Industry Appreciation Reception 2016

The inaugural Monash Industry Appreciation Reception 2016 was held recently as a gesture of recognition to their long-standing partnerships with numerous industries dating back to its inception 18 years ago.

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University-industry relationships play a pivotal role towards elevating the quality of education in higher education institutions, in addition to driving innovation and building a nation’s human capital.

Monash University Malaysia’s illustrious presence in the Malaysian higher education has seen the establishment of long-standing partnerships with numerous industries dating back to its inception 18 years ago.

The inaugural Monash Industry Appreciation Reception 2016 was held recently as a gesture of recognition to their partners. The networking reception and cocktail dinner saw 50 esteemed individuals from various industries present.

Professor Helen Bartlett, President and Pro Vice-Chancellor at Monash University Malaysia, expressed her thanks and appreciation to the university’s partners. She added that their engagements, which includes the area of research, giving input for the university’s courses to providing placements and internships for students, will help Monash meet the world’s current challenges.

“The engagement within industries is critical. It helps us demonstrate that we’re doing impactful work while helping Monash open its funding streams to do work that is more substantial, longer term, and with greater impact,” shared Professor Bartlett.

Apart from developing long-term relationships with industries, she said Monash also aims to discover how they can add value to the business of their partners, by providing solutions and innovations.

“We want to work with industries and build a long-term relationship with you. We need to know how we can add value to your business and organisation. Together, we can be a powerful engine for innovation and economic growth,” she said, adding that such partnerships can aid the development of new technologies, transform industries, build human capital and improve the work-readiness of graduates.

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Among the industry professionals in attendance was Chee Chiak Yang, Vice President, Business Development of Scomi Group. Despite graduating with a Bachelors of Engineering degree in 1979 from the university’s Clayton campus, Chee shared in a speech that his involvement with Monash has never waned with the passage of years.

Chee was involved in several programs including the Engineering and IT Leadership Program, a challenging and engaging program for selected high performing undergraduate Engineering and IT students at Monash Malaysia. Here, the soft skills of students are nurtured, skills that will help them progress during their transition into their professional careers.

Chee, who guest lectured final year students on several occasions, highlighted the importance for engineering and IT undergraduates to gain real life experiences from industry players and to seek out skills, techniques and knowledge needed for career progression into managerial positions.

While lauding the university’s efforts to keep abreast of the times, he encouraged Monash to continue similar programs and seek more contribution from key industry players, in addition to utilising their resources to assist industries with research to understand current trends.

Hanie Razaif-Bohlender, the General Manager of Dragonfire Corporate Solutions Sdn Bhd, who is also in Monash’s Industry Advisory Board for the School of Business, described the experience as “interesting and rewarding”.

“This is how I see the university appreciate the input from the industry, and how they stay relevant with their courses to stay on top of the game in this ever-evolving world,” she shared.

Working with many fresh graduates from various universities in Malaysia, Razaif-Bohlender shares her knowledge on matters including employability and work readiness with them and has seen successful stories, including Monash graduates.

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Razaif-Bohlender, who has seen numerous presentations from final year marketing students since 2013, noted that their sessions have an impact towards their learning, with students personally engaging them on how their program has helped them.

She opined that there should be a continuous engagement between first year university students and the industry up to their final year, to ensure that students also learn about employer’s expectations and become familiar with the industry’s needs.

Meanwhile, Leonard Ariff, the Group Managing Director of Chemical Company of Malaysia (CCM) Berhad, said his involvement with the university’s School of Business spans four years while he chairs its industry advisory board.

Ariff was involved in providing input for the university’s Master of Business Administration program and discussed issues ranging from course curriculum to pricing and how a Monash MBA would differ from those offered elsewhere. He added that the involvement of diverse industry advisory group’s was positive.

Some engagements between the university and CCM include the development of innovative coating materials for gloves to improve the wearer’s experience. He added that Monash was on the right track in staying relevant with the industry, adding that it is imperative for the university to reshape its programme biennially to ensure its courses remain relevant to the demands of the industry. This improves the employability of graduates when they are equipped with a “toolbox” that covers what is relevant for companies today, making it easier for them to get absorbed into different areas.

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