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LETTER | 'Campus takeovers' necessary for varsity students

LETTER | Industry outreach and engagement are instrumental to student development in universities.

Such initiatives serve as a linkage between campus and industry, thereby acting as a vehicle of exposure for students to gain further insights as to the expectations in the working environment and as a means for employers to have on-the-ground knowledge as to the capacities and aptitudes of student skillsets at their present state.

Therein this interdependent relationship where the utility in campus outreach lies - a highly capable Malaysian workforce can only be conceived if students are equipped with sought after abilities and a developed understanding of the dynamic complexities of the working world. Corporate engagement supplements the learning experience of Malaysian companies.

It guides students to leverage the knowledge they have amassed, throughout the time spent studying the university curriculum, in a way that transforms into tangible, practical skills they apply to real-life situations that require complex and rigorous problem-solving capacities.

The traditional model of corporate engagement on campuses in Malaysia has often involved the setting up of information booths or the organising of industry talks, designed to provide students with important insights in lieu of changing trends and demands.

While this has proved to be indispensable, there is a substantial need to improve the level of interactivity of such initiatives to capture students’ attention better. Today’s Gen Z population, referred to as the Four “E” generation, which will account for much of the workforce in the future is the most electronically and digitally engaged of the generations.

It is also a generation strongly drawn to experiential learning, passionate about hands-on advocacy and thrives on community bonding. Therefore, there is a need to incorporate new activities into industry outreach in a way that better accounts for the manifold interests of students.

Corporate engagement on campus must not only be informative but also fun. This will ensure that students maintain an excitement of the working world. Such initiatives must be designed in a way that incorporates new technologies and hands-on activities that engage the students, providing them with an enriching and empowering experience that has a long-lasting impact.

One such initiative in today’s industry landscape which has set a leading example is CIMB’s “campus takeover”. CIMB’s Employer Branding team conduct fun activities - referred to as campus takeovers - on campuses nationwide.

These campus takeovers utilise digital technologies, practical activities, and leadership-oriented games in the form of an engaging scavenger hunt - each designed to assess a particular skill set.

The campus takeovers also feature an industry sharing on the reality of working at CIMB as well as other informational programmes that have achieved great success on Malaysian campuses in attracting students in a fun and exciting way and simultaneously exposing them to important industry insights.

To remain relevant in today’s Malaysia, employers ought to consider such initiatives to coordinate impactful student engagement in the long term. This will be key for the future.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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