11 Tips From Company Directors And Working Professionals To Malaysian Fresh Grads

Fresh grads and young professionals take note! These 11 working professionals from five different industries- accounting, banking, FMCG, IT, and telecommunications- give realistic career advice based on their years of experience.

Cover image via Findaphoto

1. Your job hunt: As a fresh graduate with no working experience, it is normal to be clueless about what you want to do in your career, but have goals and set your mind and objectives towards it. Portray confidence, have the right attitude, and be determined.

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"Don’t be taken aback by the peak period and long hours of work. Always look on the bright side and have a positive attitude in everything that you do."
- Illy Rakinah Binti Mohd Zin, Senior Associate at PwC.

2. Your career choice: Look for something that is of your interest, don’t just focus on the salary

"In order to achieve greater heights in any organisation or career, you need to make sure you know what you want to do and then only will you able to make full use of the opportunities around you.”
- Ir. Mohd Hafiz Ibrahim, Manager, CEO’s Office, Malakoff

3. Your interviews: The key to getting the interviewer’s attention is to show how you can contribute to the company

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4. Your first company: Look for companies that adopt inclusive culture. They have better employee retention, customer satisfaction, productivity and profitability.

“It is important to emphasise gender diversity in the workplace to help our business to succeed. Individuals with broad and extensive experience in their professional and personal lives are most likely to offer unknown yet applicable solutions that are useful in increasing productivity and solving problems."
- Nisa Mohamed is from Dell.

5. Your learning curve: It will improve when you start listening to other people's opinion

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"Listening to others’ opinions – which is easier said than done, especially when we are trained to have our own views. But our learning curve improves a lot when we start listening."
- James Gan is from CIMB.

6. Your potential: Be inspired to be at the top. Harness your social, interaction and technical skills.

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“Don’t view hard work as a form of sacrifice. Look at it from the long-term perspective that the knowledge gained today will give you success in future.”
- Gavyn Ng Chin Wei, Manager, M&A Transaction Services/Valuation Services, Deloitte Malaysia

7. Your attitude: You must constantly update yourself to be technically sound and have a positive attitude

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Chan Wee Lim, Associate Director of Tax at BDO.

8. Your Network: As a graduate, you should go out there and meet people

“As a graduate, you should go out there and meet people. And if you make a connection with someone who has more work experience, then by all means, ask him or her to be your mentor.”
- Toni Brendish, President Director of Danone Dairy Indonesia.

9. Your success: The differentiating factor of success would be a track record of consistently generating new ideas and innovative solutions for clients

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"We all look for individuals with a good attitude who are hardworking. It also helps to be able to think outside the box as this business gets more competitive."

10. Your work-life balance: This is often a matter of choice. While working long hours means sacrificing your personal time, it also allows you to learn more quickly.

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"Planning ahead and communicating with colleagues and superiors also make a difference when trying to meet deadlines. When I have personal appointments, I plan my work ahead of time so that I can complete my work on time. A good working relationship with colleagues also helps."
- Soh Kian Han, Associate of Business Tax Advisory at Ernst & Young Malaysia.

11. What is the key to success? I believe it is the ability to adapt.

"It is important to first understand the situation rather than immediately zooming into the solution. It is human nature for us to rush for an answer. Sometimes, we have to take two steps back and think about the concern in order to find a feasible solution."
- Alvin Gan Seng Heng, Executive Director of IT Advisory at KPMG Malaysia.

Also, consider starting off your career with a management trainee programme: