What to expect when you attend business school
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What to expect when you attend business school

4 things you should expect from business school

In the past, a university degree was purely academic, or learning for the sake of getting good grades as a measure of success. But today, higher education has become a vital precursor to a successful career and lifelong learning.

Universities are no longer merely a fount of knowledge, but also a training ground for you to discover your purpose and prepare for the world beyond school.

In a 2015 long-term study, which looked into the first-year experience of students at Australian universities over two decades up until 2014, researchers found that “students who are clear about their reasons for coming to university are more likely to be committed and engaged in their studies”.

Up to 96 percent of students involved in the study said that they had decided to go to university to pursue their interests in a particular field of study, while 87 percent said it was to improve their job prospects and 77 percent wanted to develop their talents and creative abilities.

These findings show that it is vital for students to know what they want and understand what they’re getting into before they jump into the world of higher education, and this starts from choosing the right university and course.

For graduates of Monash University Malaysia’s School of Business, their decision to pursue their studies at the School have paid off.

Speaking of his personal experience as a former student, Charles Cheng Fang Chin, who completed an Honours degree of Bachelor of Business and Commerce, said: “Monash’s School of Business is a place for students who are self-driven, who can capitalise on resources and access opportunities that the school provides.”

Camelia Harahap, who graduated with a Masters in International Business, agreed, commenting: “My experience at Monash gave me confirmation that I was on the right path and to make use of the opportunities, courses, and experiences that the university and student life offered.”

Graduates of the School are highly-sought after by employers in various sectors, such as financial analysis, human resources (HR), international business,  marketing and sales, investment banking and accountancy.

According to the latest annual Global Salary Survey from international recruitment consultancy Robert Walters, HR professionals with the analytical capabilities to make sound business decisions based on data will be in demand this year among Malaysian employers.

The same goes for professionals with expertise in developing and enhancing Islamic asset management products in the Islamic banking industry, while marketing professionals in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and retail sector will be expected to have social media management or programmatic buying skills in 2017.

So if you’re a budding entrepreneur or an aspiring finance whiz searching for the right business school environment to thrive in, here are four traits you should be looking out for:

At the forefront of innovation

As Monash Malaysia is part of the larger Monash University brand, students can be assured of a world-class education. Monash is a member of Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight universities, comprising the country’s top research universities, and was ranked among the Top 100 in the latest editions of the QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

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The Monash Simulated Trading Lab  provides  a trading environment for experiential learning

Professor John Benson, Head of the School of Business at Monash Malaysia, said: “The School is an innovative, research-led, and industry-focused school that exposes students to the latest theories and practices in their chosen field.”

Students also get the chance to become a part of ground-breaking research. For example, the School’s Department of Economics is delving into the study of “green ergonomics”, a relatively new field which explores the connection between humans and nature and how it facilitates well-being, health, productivity, and effectiveness.

One of the studies includes research on river and fish pollution, and is one of the first significant and extensive studies of Malaysian river pollution.

The School is also a leader in multidisciplinary research in Islamic marketing, which covers the burgeoning global market for halal products and services.

Access to unique opportunities and inspiring experiences

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(Left-Right: Charles Kusuma Wijaya, Dr Ananda, A/Prof. Jothee, and Jodie Ernestaputra) Bachelor of Business and Commerce student, Jodie Ernestaputra, and Bachelor of Computer Science student, Charles Kusuma Wijaya, achieved the highest trading percentage during the three weeks of real-time trading. 

The School encourages students to think out of the box, and as such, offers them a wide range of opportunities and experiences.

Professor Benson explained that at the School, learning experiences are not restricted to the classroom.

“The School encourages students to undertake internships and work placements, to participate in industry competitions, to become involved in the wide range of clubs and societies offered at Monash, and to undertake community and volunteer activities.

“This combination of academic, industry and community activities means that our students not only have a full and interesting student life in the School of Business but when they graduate are well placed to become the next generation of global business leaders,” he added.

Alphaeus Tan Win Syuen, who had been a Bachelor’s student of Accounting and Banking & Finance, said he had benefitted greatly from the student exchange programmes made available by the university. He also participated in the recent Amazing Race Asia Season 5.

“My student life was not just bounded by the compounds of Monash University Malaysia, but I had the opportunities to do exchanges abroad in Canada, the United States, Hong Kong, and the Czech Republic,” he said.

The School also puts an emphasis on giving back to society and serving the less-privileged. Its Alumni Chapter recently helped run a soup kitchen for Kuala Lumpur’s needy.

Recognition and reward for hard work

It’s easy for some students to feel like university is just a monotonous cycle of classes, assignments, and exams. Monash Malaysia recognises that students need to be challenged in order to reach their full potential, but more than that, their achievements should be celebrated.

In an effort to acknowledge the hard work put forth by students, the university regularly awards scholarships to the cream of the crop. Last year, 89 scholars were recognised for obtaining top marks, receiving a bursary to cover tuition fees, as well as a monthly stipend of RM700 and accommodation at the student residences.

In January this year, three deserving Banking and Finance students – Vivi Setiawaty, Lai Wanqing, and Andrew Lim Ken Wern – were presented with a book prize of RM700 by CIMB, a Malaysian universal bank operating in high growth economies in ASEAN. The recipients, who had completed their second year, will also have the chance to intern at the bank.

“What industries expect from Monash students are not just degrees. Think about a wider portfolio than just your studies,” advised Professor Benson, adding that internship programs and volunteer work add depth to students’ portfolios.

Known for producing graduates ready to take on the world

Increasingly, the worth of a university education is measured by its ability to prepare students who are ready to join the workforce.

But for many, the realisation that they were not quite equipped with the necessary skills needed to take up jobs within their intended field comes too late.

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From left to right: Melody And Xing Yuen (Best Graduate Award, Masters in International Business) and Professor John Benson (Head of the School of Business)

Melody Ang Xing Yuen, who graduated with a Masters in International Business, said: “It was a slow realisation for me that the working world is far more complicated, and to survive, it’s better to be equipped with some business knowledge.”

However, graduates of the School of Business don’t face this dilemma – thanks to close links between the School and industry.

“Monash Malaysia has given me the perfect platform to broaden my knowledge about the business world,” noted Ifaz Khorshed Hassan, who was an undergraduate student of Business and Finance.

But while your choice in business school will help give you a leg up in your future career, it’s also what you make of it.

Deddie Sionader, who studied Business and Commerce, said it best: “Your future is 40 percent secured once you graduate from Monash. The other 60 percent is, of course, dependent on yourself!”

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