Faculties of Sungai Long Campus celebrates e-Convo with 2021 August graduates

Three faculties from UTAR Sungai Long organised celebratory activities for graduates of the August 2021 Convocation. The faculties include Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, Faculty of Creative Industries and Faculty of Accountancy and Management. The activities, which were conducted online, were participated by respective faculty dean, deputy deans, heads of departments (HODs), academics, staff and graduates.

Faculty of Accountancy and Management

The Faculty of Accountancy and Management (FAM) Dean Dr Sia Bee Chuan congratulated all graduates, “I would like to thank all the distinguished speakers for their time and effort in sharing your experiences and knowledge to our students who are embarking on their career. We wish all the graduates all the best. We hope you will continue to stay encouraged, be resilient and find greater strength to overcome any challenges ahead until you accomplish your goals.”

The Department of Economics organised a webinar titled “What’s next after graduation? Interview and Career Tips” by Prudential Services Asia Regional Assistant Director for the Groupwide Internal Audit Groupwide Internal Audit Gurrubren Palany Yapan on 7 August 2021 to equip students and graduates with some guidance on how to approach the next step of their lives after graduation. Gurrubren shared his humble beginning, his career journey and advised, “Be passionate in your work and do not be afraid in taking different routes. Grab the opportunities that come in your way. Being a leader is about developing the whole team instead of focusing on the leader itself.”

In the webinar, Gurrubren shared his views on how to prepare a curriculum vitae (CV) and resume, as well as attending interviews. “Keep your CV and resume short and precise. Remember to include relevant working experience and information that are relevant to the job applied. Graduates should do some background search on the job applied before preparing the CV and resume as well as the interview sessions. It is important to do a background study on the company and the interviewer so that you will be able to show your strength that best fit the job.”

P.Y Gurrubren (left) and moderator Dr Liew Ping Xin

In the Q&A session, Gurrubren addressed on topics such as career prospects for International Business and Economics graduates, tips to improve employability for an introvert person or person with low self-confidence, and the importance of participating in soft skills programme and extra-curricular activities in universities. Gurrubren added, “All the courses and programmes in the universities are useful and encourage students to think out of the box when it comes to exploring job opportunities, such as openings from the United Nation for Economics graduates. Introverts might not be outstanding or noticeable but they can play the role of sole contributors and still contribute significantly to the companies. The decision to hire is based on how well the candidate could tell his/her stories which demonstrate how well their skills fit the requirements and needs of the position that he/she is applying.”

Head of Department of Economics Sia Bik Kai (top row, far left) and Gurrubren (third row, second from right) with the participants

The MBA Webinar Series 2 was held on 7 August 2021. It featured three speakers from BoardRoom. BoardRoom Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Samantha Tai Yit Chan presented on “Skills and Talent the Industry is Searching For” where she shared her work-related experiences locally and internationally.

Chan (top row, middle) and Chong (bottom row, middle) with the participants

In her session, Samantha Tai spoke about roles and responsibilities of a company secretary, training programmes, BoardRoom’s suite of integrated services, BoardRoom’s work culture and other related topics. “Put your technical knowledge into practice. Have the attitude of never stop learning and you will gain a lot of skills and knowledge as you work. Being proactive at work is also important because you get to learn more things. Joining the Toastmasters gives you the opportunity and encouragement to be able to speak up your opinions and upskill yourself,” shared Samantha Tai.

Boardroom Corporate Services Sdn Bhd Senior Manager Chan Eoi Leng spoke about the “Challenges of Corporate Governance during Pandemic.” In her presentation, she focused on her work experience, duties and responsibilities of directors, corporate governance and other related topics. “You have to choose a right secretarial firm which provides good opportunity, exposure, knowledge and experience. Take the challenges as opportunity to learn, find solutions, and at the same time, to upskill yourself along the way,” advised Chan.

She said, “Corporate governance includes the processes through which corporations’ objectives are set and pursued in the context of the social, regulatory and market environment. Corporate governance practices can be seen as attempts to align the interests of stakeholders. This involves a mindset and culture change of moving away from a box-thinking approach to corporate governance. Stakeholder’s confidence can only be strengthened if the companies think seriously about the reasons for their existence and how they deliver their purpose.”

