Reaching out to hire grads


Challenging: Mohamad Ihsan says seeking opportunities in career and professional development for local students in the US was a task in itself.

Challenging: Mohamad Ihsan says seeking opportunities in career and professional development for local students in the US was a task in itself.

WITH over 6,000 Malaysian students in the United States (US) Talent Corporation Malaysia (Talentcorp) has found it a mammoth task getting them together.

They’re scattered all over the country’s 50 states that cover a massive land area and three time zones.

This makes arranging career fairs a logistical nightmare as Malaysian employers need to travel to many different cities to meet the students. It is the same for the students too. Many of them live on tight budgets and need to travel quite a distance to get to such events.

Realising the many obstacles facing an overseas student’s job hunt, the National Assembly of Malay-sian Students in America (Namsa) held the US Malaysian Students for Excellence 2016 (US-X) programme in Serdang, Selangor.

Organised together with Talentcorp, the objective was to gather Malaysian student leaders from across the US for a two-day leadership summit.

The students were also given pointers by Leaderonomics, which focused on tapping their potential.

As participants, the students had to pitch ideas on how to improve career-related initiatives that could gather Malaysian students all across the US. More specifically, how employers and Talentcorp could reach out to potential employees.

According to Namsa president Mohamad Ihsan Ahmad Nordin, 22, opportunities in career and professional development in Malaysia was listed as the biggest challenge for Malaysian students in the US.

Through the programme, Mohamad Ihsan said: “We have made a collaborative effort with Talentcorp to connect with our students in the US and for Malaysian companies to reach out to them.”

An idea that caught the attention of Talentcorp, was the one put forth by Ray Lim Zu Yi, called 3Z1T (3 zones 1 time).

Ray said that it involved creating a virtual career fair that made use of video call technology to connect people.

“Rather than meeting the candidates physically, we are able to have Skype sessions between recruiters and students,” he said,.

He added that they didn’t want to “fully digitalise” the career fair but wanted to keep some form of live interaction possible to better gauge potential employees.

“It is in fact, an online career fair where recruiters get to speak to potential candidates,” he said.

Ong Jun Kai, 20, said his group came up with another idea of a database containing the resumes and three short videos of the students.

Dubbed DigiT (Digital Talent), Jun Kai said they wanted to maintain the important aspects of a physical job fair, but on a digital platform.

Hence, the first video would be an introduction with basic information such as where they’re studying, their qualifications and their hometown.

The second video would be about a student’s interests and activities they’re involved in.

The third video would be the student answering common job interview questions.

“What we’re trying to do is revolutionise the way multinational corporations connect with Malaysian students overseas,” he added.

Mohamad Ihsan said that Talentcorp should seriously take note of the ideas especially with the geographic and demographic issues that currently hinder Malay-sian recruiters from connecting with Malaysian talent in the US.

This, he said, would also help address and resolve the brain drain issue.

There are many of our students studying in the US, he said, and it would be a waste if Malaysia companies miss out on hiring them.