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Published by Afterschool.my on Jun 15, 2017, 10:49 am
There’s probably nothing scarier than looking for your very first job upon graduation. From feeling on top of the world while receiving your scroll and all the other pleasantries that accompany the lavish ceremony, you’re quickly thrust into the real world shortly after, having to scrap and fight for the rather limited number of openings that are available. Just last year, the number of unemployed graduates stood at an astounding 200,000 according to the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), without taking into account those who had just finished their SPM, diploma and certificate programmes.
Talking to ASM Pacific Technology raised a major point, one which will definitely come in handy for students who are still torn between courses. While the traditional and common courses that have been around for ages will never run out of style, the trend of continuous and exponential technological growth and advances now implore universities to offer more in-depth and focused courses alongside the more generic ones. While there will always be a place for the classics such as electrical engineering or mechanical engineering, in the new world, more streamlined and specific courses are necessary to supplement them. Survival of the fittest, they say, is where those who adapt not only survive, but truly flourish, something to be appreciated with students from the German-Malaysian Institute (GMI).
“The main reason we hired so many GMI graduates is because the courses provided in GMI are better fit with our industry.”
These courses in question include CNC Precision Technology, Mould Technology, Product Design & Manufacturing, Tool & Die Technology, Process Instrumentation & Control, Mechatronics and many others, all offered by GMI, the institution from which more than 100 graduates have been hired by ASM Pacific Technology. Relevant and industry specific courses are only half the battle won, with another pressing issue plaguing fresh graduates being hands-on experience — something GMI has moved swiftly to rectify.
While students continuously drown themselves in a sea of books filled with tens of thousands of pages of information, a common error many make is stopping there and not going one step further. It comes as no surprise to many that Malaysians are known for memorising what they read, something embedded in our minds from a young age, carried on stubbornly till students finally reach the top of those hallowed university steps. Memorising, if solely for the purpose of regurgitating during exams and never thought about again, is a misinformed practice that may have worked wonders in college, but has proven to be the undoing of many as they move past graduation and into the working life. Compare this to a student who may not do as well in exams, but puts in sustained efforts in the hands-on aspects of the course, and the contrast is like light and day. While the student who memorised may have graduated top of his class, the one who put in an equal time focusing on using and implementing the lessons learnt with his hands will have the slight edge, if not during the interview, then certainly during the infant stages of the job itself. ASM Pacific Technology agrees that it requires a delicate balance between the two, to create what they consider to be the best kind of employee.
“In our company, we believe that the employee is the greatest asset. Therefore, both are equally valuable. For those students that are book smart, they understand more readily and might even come out with their own ideas as a solution. As for those better with hands-on tasks, they adjust faster to fit themselves on the frontline and increase our productivity / output as we are a manufacturing company.”
GMI students are exposed to more hands-on tasks and much earlier on as well compared to the graduates of other colleges, giving them a noted advantage when it came to trying to find a job.
Perhaps the greatest fallacy new graduates are guilty of is that they do not have to change upon graduation or in the transition into working life. Many students were told that they would have to break through the walls of their comfort zones when they left school and attended university. The mistake of course, is that having done it once, they assume that they won’t have to again. In actual fact, since a student ends up spending three to four years on average at university, that becomes their new comfort zone, and complacency begins to set in. Students will once again have to start from the bottom when they find their first job, an act that many aren’t willing to go through, as noted by ASM Pacific Technology.
“These days, most fresh graduates lack the readiness to face the challenges of the real working environment. Even after they complete their industry training, they are not really ready to face all the difficulties of the real world. Most of them are still in their own comfort zones and are reluctant to break through it once again. By providing students an environment that is similar to real working conditions will inevitably help them prepare for the challenges that lay ahead.”
An often-overlooked aspect by both potential students and universities themselves is the technology and facilities available at an institution. No, we aren’t talking about just a swimming pool. With the advancement of technology, facilities that are labelled ‘laboratory’ and ‘library’ just will not do any longer, not when students are looking for the best possible hands-on training.
“Most of our assets are up-to-date technology on both software and hardware. Even if the student has basic knowledge on handling these assets, it is an advantage for them as it is applicable in ASM.”
GMI prides itself in the technologically advanced collection of instruments they have curated, and as noted by ASM Pacific Technology, many of them have similarities in terms of brands and functions as the ones used by the company themselves. These invaluable advantages afforded to these students has seen GMI graduates positioned in promising positions and lines, such as Fabrication Technology & Engineering Department, Prototyping, Automation & Robotics Department and Production Engineering & Design Team in every company sub-department.
When it is all said and done, what then are the vital ingredients that make up a good batch of fresh graduates? To ASM Pacific Technology, the secret ingredient is one’s ability to adapt.
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