Boardroom Corporate Service Sdn Bhd Manager Corporate Secretarial Chong Kwai Yoong who graduated from UTAR’s MBA (Corporate Governance) shared her experience. “It is not easy to study while working as I need to balance my work commitment and the study.  The flexibility of courses and time is suitable for working adults and UTAR’s lecturers are knowledgeable as they instil skills and strategies in dealing with situation in the market. Upon graduation, the students are able to adapt to the industry’s needs easily as they are equipped with knowledge and skills.”

FAM Deputy Dean for R&D and Postgraduate Programmes Dr Pok Wei Fong and Samantha Tai (right) during the webinar

Lim during the Q&A session

The Centre for Entrepreneurial Sustainability (CENTS) and FAM jointly organised a webinar titled “Cultural Diversity and Communication in Organisations” on 13 August 2021. Speaking at the webinar was TDCX Group Chief Human Resources Officer-cum-Executive Vice President Lim Chee Gay who spoke about culture and communication, cultural diversity in organisations, and recruitment. In the webinar, Lim also shared his experience of working in Intel, Astro, T Systems, Samsung and AIA as well as TDCX and how cultural diversity and communication are applied in workplace.

Lim gave an overview about TDCX and the work culture in Malaysia. “TDCX Malaysia started in 2001 with 3,600 talents. It has a diverse and multi-cultural work environment with 52 per cent of expat workforce. Our top clients are global internet leaders, global electronics companies, world-class airlines, global exports companies, global vacation rental companies, largest food and beverage companies, luxury vehicles companies and global coffee companies.”

Lim explained diversity, inclusion and belonging in workplace. “Cultural diversity is more towards the country and nationalities. Diversity is everything that makes you unique and it is important to embrace the uniqueness of everyone. Inclusion is about the act of creating fairness in different aspects, such as promotion, fair hiring practices and having equal opportunity. It is important to listen to employees to learn from each other and be better each day. Belonging is when a human needs to belong in their unique way. Diversity is about inviting everyone to the party, Inclusion is about inviting them to the dancefloor and belonging is about allowing them to dance whatever they would like to.”

He added, “It is important to learn and experience different cultures and explore diversity in order to know how to manage your team with diverse backgrounds. Working in a global company will give you the advantage to be exposed to different people from different backgrounds at different situations. Thus, you will eventually learn the differences and strategies at workplace and upskill yourself to become a better you. Continue to sharpen your strategy and exposure if you want to hold a high position in a company. Always think you’re not the best, keep learning and you will be there. Be humble and you will get to your goal.”

Natashah Murad (right) congratulating the graduates

The Department of Accountancy had a pre-convocation celebration on 13 August 2021 with their theme ‘Onward and Beyond’. Invited to share her experience was AmBank Group Sr Talent Acquisition Specialist Natashah Murad. She has been with AmBank since 2013. She is currently managing the employer branding and campus engagement activities. She aims to create a strong connection between employers and candidate while creating a clear path for young talents to have exceptional chance to reach their future career goals. In her sharing session, she gave an overview of AmBank, advice on landing a job, future employment trends, AmGraduate programme, skills for management programme and other related topics.

“I see all of you here as our future leaders and for that I would like to congratulate all graduates. There are a lot of opportunities for all of you out there. To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan but also believe. In order for you to accomplish something, you need to have a dream or goal and then only you can plan to achieve towards the goal. When you plan your career, you need to understand and know your value; learn to know yourself and identify your skills to get the dream job that you want. Find out the career options that fit you and search for job opportunities. At any job, you need to have creativity and think out of the box because you will face different challenges in different situations,” shared Natashah.

She added, “It is also important to study the market trends, the nation’s economy status and find out the opportunities that are out there. During the global pandemic, some of you may experience that searching for a job may seem like searching for a needle in a haystack. Even so, you can create your next opportunity. Don’t wait for the economy to get better as we do not know how long the pandemic will last. People need to change and adapt to the present situation. Give yourself time to be mentally prepared to know what you are looking for and what is best for you. Review your skill sets and continue to improve yourself.”

