PETALING JAYA: Industry exposure and digital businesses are windows of opportunities to young adults facing the soft job market. Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) students Mahira Begum Manzue Maniarasu and Chan Ze Xin were among the lucky few offered full-time jobs during the movement control order period (MCO).
The duo, who are awaiting their convocation, were hired by companies they interned for during their final semester which ended last month.
Mahira, 22, who is working for an online payment gateway, said she was grateful that the company saw her potential and appreciated her work while interning.
“I didn’t expect to be hired and was worried I would be jobless.
So I stayed on with the company I interned for because it will take a long time to find another position in the present job market, ” said Mahira who pursued International Business.
Realising that the situation appeared bleak for fresh talent, she said many of her friends were not as fortunate.
“They have been pulling their hair out, unsure of how to move forward. The MCO has ruined
the career prospects of many students. Besides not being able to land permanent jobs, some of my friends who were interning got their allowances cut by 50%, ” she said.
Chan, a 23-year-old marketing major, was employed by a digital marketing agency in Kuala Lumpur.
“The company initially planned to hire me and three other interns when we completed our stints. But due to the financial situation, only two were taken with me being one of them, ” he said.
He said companies operating online such as digital marketing companies were still doing better, adding that he planned to venture into an online food and beverage business if he was laid off.
Ng Zen Han, 23, plans to venture into online businesses such as affiliate marketing if he cannot get a job in a company of his liking.
“Going online is the way to go. But if I am offered a permanent position in a company, I would take it up, ” said Ng who completed his marketing course last month.
Even prior to the MCO which began on March 18, higher learning institutions (HEIs) have already been emphasising to students the importance of soft skills besides academic excellence.
TAR UC president Prof Dr Lee Sze Wei said the institution placed academic learning and career development as its top priority, even at these uncertain times.
“Moving forward with the new normal, our Career Centre, which is a member of Premier Digital Tech Institution (‘PDTI’) Career Development Centre Club, is working with MDEC, Talentbank and SEEDS, a virtual career fair platform, on a Digital Career Fair to provide a digital platform for students to be linked to companies for employment purposes, ” said Prof Lee.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor said the varsity continued to organise programmes with strong collaboration from the industry.
“UKM has a dedicated Career Development Centre which serves as the focal point and coordinator for faculties with regard to internships, career development and graduate employability programmes, ” he added.
Sunway University Vice-Chancellor Prof Graeme Wilkinson said the institution had a mentoring scheme under which alumni and volunteers in employment gave one-to-one mentoring support and coaching to students on how to impress employers and optimise chances of getting hired.
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