Monday, September 25, 2006

Talent Grooming Should Begin @ School

Scene 1: Mock interview candidates not so randomly selected (Head Boy, Pres KPKM, Deputy Pres BRU and top student)

Scene 2: Almost everyone tested positive for excessive eagerness for big car, big house and pretty wife in 10 years' time

Early in the year I had had the opportunity to sit down with college's counselors and went through the programs lined up throughout the year to prepare our school leavers for the ultimate test - whether all their hard work for SPM pays off in securing a scholarship.

I also had the privilege to work with MCKK's top scorers from Class of 2005 - from whatever encounters we had, it was obvious that not enough was done to prepare them for interviews and scholarship process after SPM. Most of the time (just like we were at their age), we had no clue whatsoever what we wanted to do in life, what were our strengths and weaknesses.

So after a few months' planning, finally the inaugural MCKK's Career and Scholarship Workshop was successfully carried out. In the process some of us stayed up until 6 in the morning before the workshop to prepare the handbooks and workshop materials required.

The results?

I was happy with the attention and eagerness displayed by them, especially considering the tight schedule they were subjected to (they had been spending days in the hall listening to all sorts of speeches and the launching of many initiatives filling up koleq's calendar lately). We had a few mock interviews and it was made specifically harder than the real ones - but generally some of them sailed through marvelously. One candidate went through a "role play" type of structured interview and performed much better than some uni grads whom I have come across.

So the kids are still as talented and as great as the college boys of the yesteryears. Nothing wrong with them - only the world gets more competitive and whatever was MCKK's advantage before, is no longer there.

Before we closed the workshop, we reminded them that on their shoulders rests not only their and MCKK's future, but that of our people. If some other old boys from earlier generation had been there, they must have squirmed in their seats when I told the boys - "don't you dare to wear the tie until you earn the right to wear it. Putting on the tie means wearing MCKK's identity on your forehead and unless you are sure you would make MCKK proud, don't even think of wearing it."

As usual the majority wanted to become doctors, with mechanical engineers coming close second. What saddens me a bit was that a large majority of them wanted to do accounting and economics, yet it's almost certain they will not obtain any accounting or economics scholarship because koleq does not have accounting or economics classes, nor the flexibility to allow the students to organise themselves for optional classes to broaden their career options.

We were joined by Cepe (Class of 2005), Malaysia's top student for 10A1s in SPM 2005. We were initially quite hesitant to include people from a generation that constantly reminds us of our old age - yet on the other hand unless they are trained from his age, the whole efforts cannot be sustained in the future. I was overly alarmed at the fact that Cepe at first appeared to be too quiet by our standards (well most people come across as quiet compared to us); but he learnt to adapt pretty quickly. He didn't become talkative over night, but he was a good sport and responded to our overly adult jokes (for example) with giggles, rather than contempt.

Cepe was also a good "kitty master". We operate by a "kitty system" each time we travel or organise workshops like this i.e. everyone chips in a certain amount and a "kitty master" will pay and account for all the expenses. The thing about Cepe was he was overly efficient - right when we were about to order for the second round, he was already at the counter to settle the bills. So by unintended design - we didn't spend as much.

I don't know how much the workshop influenced the kids and their world view. But from my own college days, to be told that you are capable of reaching the sky - and to be constantly pushed to reach for the sky - will eventually make you believe in your ability. Unlocking that potentials (i.e. making these talented kids aware and confident of their own talents) is the best thing that MCKK can give them, as once they can fly away - they will never look back.

To the Class of 2006, our sincere prayers and best of luck.


  1. Anonymous10:34 AM

    Scene 2: Almost everyone tested positive for excessive eagerness for big car, big house and pretty wife in 10 years' time

    <--- at least bebudak ni dah start pikir pasal wife.. jambu tolak tepi dah..

  2. Yeah but then again, rewind 12 years ago - even kalau ada old boy tanya do you want pretty wife, big car and big house when you are 30, semua orang angkat tangan.

    Tak kan nak claim "I rather stick with my jambu" kot ha ha ha

  3. 90053947:30 AM

    Well done !
    I wish someone helped us when we had to go through our interview. I am sure the session was a tremendous help for the boys. Keep it up.
    Insya Allah satu hari nanti aku boleh sumbangkan tenaga and tolong seberapa mana yang upaya.
    So how ?

  4. Yeah it will be a permanent feature in koleq's calendar.

    No budak koleq will leave the school without knowing what's in store for them - at least that's what we have in mind.

    We hope to also train a core group of present students to carry on when we decide to call it a day.

    Ha ha aku ngan Allen, while doing this, asyik dok teringat - "this has always been Fadli's dream" ha ha ha, tak kesampaian jugak kau.

    Sessions next year are in Jan/Feb, old boys weekend and August/September.

    So if you can make it around those time...

  5. Setinggan Overfloor12:56 PM

    adakah tempat untuk orang tak cemerlang mcm aku menyumbangkan tenaga?

    maaf, aku rendah diri...

  6. ada.

    last time aku ajak ko tak buleh. syarat satu je lah ha ha, don't expect to talk much since i usually do most of the talking, as usual.

  7. ST: DS96:20 PM

    Setinggan Overfloor said...
    adakah tempat untuk orang tak cemerlang mcm aku menyumbangkan tenaga?

    maaf, aku rendah diri...

    takpe.. boleh gunakan kelebaran diri kalau terasa rendah diri sangat

  8. Setinggan Overfloor8:40 AM

    bila ko ajak aku?

    betul ke aku yang ko ajak?

    ke ajak yang ko ajak?

    kalau ko ajak aku pun, tak yah bgtau orang lain...


    mana ada aku lebar? aku terasa rendah je tapi aku takde la rendah sangat...

  9. Not all are true. Everyone has their own way of thinking but I think they have to reconsider. I like to argue for the most accurate results.