Providing you the latest industry insights and updates.
by FutureLab | 08 May 2020
In the third episode of online series FutureLab Live, Jay Chong Yen Jye, the Founder cum Managing Director of Jagole made an appearance as a guest speaker and addressed how he navigated his way from being an undergraduate student, juggling university coursework while simultaneously managing his business, to finally venturing out to the world as a full-fledged entrepreneur. On top of his other remarkable feats, Jay is also the proud author of “Technology Simplicity” and was featured in Britishpedia’s 2019 edition of “Successful People in Malaysia”. Founders Malaysia: What was it like starting off your business early on during your undergraduate years? Jay Chong Yen Jye: Looking back, it was quite a memorable time. I actually founded my company with the winnings from a competition I had participated in at the time. After my business idea was validated, there was an overwhelming amount of support. But before that, I would say it was quite tough. I remember proposing my first commercial product as a feature in my final year project, and it was rejected a total of three times. From my experience, I recall three main things, firstly being responsibility. When you start your own company, there may even be friends who end up as co-founders with you. Your responsibility as a leader is to ensure that it is a success as these individuals rely on your strength and leadership to provide them with a source of income. The second element here would be discipline. I find that students are generally caught up in a honeymoon phase before setting foot into the corporate world. As a junior, I used to hear tales of the challenges and hardships of the corporate world from my graduated peers, and I could not believe my ears. But I finally understood when I joined the workforce myself. I discovered that when your actions hold a real-life impact, rather than just another mark on your assignment, that is when you realise that discipline plays a major role when you start working. My advice here would be to plan a daily schedule that you can stick to, as well as set long-term goals and plans. Thirdly, I recall all the sleepless nights. When an initial plan does not work out, you have to come up with a solution for it to work. Oftentimes, this means that you will have to put your own needs and wants aside. This includes sleep, travel or any other pleasures in life. Founders Malaysia: How do you create the chemistry and understanding within a team? Jay Chong Yen Jye: It starts with charisma. When you start a business, it is always with a purpose and a goal in mind. When you find and pursue a goal in your business, the team will tag along for as long as there is a sense of confidence and reassurance that their hard work will ultimately pay off. The second thing would be to sell a long-term vision. Your goal here is to gain the ability to share that same vision with your team. Once all of you are on the same page, your team will be a force to be reckoned with. Thirdly, you must lead by example. More likely than not, one of your team members may not be able to complete a certain task. At this stage, you must shoulder the responsibility yourself, or find another member of the team that is able to finish the task. Once completed, you will be able to tell your whole team “It took some time, but it can be done.” Founders Malaysia: What do you think are the typical mistakes most student entrepreneurs are guilty of, and how do you think they can fix it? Jay Chong Yen Jye: One of the most common mistakes is to offer a product or service that does not gauge consumer demand. This is primarily due to a lack of market research prior in the earlier stage of developing the product. Before proceeding with an idea, a good practice would be to monitor consumer patterns and trends, as well as run your idea by someone else and get a second opinion. Another common mistake here would be to celebrate a milestone too soon. Say you make a record number of sales in a single period. When this happens, they tend to get carried away and become fixated on short-term pleasure. At this stage, some may lose sight of not only the business’s long-term plan, but also their own drive and passion in making the business the best within the industry. My advice here would be to celebrate small victories and move on. The third mistake would be that some student entrepreneurs take, but never give to the community. While a business’s main priority is to make profit, be it through deals or another, one must never forget the people that contributed to their sales and supported their business. Student entrepreneurs should take note that one of life’s greatest pleasures is to be able to give back to the community. Founders Malaysia: Student graduates are now in a limbo due to the pandemic. What do you think they should do? Do you think now is a good time to start their entrepreneurship journey? Jay Chong Yen Jye: I feel like no one is ever truly ready to start their entrepreneurship journey. Just do it and see how it all unfolds in time. In the midst of this pandemic, I think that it is the best time to start, as cards are being reshuffled, the industry players are changing and we have no indication of how it will all turn out after it is done and dusted. If you want to be a pioneer or leader, now is the time to step up. Founders Malaysia: Who would be the right mentee for you, and what are the three things you look for in a mentee? Jay Chong Yen Jye: I would look into someone that is passionate. Passion is a powerful tool, and is easily one of the best traits to have. Another thing I look out for in a mentee is optimism. Someone that will not give up halfway through, and will stay true to their goals. Lastly, I will observe a potential mentee’s level of self-awareness. This person will likely be honest and truthful to not only me, but themselves in terms of self-improvement. In short, someone who is not afraid to say that they are not perfect, and will work to better themselves in the best way they can. We hope that the session provided you with the necessary takeaways and key insight into the current issue. Click here to watch the video. FutureLab Live is an online session where we mutually engage our mentors and the audience to discuss and share contemporary trends, tips and other opportunities.