Group photo session

Sr Au Yong and Sr Siew during the Q&A session

The Department of Building and Property Management organised a “Pre-Convo E-Mamak session with alumni and industry experts: Planning your life after graduation” on 20 August 2021 where industry experts shared their success stories, challenges and experiences in the area of valuation, property management and estate agent to the graduates. Invited speakers were Asiacap Valuers & Property Consultants Sdn Bhd Managing Director Sr Au Yong Kit and HSR Realtors (M) Sdn Bhd Principal & Advisor-cum-HSR Property Management Principal & Managing Director Sr Siew Yee Hong.

Sr Au Yong said, “If you like what you do, it will never go wrong and it will be more rewarding at the end of the day. Along the way, you may face some challenges and after solving it, you will get the fulfilment from the task that you have completed. Having passion in what you do is very important because you will find solutions to solve the challenges you have faced. Having good attitude and being proactive at work will lead you to a better position in the company. Academic qualification is only one part of you being accepted in a company, another important part is how you present value to the company. That is equally important.”

Sr Siew said, “The industry is really short of good building managers. Making money and having passion are equally important in your job, thus you need to balance them. With success and recognition, you will move further and higher. It is important to work your way up towards the self-actualisation according to the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs. Be patient when you deal with people and listen to their problems before providing the solution; this is a better way of solving issues.”

Alumni Cheah Ning said, “What I learnt from UTAR is totally relevant to the working environment, but we need to adapt to the ever-changing situations at work and learn practicality. Be confident during the interview and have an interesting cover letter in order to differentiate yourself from the rest to increase the probability of landing the job you want.”

Alumni Leong Chee Yuan said, “As a property manager, you need to be comprehensive in all areas, such as language, managing people, technical skills, electrical skills, etc. It is important to adapt fast in the given situation. Be humble and be willing to learn to be better at your job.”

Dr Sia (bottom row, far left), Sr Siew (bottom row, middle) and Sr Au Yong (top row, middle) with the alumni and FAM staff


Faculty of Creative Industries (FCI)

The virtual celebration was full of laughter and nothing but wet eyes

The Faculty of Creative Industries (FCI) also held a virtual celebration with graduands alongside the staff and faculty members to recognise the achievement of graduands and to appreciate all the hard work they had put into studying. 

The Department of Media Head Anthony Gandolfo Miranti Jr shared some encouraging words to the media and broadcasting graduates during the virtual celebration which was held on 22 August 2021. “You are in the department of creative industries. You have some of the most valuable skill sets at uncertain times, which are the ability to adapt, the ability to look at things from different perspectives and the ability to come up with solutions to problems. This is where your creativity actually has value. Find a way to apply what you know and ask questions so you can figure out what you need to know. I want you to know that the other lecturers and I are proud of you for coming this far, where you have been educated and we’re looking forward to seeing how you will use it as we know you're going to be a part of the solutions to the scary times that we’re living in now. We’re happy to be here to help you whenever we can.”

One of the graduate Tan Wei Ren, who completed his study on Bachelor of Communication (Honours) Broadcasting, said he was not currently working as a broadcaster but he still applied some of the things he learned in the classes such as time management, visual sensitivity, and communication skills. He expressed his deep gratitude to everyone who helped him throughout his journey. 

Besides, the Department of Mass Communication and the Department of Multimedia Design & Animation also held a virtual celebration of graduation on 20 and 21 August 2021 respectively with a few pieces of advice for their beloved graduates to create memorable moments for this special time. A pre-recorded video was also prepared by the Department of Early Childhood Studies to congratulate the accomplishment of the graduates.

Not only did the lecturers share their special congratulatory words to the graduates, but the graduates also expressed their appreciation to their beloved lecturers


Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES)

Nine departments from LKC FES hosted a homecoming e-gathering for graduates via Microsoft Teams on 21 August 2021. The nine departments were Department of Architecture and Sustainable Design (DASD), Department of Chemical Engineering (DCL), Department of Civil Engineering (DCI), Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (D3E), Department of Internet Engineering and Computer Science (DIECS), Department of Mathematical and Actuarial Sciences (DMAS), Department of Mechanical and Material Engineering (DMME), Department of Mechatronics and Biomedical Engineering (DMBE) and Department of Surveying (DS).

