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(File pix) SL1M trainees (standing, from left) Nur Ain Shahira Ab Wahab and Muhammad Rusydi Gulam Ahmad with (seated, from right) Nadhilah Abd Halim and Farah Aainaa Abdul Hanif gain experience at the workplace. Pix by Halimaton Saadiah Sulaiman

IT is convocation time at public universities and making the move from university to the workplace is an exciting phase of one’s life. However, fresh graduates may be intimidated by uncertainties and possibilities.

They frequently face challenges when making the transition from student life to the career world. Few people land their perfect jobs effortlessly. The most common hurdle to getting a job is lack of experience.

Though you may have graduated with flying colours, real world job experience will make you more marketable.

Diploma holder Sherina Akhbar applied for an administrative position at a gourmet coffee outlet after graduation but she was offered the position of a barista instead.

“As a fresh graduate, i thought this could lead to something interesting and being able to gain new experience is one of my priorities. I was not only taught to make coffee but also all sorts of tasks behind the counter.

“Though it was challenging for someone who has never worked before, i looked forward to work every day as the senior baristas would train me,” said sherina, who was offered a position in the finance department later.

She has since stopped working to pursue a degree course in the hope of a good career path.

From university to the workplace

Chow Shenn Kuan, 22, said upon graduating from the Bachelor of Science in Business Studies programme (Lancaster University-Affiliated Programme) at Sunway University in July this year, she was still in the midst of organising a conference that was in the planning since her student days.

“I was in a contract role at Sunway Education Group. With the end of the contract last month, I have forwarded my resume to several organisations in search of full-time fresh graduate positions.

“The Communication Skills subject taught in my undergraduate degree course offered a guide to preparing my resume. I learnt about what employers look for in a resume when I took up the compulsory undergraduate placement as an executive recruitment intern at Monroe Consulting Group,” she said.

During the process of job-hunting, job applications and interviews, she obtained advice and tips from her lecturers.

“Seniors and friends who are already employed also provided insights into the different industries and their opportunities,” she added.

“Other than a management trainee position, I would not mind an executive or analyst role in sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods, technology, e-commerce, management consultancy and think tanks.

“In my job search, I look for those that I can learn from and contribute to.”

Chow is giving herself up to six months or a year to land a permanent job. She has attended career fairs and submitted more than 30 online job applications. Thus far, she has attended two interviews.

Fathul Akmal Yusoff, 24, a graduate of actuarial science from Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam, started looking for a job a month before he completed his internship.

“I researched into writing a good resume. I was keen on a job in line with my education background but have widened my options due to the competition,” said Fathul Akmal who is on a one-year contract at Puma Sports Goods Sdn Bhd since December last year.

He has never attended career fairs but he has sent more than 200 online job applications.

While he believes that marketing oneself is key to securing a job, he said he has yet to master it.

1Malaysia Training Scheme

Four fresh graduates from various fields said their decision to join the 1Malaysia Training Scheme (SL1M) was their best shot at gaining full-time employment.

Farah Aainaa Abdul Hanif, 24, said the one year training serves as a platform to showcase potential employers her talent.

“I learnt many things outside my comfort zone and can’t wait to finish my training so that I can continue to use my skills and knowledge in the workplace,” she added.

During her internship, she prepared her resume with the advice from her lecturer as well as her superiors at work.

“I am lucky to have their guidance as without them I would be lost. They guided me throughout the process until I was confident enough to send out my resume.

“Prior to SL1M,Isubmitted my resume to three companies,” said Farah, who is in her eight month of training.

Having graduated last year with a Bachelor in Human Resource from HELP University, Nur Ain Shahira Ab Wahab sent out resumes in the last semester of her final year in the hope to secure a job upon graduation.

“I started writing my resume in the second year of studies and it was a good exposure.”

Muhammad Rusydi Gulam Ahmad, 24, who studied Human Resource Management at Universiti Tenaga Nasional, sent out his resume during his diploma years.

“Resume-writing classes and job interviews at university helped to boost my confidence.”

Unable to get a position in line with her degree so far, Nadhilah Abd Halim, 27, remains optimistic that she will land her dream job.

She joined SL1M to discover new interests that could lead to a suitable first job.

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