“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington
On 28th February 2021, the Malaysian Students’ Global Alliance (MSGA) organised a meet and greet session with the new cohort of students and mentors for one of their projects called Women Network. Women Network is an initiative with the overarching aim of providing a platform for young Malaysian female students to seek guidance as well as build connections with established women leaders in their fields.
In contrast to a more rigid mentor-mentee programme, the Women Network allows students to be proactive in reaching out to different women leaders and forging as many relationships as possible.
“Surround yourself only with people who are going to take you higher.” — Oprah Winfrey
Over 30 female Malaysian students from all over the world gathered to meet with the mentors. Five women leaders who are notable figures in their own industry were present at the meet and greet session — our inspiring and visionary CEO, See Wai Hun; Majidah Hashim, Communications Manager for Inclusive Green Finance & Gender Inclusive Finance; Siti Sharifah, Head Human Capital of RapidKL; Tanith Rahim, Founder and Director of FixieDust; and Dr Mahaletchumy Arujanan, Global Coordinator of International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Applications (ISAAA).
The theme of the session – A Fresh Start: Being a Go-Getter and Planning for the Future! The theme focuses on setting realistic and attainable goals that the students would like to achieve by the end of the term of the Woman Network initiative. Mentors and their mentees were each assigned to different breakout rooms. As the topic is related to productivity and planning, Wai Hun introduced one of the most compelling books ever written, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®”, written by Stephen R. Covey. This book has empowered and inspired Wai Hun tremendously in her personal journey as a leader, daughter, mother, and wife.
Wai Hun shared about her different roles in life, as a mother, as a daughter, and even as a CEO of two companies. She elaborated on how she had to learn to balance her priorities. She gave an example of Stephen Covey’s Big Rocks’ productivity jar. Imagine you have a jar that represents time. The first thing you do is that you fill it up with sand. Then, when you have rocks, you realise you can’t fit those rocks into your jar because the sand takes up most of the space in the jar. However, if you decide to put in the rocks first, you can then fill the jar with sand to fill in the gaps in the jar.
Hence, the big question would be, what are the rocks? What are your rocks that fill up your time? What do you actually prioritise? Many people do not realise that the rocks are not just your career, it can be your family, your health, and even, your relationships with your friends. Wai Hun encouraged the students to write down and ask themselves — How am I as a daughter? How am I as a student? How am I as a worker? How am I as a leader? Once you have figured out what those rocks are (things you find most worth in), only then you can start working towards it. When you put first things first, you are organising and managing time and events according to the personal priorities you’ve established.
Wai Hun also spoke about how one should start with the end in mind. Knowing what is your desired direction and destination. This is so that you are able to better understand where you are now, and what steps are taking you in the right direction, and which ones are not. This means to start each day, task, or project with a clear vision and be proactive and work towards it.
When it comes to planning a career path or the future, many think that women are at a disadvantage. However, Wai Hun shared her personal experience which led to her belief that there are advantages to being a woman. She spoke about how women are naturally more emotional and empathetic, allowing them to have better relationship-building skills. It is also found that women are good at inspiring and motivating others.
“Everyone wants to be accepted and respected” – Wai Hun.
Many good questions were raised by the students during the Q&A. Among many, one of the students was curious as to t how Wai Hun continued to stay productive and kept herself on track during the Movement Control Order (MCO). Wai Hun shared that she would create a routine and a cadence of accountability for herself. For example, during workdays, although working from home, she would keep to her “going-to-the-office” routine like putting on her makeup, dressing up, etc. This is to ensure all her daily triggers are in place to keep her daily routine intact, helping her to be productive throughout the day.
As students in their sophomore or final year, they were also curious as to how and what would it take for one to build a career in the technology industry and in Wai Hun’s case, the financial technology industry. Wai Hun shared about how many in the industry grew their career by applying their non-tech knowledge and background to the technology that they build. She gave an example citing that many of JurisTech’s products that are built, revolves around financial concepts.
This led Wai Hun to advise the students to always think about sharpening their saw. She shared practical steps on how one can achieve this. For instance, writing down all the things you have always wanted to learn or do but never did. Then, give yourself an hour a day to do those things. Hence, sharpening your saw.
The session ended on a high note with Wai Hun empowering the students by telling them that they are at the prime of their lives, a time where they can do anything they want. All they need to do is to change their perspective of the way they look at themselves.
“It’s only when you learn to appreciate yourself, then can you learn to encourage and say nice things to people” – Wai Hun
In line with International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate and recognise women leaders who left a mark in the world and a legacy filled with inspiration, leadership, and hope.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life. Not the victim.” – Nora Ephron
Malaysian Students’ Global Alliance (MSGA) is a global coalition of Malaysian student organisations worldwide. With a mandate to act as the global leader and representative body of Malaysian students, they are actively serving and leading Malaysian students worldwide.
JurisTech (Juris Technologies) is a leading Malaysian-based fintech company, specialising in enterprise-class software solutions for banks, financial institutions, and telecommunications companies in Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and beyond.
We nurture our culture by practising our GECO core values: Growing Heroes, Making Excellence Happen, Customer First, and Opening Up. We believe in investing in employees’ personal growth and career development. We also want to expose graduates to the tech scene and upskill talents from various industries. (So, if you are interested in tech, we want you!)
Check out our job opening here and send in your résumé to firstname.lastname@example.org.