Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Priceless Experience

I called MARA just now to ask information about loans if I want MARA to fund my studies overseas. I thought there might be some good news for me, but got turned down instead. The female who answered the phone told me that all sponsorship for overseas studies are being frozen at the moment. Plus, she said there is no sponsorship for studies at the Foundation level. Another bad news. Uff, now I am solely depending on JPA and PETRONAS. I really really hope I will get any of those two. And I really really hope I will get to study in the country of my choice [provided I get the scholarship].

Talking about PETRONAS, let me tell you how my interview was. Well, I'd just got back from my Sarawak vacation on Sunday, 5th April 09 when I first knew about the interviewee results. As usual, I browsed this website www.recom.org to search for infos on scholarships. Cutting long story short, I checked on my PETRONAS application status and I was called for Educamp for OVS programme.

My Educamp was held for two days from the 11th to the 12th of April 09. My former schoolmate, Amor, was there too. She got the interview for Economics whilst I got it for Accounting. But we weren't placed in the same room.

That Saturday, we had a little briefing about what was going to happen for those two days in UTP. They told us a bit about UTP etc. Then all 415 of us were separated and sorted into groups of 5. I was in the 2nd group. It was fun because I made a lot of new friends there. Studying in STF from 2004-2008 somehow limited my races of friends, but not here. We were brought to the library which I thought was the biggest library I've ever been into. It was really hi-tech, but still under construction. Then we went to the lab. There was this one girl named Farah that I walked with. Pity her, she injured her foot during PLKN, so she couldn't walk properly.

Then, it was tea time. We were given some refreshment to fill our hungry tummies. Next was an informal group discussion. We were divided into four sub groups. Each of us was given a sheet of paper containing instructions of the group discussion. The topic was about motorcycle. Each of us had to pick and choose any component of the motorbike but everyone must not have the same part. We were required to explain why we chose that particular part and why that part was important to the bike. And then, after everybody finished presenting, we had to come up with a conclusion of which 2 parts of the motorcycle had to be dropped.

Later that night, we had a test. The test was different according to what type of course you applied. For those who were taking technical courses (engineering), they had to sit for a mixed Science and Mathematics test. For those who took non-technical courses, they had to sit for Mathematics test only. And that Mathematics test was not actually 'Mathematics', but more to Additional Mathematics. I forgot some formulas that I felt like calling Pakyem at that instant. LOL. But I think I did quite well. No bragging here (only to please myself ;)). 5 minutes after the test finished, we got another test. It wasn't a test actually, more like a questionnaire. After we finished the questionnaire, we headed back to the hostel.

Came the interview day. We were sorted into groups according to our assessment no (this assortment had been done the night before), mine was B-20-04, which meant I would be in Session B, group 20 and the 4th person (the last) to be interviewed. Being in session B meant that I would be interviewed in the morning and would sit for other three tests in the afternoon. We were brought into a hall where we were given a case study each. The case study was about 'Corporate Social Responsibility'. Seriously, when I first read the topic given, I was like, what's this? I couldn't understand a thing! After reading it a few times and assisted by the facilitators explaining to everybody, I got it. And my recommendation was something like this, "The Government should play a more active role in pressuring international companies to serve the public and should not run business only for profits." 30 minutes for everyone and we had to decide whether we agree with the recommendation given or not. State some reasons and elaborations. And a few suggestions.

30 minutes up. We went to the waiting room. It was quite tense there. Then, it was my turn. Let me tell you, it was an individual interview first followed by group discussion. Okay, I entered the room and did the formalities. There were two interviewers, both were females. One asked to briefly introduce myself. After finished, she asked me to present whatever I'd come up with the case study and the suggestions. Then, it was the group discussion. We were required to sit in a circle and discuss in front of the interviewers and pretend like nobody was watching us. Haha. We came up with a smart conclusion that every suggestion was accepted. Fair and square. Haha. Then, came the English test (similar to the SPM level), a testing-your-brain-speed test (60 questions in only half an hour; thank God I finished it) and lastly an IQ diagrammatic test (40 questions in 20 minutes; I know, it's crazy but I managed to finish though). Then, it was time to go home. Phew!

Overall, I have just one thing to say; it's a valuable and priceless experience. But I am not satisfied with one thing. Throughout my whole individual interview, the interviewers didn't ask me
ANYTHING AT ALL! They didn't even butt in during the introduction! And during my case study presentation! Uff!

Now I can only pray that I will get the scholarship. Irrespective of whether it's JPA or PETRONAS. But I do hope more for PETRONAS, haha.

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