Students learn what employers look for in graduates

Curtin Sarawak

The panelists (L-R): Tan Lee Khim, Yong Nyet Yun, Anbalagan Krishnan, Donny Liew and Brandon Voon Hye.

Miri – 28 March 2012 – About 300 students of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) had the opportunity to find out exactly what qualities employers look for in university graduates at a forum held in conjunction with Accounting Week 2012 at the university campus recently.

The five-member panel of speakers at the forum comprised industry representatives Tan Lee Khim of KPMG, Yong Nyet Yun of Ernst and Young and Donny Liew of Sarawak Shell Berhad; Curtin graduate Brandon Voon Hye Lung; and Anbalagan Krishnan, Head of the Department of Accounting and Business Information System in Curtin Sarawak’s School of Business.

The forum entitled ‘Employers’ Expectations of Graduates’ was jointly organised by the CPA Australia Student Charter (CPAASC) and the Accounting Club Curtin Sarawak (ACCS) and ably hosted by students Erik Kenneth Wong and Siaunee Dana Mogunsal.

Held on the last day of the week-long celebration to mark the tenth anniversary of the two organisations, it was an apt finale to a most eventful week that included an accountancy exhibition, career talk, and a ‘Connection Night’ dinner event for CPAASC and SCCS members.

The panelists fielded a wide range questions submitted by the students and took turns to share their thoughts on the ideal graduate attributes such as good teamwork and organisational skills, leadership skills, and the ability to multi-task.

They also highlighted common weaknesses of local graduates, which include lack of industry exposure or practical experience, inadequate technical skills, inability to think critically, and poor communication skills. According to them, university students not only need to excel academically but also develop the right attitude, that is, to always be positive and not push themselves too hard.

Their views on the ideal graduate attributes mirrored Curtin’s own Graduate Attributes, which the university seeks to instil in all its students so that they are adequately equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to be career-ready graduates with a passion for life-long learning and a commitment to serving the needs of the broader community.

Curtin Sarawak students are constantly challenged to become active learners who can acquire, interpret, communicate and apply knowledge within and across disciplines. Such integrative thinking and skills will augur well for the students when they graduate and work in a complex and rapidly changing job market. The university also aims to produce graduates who are technology-savvy and profession-wise, and whose knowledge and skills are geared towards solving real world problems.

Hence, its courses have applied, practical subjects with a strong emphasis on industry links, which means its students have the opportunity, in the course of their studies, to work closely with companies in their chosen fields.

For more information on Curtin Sarawak, call +60 85 443939 or visit its website at It can also be found on Facebook (Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia).

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