Palindrome’s new advisory and action initiative, gives back to local community
A university that focuses upon entrepreneurship could not have come at a better time. Trends in employment are slowly but surely changing, as more and more Millennials, enter the workforce, with different ideas of how they would like to work and contribute to their organisation.
Beside the lower barrier to start a business these days, thanks to advances in digital technologies, the younger generation are also more likely to strike out on their own by setting up a business, rather than becoming a salaried employee.
Recognising this trend, Binary University, a specialist university for management, IT and entrepreneurship, became the first Entrepreneurship University in Malaysia. It is also the first university to produce Industry Specialist Professional (ISP) graduates. The ISP is a study programme which addresses the shortcomings of internship programmes, by encouraging students’ active and interactive participation with the industry of their choice.
After completing one year of basic ISP curriculum, students would study and get to know better, about the industry of their choice, during the following two years.
Dialogue with industry players
As part of Binary’s curriculum to equip their students with an entrepreneurial mindset and practical know-how to start their own business, Binary University organised for members of the local ICT and business community, to give a half-day talk about “Entrepreneurship in the Marketplace 2017.”
These members, who are also pioneers of the Palindrome Technology Advisory Committee (PTAC), were engaged by moderators during three separate panel discussions about ‘Entrepreneurship’, ‘Career Guidelines’, and also, ‘Cyber Security.’
With a total of over 100 years of industry experience between them, Alain Boey, Alan See, Darul Farik Abdul Karim, Nishal Bipinchandra, and Tho Kit Hoong, imparted knowledge and experience that would be relevant for Binary students when they enter the job market, as employees or entrepreneurs.
Dean of the Undergraduate School, Bipin Chandra said, “Nine out of ten graduates would be looking for jobs… but why not be independent? Entrepreneurs are the key driver of our economy. Also, all the millionaires in the world are not employees, but entrepreneurs, business people and corporate leaders.”
Alain, Alan and Kit Hoong were quick to point out the difference between entrepreneurs and businesspeople, saying that the main difference is the higher level of risk that entrepreneurs are willing to take.
Alan, a business owner, founder of Firmus Sdn Bhd, and an investor, also described entrepreneurs as always thinking of new ways to solve problems, and possessing the passion and stamina to drive action. He said, “Be sure you love what you do!”
Businesspeople on the other hand are comfortable with the status quo, and would be content to let the market drive them, instead of driving the market by creating new demand for unique products and services.
Tho Kit Hoong, MD of CSP Global Technologies, who is also founder of a cloud HR startup, Swingvy.com, said, “My advice is to not just be the best, but also be the first.”
Alain, a chartered accountant, and digital transformation specialist, also advised future and budding entrepreneurs, “You need to have energy to do things beyond work, like being social, CSR and Me Time – have time for yourself to think, rest, breathe.”
PTAC also got to put on their career guidance hats with helpful tips for the Binary students.
Darul, founder of Flipsio Resources, recommended using the ‘Keep it Simple, Stupid” method when writing resumes, job application letters, or even when trying to raise funds.
He and Nishal, Head of ERM at Felda Global Ventures, shared poignant memories of their first foray into the job market. Darul emphasised, the start of one’s career path as a good time to know oneself better, and to try to identify the type of role one is more inclined towards using the Adizes Methodology for Self-Assessment: Producers, Administrator, Entrepreneur, or Integrator (PAEI).
Nishal said, “Being an entrepreneur can be fun. You get to learn other skills (besides what you studied for), for example learning how to manage people, how to engage agencies and more.”
He also praised the ISP graduate programme as a certificate which recognises students’ in-depth study of companies. This can potentially prepare the graduate with knowledge about specific industries, and the know-how to solve specific business problems.
When approaching the topic of cyber security, there was all around agreement that this era of rapid digital transformation, means a lot of initiatives are being done with IT, which also means that businesses now are more susceptible to IT threats, compared to before.
Alan concluded, there is high demand for cybersecurity talent, as a result.