30 August 2007

William and Haziq Serve up Life Lessons at Culinary Classes

The culinary students of the Sunway University College School of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Management (SHTLM) were pleasantly surprised when two special students joined them in class. They soon realized that there was more to life than studying.

William Lim, 20 and Mohd Haziq Mohd Izmi, 19, are special students at the SMK Bandar Sunway. The Sunway Group adopted SMK Bandar Sunway as part of its corporate social responsibility programme (CSR). William and Haziq were given the privilege to join the four month practical culinary and kitchen operations classes of the first year of the Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management programme at Sunway.

Both William and Haziq enjoy a tailored curriculum with a more vocational bent at their school which has a programme for students with learning disabilities. They are usually given work at the GOLD Street Café, a signature project by SMK Bandar Sunway which provides skills training for the learning disabled community.

William and Haziq were all eyes as chef instructor /lecturer Choong Siew Lee began to show the class how to make a selection of fettuccini, tagliatalle and angel hair pasta from flour. “William and Haziq had no problems picking up skills and they had a great sense of teamwork” said Choong.

“I really felt a glow of pride when I saw my students becoming more sensitive and attuned to William and Haziq in class” said Choong. “It is a part of their humanitarian education and encourages them to be more mature when they are given the opportunity to interact with the less able” she added. The two became well assimilated as the other students socialised with them during lunch and after class.

Asked how they found the classes, William replied “They were interesting and we made a lot of friends” to which Haziq concurred “We learnt a lot in class”

This initiative was part of the 6-month Job Placement Programme under the 3R Corporate Social Responsibility by the Sunway Group. Sunway University College took in the students for training before they were attached with the Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa. Elizabeth Lee, Executive Director of Sunway University College said “We fully support the Group’s objective to equip intellectually challenged students with skills that they can use in the real world. This training experience is invaluable as it teaches them independence and self-confidence”.

28 August 2007

Two Aussie Students Spend a Semester in Malaysia

Two students who blended right in at Sunway University College and who could not get enough of our Malaysian culture were Victoria University, Melbourne students Tristan Knowles and Nikolai Popov. They elected to be exchange students to spend a semester of their final year at the twin VU Bachelor of Business degree programme at Sunway University College. The course has a student exchange programme that allows its students to spend one semester in any VU campus worldwide during the course of their studies.

Before Malaysia, Tristan had already spent a semester in Beijing, China. He shared, “As a student at Sunway it was very similar to studying in Australia, so in that way it was not a huge change or learning process. Everyone spoke English and being run by Victoria University, course content and teaching was the same in Australia. However it made me develop as an individual through my experiences settling into a new country and meeting new people”.

Tristan liked the closer relationships with fellow students and even lecturers here, “Because of the smaller class size and the degree structure, most people knew each other and the lecturers knew the students well. I liked the diversity of study at Sunway too with students from many different programmes studying many different specialisations”.

“Being at Sunway was an invaluable experience as I was able to meet many bright students from all over the world and learnt a lot about the many different cultures” said Nikolay. He added, “The level of teaching is very high and the academic staff extremely helpful and friendly. The same applies to my fellow students who helped me in my adaptation process in a new environment”. He recalled that he had many memorable moments with good friends he met at Sunway.

What Tristan found very different was the lively cafeteria with students being busy everywhere and lots of different activities. This was a new experience for him coming from the Melbourne campus where it is much quieter. Both agreed they liked all the socializing after class at the nearby ‘mamak’ stalls.

The Victoria University (VU), Melbourne, Bachelor of Business was first introduced in Sunway University College in 1994. 1+2, 2+1 and 3+0 arrangements are available at Sunway University College. Students may transfer to VU Australia at any designated time as the programme in Sunway is identical to that in VU in Australia.

In its quest for world class education, Sunway has a two-month internship programme for its high achieving second or third year students for internship into one of the following prestigious accounting firms; KPMG, Deloitte KassimChan, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young and BDO Binder. Top students, particularly graduates who majored in accounting are also assisted with job placements into the “Big Four” accounting firms.

10 August 2007

Soup Kitchen Fairies Feed Almost One Hundred Homeless

Thirty-five ‘fairies’ from Sekolah Sri Bestari cooked nasi lemak for almost 100 homeless people at the Community Services Centre recently. They were led by schoolmates, Lim Seng Rong, Stephanie Yeow and Goh Yuen Zhuang, who initiated this project as part of the Youth Leadership Programme organised by Sunway University College (Sunway).