by FutureLab | 07 May 2020
In the second installment of FutureLab Live, we had the opportunity to talk with our mentor Stanley Chong, a partner at Ingenious. Stanley has been very active for the past five years in coaching and investing in businesses and startups, but his experience has played a huge role in what he is doing today. With close to thirty years of experience in the tech industry, he had the opportunity to be involved in various roles be it intechnical, sales and also management in companies such as IBM and Siemens. Get to know more on his insights and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and startups founders out there through the article below, and at the end we have included the full video of the online session as well as some links to engage with him as a mentor. Founders Malaysia: Can you start off with a little bit of history about yourself? Stanley Chong: I have been in the tech industry for close to thirty years now. I am a computer graduate myself, and have been involved in the technical side for the first ten years of my career, and for about five years, I have been in various other divisions such as sales, marketing and management roles in the companies I have worked with. I had the privilege to be in a startup myself, on top of being in multinational companies such as Siemens and IBM. Personally for the past 5-years, I have been very active in coaching businesses as well as investing in some of them, just to gain more experience in helping companies to grow and scale. Founders Malaysia: How would you define a startup? Stanley Chong: There are a lot of definitions of what a startup is out there, but I define a startup with an entity or a company that is in search and are currently experimenting with a repeatable and scalable business model. Once the company is able to work their way through and scale their business, they are no longer considered as one. Founders Malaysia: How do we build a sustainable and successful startup? Stanley Chng: That is the million dollar question, but unfortunately there is no silver bullet or playbook for that, as every company has their own sets of unique challenges and business models that require attention. At the end of the day, it is the founders team that matters the most. Eighty percent of the time, experience and adaptability plays a huge role in creating a sustainable and successful startup. Always start from the fundamental, because creating and growing a startup is not that difficult, but sustaining it would be challenging especially after the growth. I believe that the founders’ mindset matters throughout their journey. They have to be observant, always curious and are able to apply what they learned to the company itself. Also, planning and execution is also an important factor. Having one without the other would definitely jeopardize the successfulness of a startup in a longer term. Make sure to have the right business model that is sustainable, while at the same time making sure that the unit economics makes sense. Study and forecast business scenarios as that will definitely help to gauge the growth of your startup. On a side note, take care of your team and the culture that you are implementing, as it enables you to move and adapt much faster as opposed to doing things alone. Cash flow management should not be left out, as a ton of startups out there struggle to pay their overhead as they burn more cash than they do earning it. The advantage of a startup to a corporate company is how disruptive and innovative they are. Startups are faster and more flexible, but of course do keep in mind that corporate has better resources when it comes to marketing and branding. You can definitely see this happening in the financial tech industry with the amount of electronic wallets out there. As a summary, to be successful, a startup has to be able to plan and execute, while in order to be sustainable, the business model and the team has to be scale-ready. Founders Malaysia: From your experience, as I know that you have been involved in mentoring new startups, what are the common mistakes by these eager entrepreneurs, and what could they do to fix it? Stanley Chong: I would say that it still falls back to the founders’ mindset. My suggestion is to get the right mentor to bring in experience into the team, because lack of experience has been a huge bottleneck to new startups. The next common mistake is the fact that they do not plan out properly. Most startups only plan up to six-months to a year, and failure to plan would be disastrous especially when they are looking to grow their team. Whenever they reach a milestone, they would rather celebrate than to look into what they could do to grow the business even further. My advice – have a long term strategy even before you reach your first milestone. All-in-all, as a startup, you can’t afford to make too many mistakes. As a wise man