Aspire 500 Conference & GRADUAN® ASPIRE Career & Postgraduate Fair 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hi everyone!

Last Saturday I went to the GRADUAN® ASPIRE Career & Postgraduate Fair 2015 and it was incredible! It was one of the biggest education/career fair I've ever been to. If you want to know more in details about the GRADUAN® ASPIRE Career & Postgraduate Fair, you can check my previous post here. 

I was lucky to have had the opportunity to attend the opening ceremony and the Aspire 500 Conference. Once the doors were opened, the conference hall was almost immediately filled with student ambassadors, invited guess and media. Upon the arrival of the Guest of Honour, the Deputy Ministry of Education II, YB Tuan P Kamalanathan P Panchanathan, he delivered his opening ceremony speech and officially launch this year's GRADUAN® ASPIRE Career & Postgraduate Fair.

The Aspire 500 Conference started after the opening ceremony. It was among the exhilarating activities planned for this year's fair. The conference was an opportunity to get valuable market insights directly from some of Malaysia's most established industry leaders. This year's conference panel featured YBhg Datuk Johan Idris, Managing Partner of KPMG; YBhg Dato' Georg Fischer, CEO of Tesco; Abbas Saad, Sports Presenter; Johan Merican, CEO of Talent Corporation Malaysia; and Lai Tak Ming, Director of Group Human Resources and Admin of Gamuda Berhad. With the theme "CHALLENGE: OPPORTUNITY vs. OBSTACLES", the renowned leaders shared with talents on how to transform challenges into opportunities, and use them to meet the expectations of employers in the current market.

I have to admit, I never thought I would enjoy a conference this much. The panels gave valuable advice on composing resumes, changing career paths, team work, appreciating talents' value and many more based on their own personal experiences. It was a shame that there were no female leaders in the panel. It would have been more interesting to get an insight from a strong female role model. During the conference, I found myself writing down notes, which is something I haven't done since my university days! This shows you how much I find the conference interesting, and how much I cherish the advice the panels gave. A lot of topic was covered that day but here are the ones that really stood out to me:

Lai Tak Ming, Director of Group Human Resources and Admin of Gamuda Berhad, gave a few life pointers. He said to address any issue you may face in the working world or in life, you can use these four simple steps called ASAP. A is Acknowledging the problem, S is Solving the problem by finding a solution, A is Applying the solution and P is Preventing from making the same mistakes. Another great tip he gave was about composing your resume. He expressed that, what stands out the most in a resume is the applicant's aspiration. An applicant with a clear goal and passion would have a better chance in being selected for an interview. Other than that, researching about the company and reflecting it in your resume is an added bonus.

YBhg Dato' Georg Fischer, CEO of Tesco said that one of the main factors in becoming a great CEO, leader or a manager is to have a great team. He also said that it is best to try and keep things as simple as possible. With the amount of responsibility you will have as a CEO, you have to keep things straight to the point. One of the example applying the 90 seconds interview. He greatly advice that in an interview, the employer would normally decide to hire a talent in the first 90 seconds. So, you have to practice summarising your resume and sell your value to a potential employer in 90 seconds. No time to beat around the bush.

Overall, I found the conference very helpful and insightful. It definitely change my perspective and it gave me very valuable and applicable life lessons. At the end of the conference, the panels were no longer strangers to me. I saw them as those who had a dream, a vision, passion and the courage to pursue it. They made it clear that your life or educational background is not a barrier for you to explore or expand career path. All of them believe that education does not stop once you have gotten your degree, education is a lifelong process.

After the conference, I went to the exhibition hall and checked out the participating organisers. There were so many people, and the exhibition was flawless. They organised it well, from the university booths to the company's booths. It was everything you would have hoped for in an education and career fair.

Thanks for reading my post. I hope it inspired you as much it inspired me :) Did you go to the GRADUAN® ASPIRE Career & Postgraduate Fair 2015? Let me know in the comment section below :)

For more information on GRADUAN® you can visit their website at or facebook page here

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