Prof Goi congratulating graduates on their achievements

LKC FES Dean Ir Prof Dr Goi Bok Min said, “Dear UTARians, your convocation is a proud occasion for all of us to celebrate. I hope your accomplishment in UTAR will give you the encouragement to excel even further and achieve greater success in the years ahead. On behalf of LKC FES, I wish you all a successful career and peace and happiness in life.”

LKC FES Deputy Dean for Academic Development and Undergraduate Programmes Assoc Prof Ir Dr Gobi Vetharatnam said, “Congratulations!  We are proud of your achievement today. Continue to achieve more success in the coming year. Well done UTAR graduates!”


LKC FES Deputy Dean for Student Development and Industrial Training Assoc Prof Ts Dr Lee Kim Yee said, “Congratulations on your graduation. Even though this year’s graduation may look different, the achievement is still the same. Hope that this will be a memorable moment in your life.”


LKC FES Deputy Dean for R&D and Postgraduate Programmes Ts Dr Yap Wun She enthused, “Congratulations! You have finally made it. We are proud of you. Now you may go out and create your own life and be successful in the future.”

HODs of LKC FES congratulating graduates

Congratulatory messages from Head of Programmes

Lecturers delivering their heartfelt congratulations to the graduates

DS, DIECS and D3E also received motivational messages from Industrial Academic Panel (IAP) and industry partners. Present to deliver the motivational messages were Co-Founder-cum-CEO of RunCloud Sdn Bhd Arif Tukiman, CEO of Alnair Labs Corporation Dr Goh Chee Seong and UTAR alumnus-cum-Katahira & Engineers International Contracts Manager Ng Ming Hui.

Arif Tukiman delivering his motivational message

Arif congratulated the graduates and said, “Despite the pandemic, we are at the new norm stage, but this shouldn’t stop you or me or the rest of us in achieving what we want. There’s always plenty of opportunities out there for you after you graduate. Remember to always pour your spirit into learning new things; always remember that success is not the destination for you but it is a journey. Stay positive, stay ahead and don’t lose yourself in problems but try to be a problem-solver.”

Dr Goh joining the homecoming e-gathering for graduates from Tokyo, Japan

Dr Goh shared his experience of being an industry practitioner. Congratulating the graduates, he said, “Do whatever you think is good for you, work hard and you will get what you want. Don’t give up, the beginning is always the hardest but always remember, life rewards those who always work hard at it.” He then continued his presentation on “Introducing Alnair Labs Corporation and its career opportunities”, “Advantages of studying in Japan and its opportunities”, “Research collaboration with UTAR” and “Introduction to Japan Graduates Association of Malaysia (JAGAM)”.


Ng shared his experience of working abroad in the Philippines 

Ng during the Industry-cum-alumni sharing session

Besides sharing about his experience of working abroad in the Philippines, Ng also shared about work attitudes graduates should adopt to be successful in their career; how to find a good start in career; how to decide between working in home country or abroad; the differences between working in home country and abroad; and the challenges of working in overseas.

“I believe many of you are wondering how to start a QS career so that you can be successful in the future. Some of you may wonder if you should start your career as a QS consultant or work for the contractors. There are different advantages to each, however, neither of it can offer shortcut to you. You need to know that the success of a person is not determined by how he started but rather on how he performed along his career path,” Ng advised.

He added, “Based on my observation, humans tend to seek comfort zone in their world and are often reluctant to find breakthrough and improvement. Be persistent in improving yourself.  It is one of the most valuable qualities that one must possess to become successful. Remember your attitude determines your success.”


Ng sharing about work attitudes

The celebration continued with a sharing session from alumni representatives, namely Yong Wei Lun, Leong Xian Jun and Thomas Gan. Another sharing session was carried out on postgraduate opportunity by DS and experience sharing by DMME. Besides, the celebration also saw final year project presentation by DASD graduates.

Sharing his experience as a fresh graduate stepping into the industry, Yong emphasised on the importance of time management. He advised that instead of chasing to equip oneself with new technology skillset, one should focus on the fundamental concept. He highlighted the importance of algorithms and data structure to score well in an interview and the importance of effective communication in a workplace environment.