once said, learn from another person’s mistake, with the help of mentors. Furthermore, foresee the growth of your startup and your team by planning ahead to avoid crisis. Founders Malaysia: I’m interested to know your perspective of the current pandemic. What do you think of it, and is it possible for startups to emerge successful and sustainable? Stanley Chong: 8 out of 10 discussions today are focusing on that. In business, it is undeniably difficult to pivot in a short period of time. It always comes back to planning, if a bad situation were to happen, what would you do? At the end of the day, these things that are happening are beyond our control. It is also dependent on which industry you are in, as some industries are badly affected while the others, not so much. My advice to startups out there, preserve as much cash as you can. You may opt to pivot, but make sure it is not done for the sake of following the trend because you will be spending more money to do that. Founders Malaysia: Who’s the right mentee for you, and maybe what are the three things you look for in a mentee? Stanley Chong: The first thing I look at is the mindset of the mentee, whether they are coachable or not. They also need to be passionate in whatever that they are pursuing, and if they are in a startup, they need to have a proper business model to grow. We hope that the session provided you with the necessary takeaways and key insight into the current issue. Click here to watch the video. FutureLab Live is an online session where we mutually engage our mentors and the audience to discuss and share contemporary trends, tips and other opportunities.
by FutureLab | 29 Apr 2020
Oftentimes, a common issue faced by students and fresh graduates is finding their true calling when seeking employment opportunities. While a bachelor’s degree may set the foundation for a career in a specific field, one may benefit from valuable insight from figures currently working within the industry. In the debut of an online series dubbed FutureLab Live, Izzat Mohtarudin, Frost & Sullivan APAC’s Consulting Associate, was invited to share his journey and experiences from being a mentee under the program to being inspired to become a mentor himself. Interestingly, he initially pursued a bachelor’s degree in Chemical and Environmental Engineering before turning to the consulting landscape. Today, Izzat strives to extend the guidance he was shown to other mentees in a similar dilemma. Founders Malaysia: What actually inspired you to sign up to be a mentor? Izzat Mohtarudin: I would mainly attribute my inspiration to become a mentor to Brian. Brian saw a gap in the education system, and that was where he came up with the idea behind FutureLab. His vision inspired me as we shared a common sentiment. Personally speaking, I went through some difficult times while pursuing my studies, and was inclined to seek a career within the engineering sector. Now, I feel strongly towards helping people with similar stories and pursuing their career goals. Founders Malaysia: How did it help shape your ambition and goals? Izzat Mohtarudin: There are visible flaws within our education system. Speaking from experience, an issue within the education system is that there is a lack of flexibility in terms of where a student can proceed to pursue their future career prospects. Students are funnelled into either the arts or science streams after the third form, limiting students to a narrow range of career options. The unavailability of formal career advisory services in high schools further complicates the issue, as students are uninformed of careers available to them beyond the fields of the arts or science. Personally, FutureLab provided me with insight into a wide range of alternative careers available for me to pursue. Founders Malaysia: You are known to be active in volunteering back in the days, what are some of the tips to juggle between studies, social and personal growth? Izzat Mohtarudin: The idea here is to prioritise your commitments, and to stick to things you are good at and enjoy. In terms of studies, practicing a regular schedule is a great start. It is also important to focus on both short and long-term goals, as well as gaining skills relevant to your professional ambition. Another practice to consider is self-reflection. At the end of the day, personal growth is subjective and is only measurable according to the metrics of one’s own beliefs. Founders Malaysia: Now that we’re dealing with a worldwide pandemic, what’s your advice to the students especially, to prepare themselves for the future based on the current situation. What should they be doing now on top of studying? Izzat Mohtarudin: The priority here should be on their studies and examinations. As most examinations have now been geared towards coursework-based assessments due to the outbreak, another practice to consider would be planning ahead of