The self-named ‘Soup Kitchen Fairies’ started out collecting dry food items from their schoolmates. However, response was poor due to the inconvenience of bringing the bulky food packages. Young as they were, Seng Rong, Stephanie and Yuen Zhuang were undeterred. Time was against them, but they devised a new solution to conduct a monetary donation drive instead.

“Contingency plans are very important because problems can easily be encountered,” they reported to the organisers, wise beyond their years.

To rally support for their project, Seng Rong, Stephanie and Yuen Zhuang gave speeches during morning assemblies about their campaign. After three weeks and with RM2335 in their hands, the ‘fairies’ bought various fresh ingredients to cook a complete meal. They felt that it was a blessing in disguise, as they were providing a more wholesome meal now instead of the initial plan of canned and dry-packed food which was less nutritious. Surpluses were used to procure gifts and toiletries to be donated to the Centre.

For their efforts, Seng Rong, Stephanie and Yuen Zhuang received scholarships worth RM8,000 each to any pre-university, diploma or American Degree Transfer Programmes at Sunway University College, RM1,500 in prize money and a trophy for the school as first place winners in the challenge. They intend to use the prize money to upgrade their school facilities.

When asked what they would have done differently in retrospect, Seng Rong replied, “We would have widened our scope to include students from the lower forms. It is a good experience for them in helping the needy and they can continue our project for the coming years after we have left the school.”

The Youth Leadership Programme organised by Sunway is a competitive award programme that aims to nurture and develop future leaders of our nation. The Form 4 and 5 school students, in teams of three, had to submit proposals on a chosen community project. Sunway University College, a Trust Fund institution, has always placed Corporate Social Responsibility high on its priority. Accordingly, the Youth Leadership Programme which spanned from February to June this year specified that all proposals have to focus on making meaningful contributions to the society.

The participants had to attend leadership and project management workshops at Sunway and a special community exposure session where the organisers brought them to visit residents of Petros Residential, Rumah Kepercayaan, and Double Blessings Disabled Independent Living Association. Finally, the teams channeled their newfound knowledge into the execution of their proposals on specific dates with seed money of RM250 provided by Sunway.

The implementation stage was judged by the participants’ organisational and decision-making skills, teamwork, communication within and outside the team, creativity in problem solving, conflict management, and public relations skills. The judges moderated their viewpoints with 360 degree feedback from the teams’ peers, principals, counsellors, teachers, parents and external people whom they interacted with when running the project.

“I am surprised to see that some of them can do so much, even surpassing what an ordinary adult would be committed to do,” commented Dr Liew Yoke Ying, Chief Judge and Head of American Degree Transfer Programme at Sunway “They are prospective leaders and they discovered their own potential while executing the project. Many of them want to come back next year as coaches to their juniors and some schools are committed to go for the champion position in the next competition.”

97 proposals were received from 32 schools and 24 teams were short listed to execute their projects. Besides the Soup Kitchen Fairies Campaign, other notable first and second runners-up winning projects were in the aid of the flood victims of Kampung Maju Jaya in Johor Baru and the Indian community helping Pure Life in Skudai, respectively.

Popiah, Oh Popiah!

18 July 2007. The usual suspects - Meng Wai, Jacq, Christina, Steven and me. New additions - Joelin, our new Counsellor, and Lawrence Law, IT Department's new henchman. Scene of the crime - Student Admin Meeting Room

Popiahs only cost RM1.20 per piece. But we decided we wanted to go through ALL the trouble of making our own.

Meng Wai specially bought the Popiah 'skins' from Penang, and the rest of us contributed various fillings: jiu hu char, boiled egg, fried shallots, lettuce, sauces, etc.

We discovered that folding a popiah is much harder than it looks. Half of us were eating popiah with 'torn' skins or with fillings falling out one end while we were desparately cramming the other end into our mouths.
Lawrence proudly showed off his almost perfect popiah.
Oh, do let me tell you all a bit about our new colleagues. Lawrence - has been with Sunway Group for a number of years - has two children - perceived as quiet (riiiiiiight) - is Superman in disguise - loves Transformers - is fairer than Snow White - loves chocolates.
Oh woe is me! I don't have a picture of Joelin. She is a graduate of UM and VERY TALL.