Tea meeting with President

Prof Chuah explaining the top skills employees should have

Graduands of the March 2019 Convocation benefitted from the advice given by UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik at tea meetings held in Sungai Long Campus on 25 July 2018 and Kampar Campus on 27 July 2018.

Present at Sungai Long Campus tea meeting were Faculty of Accountancy and Management Dean Dr Sia Bee Chuan, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science Dean Prof Ir Dr Goi Bok Min, Faculty of Creative Industries Dean Dr David Tneh Cheng Eng, Department of Alumni Relations and Placement (DARP) Head Foo Wai Wai, lecturers and students.

Present at Kampar tea meeting were Faculty of Science Dean Assoc Prof Dr Lim Tuck Meng, Faculty of Arts and Social Science Dean Dr Alia Azalea, Faculty of Business and Finance Deputy Dean for Academic Development and Undergraduate Programmes Peter Tan Sin Howe, Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology Deputy Dean for Student Development and Industrial Training Dr Tan Kok Tat, Institute of Chinese Studies Deputy Dean for Student Development and Industrial Training Dr Ling Liong Ngo, Department of Computer and Communication Technology Head of Faculty of Information and Communication Technology Dr Goh Hock Guan and DARP Head Foo Wai Wai.

“Remember that the convocation day is not only for you but it is also a meaningful day for your parents, family members and those who care about you,” said Prof Chuah. At the tea meeting, he advised the students to be filial to parents and do not take parents for granted and the options after graduation. He said, “There is no solution or exact answer to which career suits you because everyone is different. Therefore, you have to think, make judgment and decide your own career path.”

On what basis young professionals are selected and hired, Prof Chuah said, “Among the basics are personalities, scholastic record and potential development, communication skills, experience, the ability to cooperate, recommendations, standing of the University and last but not least the salary expectation.” 

He highlighted the results of Jobstreet.com survey which reported that employers are greatly focusing on employees’ personalities over qualification. According to the survey, the personalities include employees having the top five skills, which are leadership, technical, multi-tasking, communication and interpersonal skills. The survey also mentioned the top five attributes that make a good employee, which are reliability, trustworthiness, positive, independent and hard-working.

When speaking on employment, he listed the few main reasons for fresh graduate not getting employed, which are asking for unrealistic salary; being picky about the job or company; having poor character, attitude or personality; poor command in English; and poor communication skills.

Students answering questions from Prof Chuah

On tips to secure an employment, Prof Chuah advised the graduands to do well in their interview, which includes preparing their resume completely and understanding the background of the company. He mentioned that it is important to know the role graduands are applying for and be prepared with the knowledge about the role by revising on the first two years’ subjects, final year projects and experiences from their industrial trainings. When attending the interview session, he advised graduands to dress formal, be punctual, alert, truthful and polite, and to communicate effectively. At the workplace, he advised graduands to be a good subordinate, practice good teamwork, ensure continuous professional development, prioritise organisational goals and always be ethical. He added, “The top five skills employer wants from the potential employee are leadership skills, technical skills, multi-tasking skills, communication skills and interpersonal skills.”

In light of the occurring Fourth Industrial Revolution, he explained to the graduands about the waves of revolution and explained how it transformed from agricultural revolution to the industrial revolution, electronic evolution, information technology (IT) revolution, and physical cyber and human systems. Explaining further, he mentioned that the trends in the globalised world will bring faster pace, borderless world and opportunities, convergence, personalisation and individualisation, individuals are more informed with higher expectations, and cost-effectiveness.

Despite the challenges of job inequality, whereby humans will face job displacement by machines and segregation of job market which will cause social tensions, Prof Chuah also mentioned that the Fourth Industrial Revolution also bring various opportunities. These opportunities include the rise in global income, improving the quality of lives around the world, and technological innovation that will offer long-term gains in efficiency and productivity. He also shared the top 10 qualities a graduate should have in 2020. Among the qualities are complex problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordination with others, emotional intelligence, judgement and decision-making, service orientation, negotiation and cognitive flexibility.

Prof Chuah reminded the graduands to keep the university’s guiding principles in the heart. He also shared the various contributions offered by alumni and people from all walks of life that have helped the university’s development. He expressed his hope to the graduands to also do the same.

The graduands were also briefed by DARP and Department of Student Affairs on how they can stay in touch with the university after graduation, with hopes that they will sustain a strong network with the alumni community, and to be updated of the alumni association’s role.

Before ending, Prof Chuah advised graduands to seize opportunities of this information age, to increase productivity, enhance one’s ability to compete in the global market, and to stay updated with the latest technologies. He also highlighted the importance of human-nature interaction whereby humans should co-exist in harmony with the environment. Lastly, he reminded graduands to maintain good human-to-human interaction through respect and mutual understanding of each other’s ethics and cultures, and to always maintain a good attitude and positive thinking. 

Graduands listening attentively


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