time. From there, students should research companies they are interested in, as well as stay up to date with news relevant to their industry. There are powerful networking tools such as LinkedIn and its features such as LinkedIn Learning, to be utilised for maximum learning effect. Founders Malaysia: What are the three things you look for in a mentee? Izzat Mohtarudin: I’m open to speaking to just about anyone. To quote another FutureLab mentor and former CEO and co-founder of iflix Malaysia, Azran Osman-Rani when he was on the subject of mentoring said that “mentoring is really driven by the mentee.” I am particularly interested in building a mentor-mentee relationship with the type of mentee that displays traits such as being proactive, curious and open to criticism. Summary We hope that the session provided you with the necessary takeaways and key insight into the current issue. Click here to watch the video. FutureLab Live is an online session where we mutually engage our mentors and the audience to discuss and share contemporary trends, tips and other opportunities. To book Izzat as a mentor, or learn more about us: Click here to book Izzat Click here to learn more about us
by FutureLab | 06 Aug 2019
Many have compared the process of choosing a mentor with other kinds of relationships. Two of our favourites are these: Choosing a mentor is like choosing a spouse, but for only a short while Choosing a mentor is like hiring an employee, in reverse. Both of these analogies work well for us. Choosing a mentor is like a marriage of sorts because the mentors can make or break your career. The process of choosing a mentor is quite similar to hiring a new employee for a company. It is a funnel-like process. When you are faced with a pool of mentors with different qualities and different fields, as you would find at FutureLab, you need to be able to narrow down the pool to the few who would impact your career positively. First, you will need to focus on the skillsets of mentors, in order to find those who have expertise in the specific skills that you are looking to hone. Among these mentors, there will be those who started in that field and are still thriving in it. There will also be those who were previously in a different field and have now transitioned. Decide which of these groups match your experience, or is more likely to have what you are looking for. Also, if you are searching for certain specifics, such as years of experience, level in the hierarchy, this point will be a good place to make that distinction. By now, you should have a list of mentors who have the necessary skills and experience to help you succeed. Now, you can focus on personality, IQ, EQ, listening skills and values to choose your mentor. You definitely want to choose someone with a high IQ and EQ. If you are an introverted person, you may want to choose an introverted mentor to match you, or an extroverted one to emulate. Also, you need to ensure that your core values match those of the mentor that you will eventually choose. Most importantly, the person you choose should be a person of integrity. This is non-negotiable. While choosing a mentor, understand that mentors are not life partners, they will not be with you forever. A mentor is there to walk you through that particular phase, and once you have moved on to the next level, you might need a new one. Now that you know how to make your choice, head on over to FutureLab where we have experienced mentors from different industries waiting to connect with you.
by FutureLab | 01 Aug 2019
But if anything, statistics have shown that the current generation is so much better than the previous. Youths today are much less likely to use drugs, have sex, use guns, go on riots, etc compared to youths of the previous generation. However, what is more important are the things no one is saying. No one is talking about how good the youths are today. No one is talking about how young people nowadays are more entrepreneurship-oriented than ever before. Nobody is talking about how today’s youths are more involved in charity and volunteering than the previous generation. No one is talking about how youths today start fending for themselves much earlier than it was previously. Nobody is talking about how young people today are more likely to obey rules than previous generations. The plain truth is, today’s youth are behaving and performing much better than their predecessors. Granted, they have technology backing their efforts, but they also have to experience the downsides of this technological invasion. So why don’t we shed the negative narrative. Let us instead begin to recognize the efforts of those who are working to create a better future for themselves. And for the youths who are working hard to better their future, we have mentors who are willing to volunteer their time and experience to help you achieve your goals. Speak to a mentor today.
