AGAINST his parents’ advice, Martin Pang Yee Fung joined the workforce with just a certificate from his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exams 13 years ago.
It was a decision that lacked foresight, as he has come to realise.
“A college degree is a ‘must’ for job promotions in an established organisation, especially an international company, ” he said.
Having acquired over a decade of work experience, the 30-year-old is currently holding a job as a salesperson at an international technology company.
“Had I listened to my parents, I would have been able to reach the managerial level and earned a better pay, ” he said.
But all is not lost for Pang, who aspires to achieve career advancement and climb the corporate ladder.
Under his wife’s encouragement, he began researching tertiary courses and finally signed up for the Diploma in Business Management – Flexible Learning programme at INTI International College Penang.
A part-time programme, it covers a duration of two-and-a-half years.
Having completed the course, Pang will graduate this year with a feather in his cap – he was recently announced the top student with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.98.
Looking back on his journey with INTI, Pang expressed appreciation for the weekly lectures that were conducted virtually via the college’s Blackboard learning management system.
“I saved a lot of time, especially since I did not need to rush to campus after office hours. Even if I missed a class, I could access the recorded lectures anytime, anywhere, ” he said.
With 60% of the assessment based on assignments, of which 35% are allocated for discussions, Pang emphasised the importance of being disciplined.
Thanks to INTI’s learning schedule, he said learners could study at a pace that offered balance to their lives.
“It was very well-planned and allowed us to juggle our work and studies without having to sacrifice much of our weekends.
“I usually make use of Saturdays to do course discussions and assignments, so I have Sundays to rest and spend quality time with my family, ” he shared.
The college’s School of Business programme head Dr Racheal Poh Su Ying lauded Pang for his efforts to upskill himself and his positive attitude, which she hopes more working adults would emulate.
“They need to be proactive and independent as all study materials are ready in the learning management system. Students can log in to study before classes, ” she said.
Poh added that education breeds confidence and pays the best interest as “it stays with us for an infinite time”.
“When you further your studies, it may turn out to be a journey of reflection where you get to know your weaknesses and ‘sharpen the saw’, ” she said, taking inspiration from Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.