a rousing presentation that made the audience sit up and listen.
An additional highlight of the day was when participants were enlightened on proper grooming techniques by a leading consultant, trainer and entrepreneur in the beauty industry, Sheila Wong.
Adecco Group Malaysia's corporate affairs and legal manager Mazura Rasip then gave students useful tips on how to handle job interviews including the proper body language to project during such sessions.
Students Florence Wong and Xu Ying, both of Metropolitan College, were among the participants who felt that the real-life experiences shared at the conference had enabled them to form a more accurate idea of the working world.
“The speakers provided us with information that we would not have been able to obtain in the classroom. The experiences shared were very useful and will definitely help us in our jobs in future,” said Xu Ying, who hails from China.
“I enjoyed Richard Jacob's presentation the most because it was motivational. It puts us on track to achieving our goals,” said Mohd Khaizal Kamarudin, a final-year accounting student from Universiti Tenaga Nasional.
His classmates Mohd Miff Jiman and Shaiful Bahari were all praises for CPA Australia for having conducted a “well-rounded conference”.
The final activity of the day – a forum comprising a panel of successful CPAs – saw the panellists sharing the progression of their career paths with the audience. Active participation in the discussion by members of the floor resulted in a vigorous two-way session that was both frank and enlightening.
CPA Australia has a worldwide membership of 102,000 and is one of the largest accountancy bodies in the world. It currently has more than 7,500 members in Malaysia.