by FutureLab | 24 Jul 2019
Alumni mentorship, simply put, is when the former students of a school, being more knowledgeable about them during- and after- periods of education, help to guide current students, to ensure they avoid mistakes and they succeed. Why is Alumni Mentorship such an important concept? # The alumni know the ins and outs of the university. They know the useful tips and tricks that can help a student. They also have contacts within the university that they can take advantage of to assist students. # The alumni know what it is like to be a newbie in the workforce. They have probably made some mistakes and made some discoveries, and they can pass on this knowledge to the students. # The alumni are from different industries. They can help the students figure out which career path they want to follow in the future. # The alumni can support current students in various ways, by sponsoring them, by offering them internship opportunities or jobs in their companies, by exposing them to other experts in the industry, and so many more. # The alumni are in the best position to understand the struggles that the students may face in the college or university, and they have enough experience to suggest viable solutions. Alumni mentorship is more important than many realize, and every institution should have a system for it in place. Do you want to know how to build an alumni mentorship network in your institution? FutureLab already has a platform that can help you.
by FutureLab | 18 Jul 2019
Many educational institutions have a misguided perception of alumni associations: in many cases, they are not sure how to utilise their alumni network to the fullest potential. Many are of the opinion that the alumni are good for fundraising and donations, and that’s about it. However, this could not be any further from the truth. Alumni networks are more immensely beneficial to the institutions, in ways that go beyond just monetary assistance. How? You may wonder. Here are a few. The alumni are an institution’s best form of publicity. A testimonial from a former student is more powerful and more relatable than an ad on the internet. The alumni can provide resources to their alma mater, in the form of field trips, job shadows, internship opportunities and many more. These resources, varied as they are, can be utilised if there is a strong relationship between the alumni and the institution. The alumni can serve as mentors to current students, especially graduating students, helping them find their career path and succeed in it, and thus boosting the institution’s reputation The alumni association serves as a reservoir of various opportunities. Alumni can serve as references to enable graduating students to find their dream jobs. Alumni can raise substantial funds for their institution. They can also institute scholarships for deserving students. The strength of an institution is built on the foundation of its alumni. Keep your alumni close and the benefits will certainly outweigh the costs. Contact FutureLab today to find out how to build your alumni network
by FutureLab | 18 Jul 2019
Industry 4.0, simply put, is the 4th upgrade version of the industrial revolution. Hopefully, you have heard about the Industrial revolution. Perhaps, you even know a thing or two about what it entails. But before we talk about Industry 4.0, we should first understand the 3 earlier versions, right? Heads up, all the earlier versions have equally generic names. Before any of the industrial revolutions was what we like to call the stone age, where everything was done by hand. But then came Industry 1.0 with the introduction of engines that were powered by water and steam. That was the hype of the 18th century. The discovery felt like one of the best things to happen to humans at the time. Little did they know that there was more to come. Industry 2.0 came in the 19th century, heralded by electricity. Now people had machines that could do help them work faster and easier. Apart from the machines, there also developed a concept known as assembly line production. The concept started in the manufacturing industry, where different people handled the different parts of production for a car, thus making the process much faster. Industry 2.0 was a great time, but it was nothing compared to Industry 3.0. In the 20th century, computers showed up: machines that could do work without needing human supervision. As computers developed, artificial intelligence joined the party. All the things that they thought were fast before became even faster. And there was no need to monitor the processes. It was amazing. Now Industry 4.0 is upon us. It features super-fast machines that can make decisions by themselves. This technology is called the Internet of Things (IoT). Industry 4.0 means that only these intelligent computers will be needed to execute an entire production or manufacturing process, that only the systems are enough to manage an entire supply chain system. Did you notice any trend in the revolutions? With the advent of each version came a reduced need for humans. Industry 4.0 enthusiasts predict that nearly no human labour will be required. Where does that leave us? Not to worry, as old jobs are eradicated, likewise new ones will be developed. Luckily, some people graduated from the same school you are in now, and they also faced a similar problem: there were no jobs that exactly match their studies. They had to adapt themselves, the same way you will have to eventually. These people are your school alumni. If you want tips on how to remain relevant in a rapidly changing industry, speak to one of your school alumni. And if you still need to speak to other people, FutureLab has a lot of mentors who can open your eyes to the wealth of opportunities that exist and will arise.
