Thursday, July 7

Students embracing global opportunities through Co-Operative Placement

Lu (left) and Soon visiting a tourist spot during their day off.

Lu (left) and Soon visiting a tourist spot during their day off.

KUCHING: UCSI University provides a platform which allows students to complete the final year of their degree programme overseas while providing them with an opportunity to experience the foreign work culture through a six month Co-Operative Placement (Co-Op Placement).

The university, through its national Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) project called Entry Point Programme (EPP) 10, has been aggressively embarking on ensuring its graduates are equipped with cross cultural and global thinking skills.

Since the introduction of the work-based learning mode of study in the hospitality programme in 2011, many students have found themselves embracing new opportunities overseas.

Among them are Rachel Soon Rui Chee and Rowena Lu Pei Jia who recently returned to Kuching from their six months Co-Op Placement in Japan where they were placed with renowned Niseko Ski resort operated by Hokkaido Tracks Holidays (HT Holidays) Management.

“My working experience in Japan was awesome. The culture and people there make the working environment very challenging and interesting for a Malaysian girl like me,” said Soon adding that Japan is cool and Japanese people are very friendly.

“I learned a lot from my supervisor and a group of lovely colleagues. Working overseas far away from home has taught me to be humble and learn from others”.

Soon said that the past three years in UCSI University were the best in her life.

“Especially those days when I was president for the Event and Tourism Club actively organising activities and events in the university, where I developed my leadership and management skills,” Soon enthused.

Meanwhile, Lu said her greatest achievement was learning to be independent in a foreign land and speaking a foreign language.

“I cannot deny being anxious about the whole situation before flying off to Japan. With a mixture of apprehension and excitement I chose to look at it as a challenge in life,” she said.

Lu added that besides being independent, it was a whole new working experience with HT Holidays.

“It was absolutely exigent whilst widening my horizon socially, environmentally and intellectually. One of my objectives while completing my Co-op was to enhance my personal skills by learning new languages and discovering new skills,” she said.

Apart from Soon and Lu, another student Regina Bong Pei Chie was recently offered a job in Holiday Inn Kandooma, Maldives of IHG Group.

“I am so excited and cannot wait to go there as Maldives has been one of the beautiful places I have been dreaming of visiting. I have undergone my seven months Co-op in Movenpick Hotel, Singapore and I continued working there for another year before one of the department managers introduced me to Holiday Inn Kandooma Maldives,” she said.

Bong said that working in Singapore was tough and the work culture there is very challenging compared to Kuching.

“I learned a lot there and having had a Co-op placement overseas really secured my career pathway in hotels or companies globally.” she said.

UCSI University is committed to exposing its learners to local and foreign experiences through its industry placements or Co-operative placements at companies around the world.

In a recent tracer study, UCSI University was rated one of the top five universities in the country for graduate employability with 81.40 per cent of its students
offered jobs even before they graduate.

To date, students from the university have completed internships in countries such as Japan, New Zealand, Macau and Singapore, to name a few.