Alumni Leong (left) and Thomas Gan (right) sharing their advises to the graduates

Leong, on the other hand, suggested that everyone should always give their 100 per cent effort in completing all the assignments because the more they contribute to an assignment, the more knowledge they obtain from it.  He also highlighted the importance of learning skills.  He said, “It would be great to make a habit or daily routine that allows you to gain extra knowledge. Never should we stop learning as this would disqualify us from this competitive society. However, you should not be desperate or disappointed with this. You still have plenty of time to polish your skills; even if you don’t have enough time, it is never too late to start improving it.”

Thomas Gan highlighted, “You must have the attitude to “Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn” and this need to be coupled with individual intelligence. Also, soft skills will help your career hit the big time. Soft skills deal with your mind-set, character, and how you handle personal relationships. If you can’t collaborate, solve problems, or communicate effectively, then developing and learning soft skills will help you to groom your personality and become a better person.”


Dr Jeffrey Yap shared about postgraduate opportunities

Following was another sharing session that focused on postgraduate opportunities. It was delivered by Head of Programme for Master of Project Management Assoc Prof Ir Ts Dr Jeffrey Yap Boon Hui. During the session, Dr Jeffrey Yap talked about postgraduate opportunities and research in the Department of Surveying; why one should do postgraduate study; why one should take up Master’s in Project Management; options available in the Department of Surveying; scholarships that are available as well as his postgraduate journey.

Dr Jeffrey Yap enthused, “Postgraduate study can be rewarding in its own right and it can also be an investment in your future. Some of the rewards include increasing your knowledge in a particular area, gaining a qualification, gaining promotion in your job, gaining extra skills that could be valuable for your career and increasing earning potential. It also offers a route to join the academia.”

He added, “By taking up a postgraduate degree, you can develop beneficial skill that is useful in daily life, such as time management skill and other skills such as researching skills, presentation skills and writing skills.”

Speaking of why one should consider taking up Master’s in Project Management, he said, “The demand for project managers for the next 10 years will be growing faster than the demand for workers in other occupations. By 2027, employers will need 87.7 million individuals to work in project management oriented roles. This simply calls for more job opening.”

Dr Jeffrey Yap explaining Research Scholarship Scheme (RSS)

Dr Jeffrey Yap sharing about his postgraduate journey

Prof Rajkumar advising graduates to reflect on areas that they can improve

Ir Prof Dr Rajkumar Durairaj, who is currently the Dean of Academic Quality Assurance and also a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Material Engineering shared his experience by advising graduates to attend online courses and pick up hobby or volunteering jobs to enhance their resume while waiting for a specific job. He said, “You may use this period of time to build your skills and reflect on areas you can improve. Keep yourself active and build your network in LinkedIn. Also, learn some tips for a successful interview.”

DSAD brought in graduates to share their excellent final year projects and inspire fellow graduates and students. The session saw Architecture graduates Ng Tze Way and Yap Ling sharing their beautiful and creative projects that were not only a feast to the eyes but one that also catered to the contemporary issues faced by the community.

Ng showing his FYP project titled “College in the Forest”

Ng shared his project and enthused, “My project illustrates a place where people grow knowledge and a place where human and nature can grow together.”

Yap showing her FYP project titled “The thinker space”

Yap shared that the intention of her design was aimed to rejuvenate and revitalise Kampung Periok. “My project aimed to reconnect Kampung Periok to its surrounding area and remind young generation of the history of Kelab Sultan Sulaiman,” she said.

Chong (left) and Mercedes Chan congratulating the graduates

EMB Student Chapter Advisor Chong Yu Zheng congratulated the graduates and said, “This is our third time having this e-homecoming gathering. Much appreciation to the committee members who have set up this event and I hope that everyone will enjoy the great night ahead. Once again congratulations!” EMB Chairperson Mercedes Chan Simh Peh said, “Thank you everyone for sparing your time to join this event today. Thank you to all my committee members who have worked hard to prepare this event. Congratulations to all the graduates! You have finished your degree and I wish you the best in everything and I know this success is only one of the many more to come in the future.”

Chairperson of IChemE Student Chapter Raynold Dass congratulating graduates for completing their studies

Some of the IT Society members sending their congratulatory messages to the graduates

A short duet performance titled “River Flows In You” was presented by Software Engineering students Lai Wen Khai (left) and Chong Siow Yen

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