by FutureLab | 11 Jul 2019
It is not uncommon to see high-end universities like Harvard and Stanford speak of their Alumni networks with so much pride, and it begs the question of why their Alumni is so important to them. Here are 3 major reasons why every university should have a thriving Alumni network:1. Support Support from Alumni can manifest itself in several ways. A university which plans to extend its reach into foreign countries can always draw on the power of its Alumni to execute this, with less cost and more effectiveness. Support could be in the form of scholarships for deserving students. (Example: Harvard University). Support could manifest in so many other forms, including in university events, fundraising and so many more. 2. Resources A strong Alumni network is directly related to the quality of resources, human or otherwise, that a university can tap into. Do you need to establish contact with someone in Google Inc.? Your Alumni can make the connection. Or perhaps you want to conduct field trips to Marvel Studios? An Alumnus can have that arranged easier than the university staff will be able to. Whatever the resource needed, more often than not, a university would have an alumnus who is in the right place to source it out. It all boils down to the strength of the university’s alumni network. 3. Mentorship With the job market changing so rapidly from what it used to be, the education sector is finding it quite a task to keep up with these changes. Thus, graduates realize that they are unprepared for their respective industries. However, current students of the university can get practical advice from their predecessors who have already overcome these issues, and thus avoid those pitfalls. Plus, the reputation of the university soars. The benefits of a strong Alumni relationship are not limited to what has been discussed in this article. There are more benefits that abound and even more which will spring up in the coming years. Alumni networks, important as they are, are sadly being neglected by numerous universities. A turnaround in this phenomenon would definitely reflect on all parties involved, and in positive ways. Visit portal.futurelab.my to find out more about how you can efficiently build and utilize your alumni.
by FutureLab | 08 Apr 2019
Have you ever had to carry a heavy bag on your shoulders? Well, if you’ve only had to carry the bag for a couple of minutes before setting it down, it may probably cause your shoulders to feel a little tense. Perhaps, you’ve had to run a couple of errands with that heavy bag for over an hour, your shoulders and back start to ache. Perhaps, you’ve had to carry the bag all day, the ache in your shoulders and back gradually intensify. While the weight of the bag remains, which runs in parallel to our physiological reaction and hormonal release, the difference lies within our perception and experience of the stressor – much like the duration and ways we hold on to that heavy bag. Although small doses of stress can be a great motivator, high doses of stress can cause us to feel overwhelmed and, in some cases, trigger anxiety as well as a host of other mental and physical problems. Ultimately, stress helps us survive – by changing our perception of stress, there is potential to transform your life; this is evident based on research from Harvard*, where participants who were diagnosed with hypertension due to stress and were instructed to reappraise arousal by reframing stress as helpful rather than harmful, showed improvement in emotional outcomes as well as an increase in their cardiac efficiency. Even though we can’t get rid of stress completely, here are five ways we can manage stress and handle that heavy bag more efficiently: 1. Share the load with someone No one can do it all and that is perfectly acceptable. Your perception of stress may sometimes cloud your judgement and keep you from seeing solutions clearly. Asking for someone for help or even just talking to a friend, colleague, family, mentor or even a trained professional can help you put your challenges into perspective. Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but an expansion of your strength. 2. Manage your time No one can do everything at once to learn to put the bag down every now and then. There are instances when you may feel burdened to complete all your responsibilities within a short time span, don’t. Break down your responsibilities into smaller, manageable tasks spread out over a longer time frame and organize them according to their level of urgency. Note on tasks that can be delegated to others to do and remove them from the list. Remember to create buffer times for unexpected tasks and most importantly, relaxation and self-care. 3. Tend to those sore shoulders and aching back Self-care is not optional. You can’t always control the circumstances which life throws at you, but you can certainly take control of how well you take care of yourself. This is crucial for building resilience to cope with stressors on an everyday basis. Dr Rajita Sinha, director of the Yale Stress Center, in an interview for a documentary “One Nation Under Stress”, emphasizes on science-backed behavioural training that can help traumatized parts of the brain regrow. So, make time for sleep and power naps, maintain a proper diet (don’t skim on nutritious food and no, convenient and fast meals don’t count), exercise properly (taking those stairs up 5 floors count, too) and pamper yourself! Never feel guilty for taking a break because your body depends on it. Quick relaxation tip: tense and release each muscle group for about 5 seconds – starting from your feet, move up to your calves, next your thighs, continue with your abdomen, next to your hands, followed by your arms, move on to your shoulders and lastly, your neck. 4. Say ‘No’ to carrying more bags for others It doesn’t make you less nice as a person. Often, fear of conflict and FOMO become huge barriers to saying ‘no’ but the extra weight added onto our existing load can be too overwhelming to cope with. Think of some pre-prepared phrases to let other people down gently, such as ‘I’m sorry but I can’t commit to this because I have other priorities at the moment’. The people that genuinely care about you would understand. 5. Separate yourself from the bag Your challenges and responsibilities are external factors in your life, it isn’t who you are. Learn to recognize when you’re being too hard on yourself to get rid of negative self-talk that can be damaging to your self-worth. If you often compare yourself to others, stop it; you do you. If you often mull over your mistakes, stop it; mistakes are part of learning. If you often ruminate over your problems, stop it; remind yourself of your past achievements and then get creative to find solutions. There are three natural tendencies we react to stress – fight, flight or freeze; however, there comes a time when we need to actively choose to pause, breathe and take care of ourselves before we take on the next challenge head-on. Written by: Sybella Ng specializes in Developmental Psychology and is the Founder of THINKiNT, a company that incorporates psychology in training, consultancy and resources for people from all walks of life to help individuals live purposefully. She is an author, Child Development Specialist, rhythmic gymnastics coach, and FutureLab Mentor. To book her time on FutureLab, click here. Sources: *Jamieson, J.P., Nock, M.K., & Mendes, W.B. (2012). Mind over matter: reappraising arousal improves cardiovascular and cognitive response to stress. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 141 (3), 417-422. DOI: 10.1037/a0025719417
by Jeremy | 29 Mar 2019
Like it or not, what you currently do now in university is extremely important. You should treat this phase of your life seriously if you want to set yourself apart from all the university graduates. Did you know that there 173,457 fresh grads with a bachelor degree, and only 98,514 highly-skilled jobs available? Furthermore, you only have a 5% chance of securing an interview. To really stand out from the crowd, you need to start doing these five things: 1. Join volunteering activities Volunteering experience goes far beyond helping out in a pet shelter for a day or visiting an orphanage for a short period of time. Go above and beyond by providing your skills and expertise to help the organisation. You’ll be able to improve your skills and teaches you how to deal with people through the experience. Furthermore, employers value volunteering experience as it shows empathy and dedication. 2. Gain more experiences through internships and apprenticeship As you enter university, you should start looking for opportunities to gain professional experiences relevant to your course of study. However, you can also use internships to explore different industries as well. Internships provide opportunities to be trained by professionals, which accelerates your learning for specific skills that will help you during your career. 3. Take up leadership experiences At some point in your career, you would have to manage a team and deal with people. By taking up leadership positions in clubs or global student organisations, you will be able to gain experience working together in teams to achieve a goal together. 4. Create an online presence Your digital footprint is everything in these days and age. It becomes even more important when you apply for a job as your social media profiles will be checked by recruiters. By having an unprofessional profile, it could affect your chances of landing an interview with the company you have applied for. 5. Find a mentor It is crucial to have some guidance in your career and life. The most successful people have mentors from all walks of life. Your mentor will guide you, inspire you, and most importantly avoid the mistakes that they’ve made. You could easily find a mentor through your university alumni network or use FutureLab to find a mentor from different industries. Your career and future is entirely your responsibility, and it is never too early to start preparing for your future. University is the best time for you to learn about anything, it’s all down to how proactive you are. Source:
by Jeremy | 18 Mar 2019
The framework consists of 3-step-process for you to follow: Create your hypothesis – develop a career hypothesis that you might be interested in testing. This could be an industry, job, or function that sounds interesting to you. Test your hypothesis – read articles, speak to people working in the space, join competitions or programmes, or even landing an internship. Evaluate your hypothesis – after you test, take a step back and reflect on it. Then it is your decision to refine and continue testing your hypothesis or pivot to a completely new hypothesis. Creating your hypothesis In this first step, it is important that you come to the first interesting idea to get yourself started. Chances are you probably already have some workable interest. There are many ways you can arrive at your interests. This can come from classes, conversations, and readings. Some common example from our mentees expressing their interests: “I enjoy sciences but I don’t see myself working in research or a laboratory setting.” “I don’t have an interest in business school, but I love applying visual designs.” “I enjoy solving business problems for different companies with new technology.” As you’ve noticed, your interest statements can be general or narrow. That depends on how much thought you’ve put into your career aspirations. But the most important part is translating them into “I think I want…” statements. “I think I will work in the business function of sciences” “I think I want to work in UI/UX design within a company” “I think I want to work in consulting” Test your hypothesis With your career hypothesis in mind, it is now time to test whether it is something that you would want to pursue. It is important that you are able to quickly test your hypothesis and decide whether to refine or pivot your hypothesis. Here are some ways you can do to test your hypothesis, ranking from easiest to hardest: Reading online – this could come from online articles and forums, or even taking relevant classes. Joining a programme, competition, or event – competitions and programmes that specifically tailored to the industry or function that you’re interested could fast track your decision. Talk to people working in that particular industry – reaching out to people through your university alumni network, LinkedIn, or simply book a FutureLab mentor to know more about the industry you’re interested in. Intern in a company in that particular industry – basically mimics very closely to the day-to-day activities of the industry that you’re interested in. For example, If you think you want to in consulting. It is important that you start by googling about the industry first. Highlighting the top companies within the industry and what kind of services do they offer. In the process, start refining your hypothesis as you look for information. After some research, you find that strategy consulting (Find out what’s the difference between Big 4 vs MBB) is particularly interesting to you. So your new hypothesis should be: I want to work in technology consulting If you’re still interested, start pouring your efforts attending events, consulting programmes, or even competitions to validate your interest. Then taking a step further by reaching out to people who are already working in that industry. All in all, the goal is to constantly test and refine your hypothesis. Always remember to dig deep and focus on higher effort ways like networking, and internships. Evaluate your hypothesis So after putting in the time and effort, you actually went for a summer internship with a consulting firm. Then there are two possible outcomes: You LOVED your internship experience You HATED your internship experience You LOVED most of the internship experience This means that you can continue to build a specific hypothesis to explore the industry and truly understand where do you want to start off in the industry. So thinking about what you liked & disliked in-detail during the internship. Taking our consulting hypothesis as an example, you might be able to derive some interesting insights into technology consulting. You found that consulting is quite high paced and enjoyed the nature of it You enjoyed the high-level problem solving of consulting – working with directors You enjoyed solving business problems with cutting edge analytics for clients Then, you should take a step back and evaluate your hypothesis. Your refined hypothesis could be: “I think to want to work in technology consulting focusing on analytics” You HATED most of the internship experience Though it is the opposite of the positive experience, you learn a great deal about what you clearly don’t want in your career. It is extremely crucial that you reflect WHY you didn’t enjoy your internship and start refining or pivoting your hypothesis to move forward. Taking our consulting hypothesis as an example again, you might arrive at the following insights after your internship in technology consulting: You didn’t enjoy the unstructured and face paced environment of consulting You found it quite hard and technical to keep up with technology Then, you should take a step back and evaluate your hypothesis. Your new hypothesis could be: “I think I want to work in a slower pace environment in a commercial firm” Then you repeat the process over again, testing your newly refined hypothesis until you find you. In Conclusion Throughout the process, it is beneficial for you because you are able to learn about yourself at a much greater rate. Furthermore, this also helps you to systematically maximise your potential through experimentation and filling up your resume with solid experiences. Source: 2by22
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