Newsletter Sept – Oct 2018
September 2018 Orientation
BERJAYA UC welcomed the third and final intake of 2018 for the September Orientation programme. The event, spanning over three days, served to introduce the new students to the school/faculty. Featuring a spooky twist on the typical orientation, with Halloween-esque decorations, costumed members of the Student Council and a costume fashion show, students enjoyed various ice-breakers and activities organized by the Student Council, who worked diligently to make the new students feel welcome.
Now that they have taken the first step, we eagerly welcome our new students to BERJAYA UC and look forward to inspiring them on the true meaning of being a Berjayan.
Institut Paul Bocuse Culinary Seminar
In the autumn of each year, the members of the Alliance by Institut Paul Bocuse gather to exchange best practices and new culinary techniques from all over the world. This year, BERJAYA University College (BERJAYA UC) was proud to host the Culinary Seminar from 24th September to 28th September 2018 with the theme, ‘Explore Malaysian Heritage and Traditions through the experience of Malaysian multi-cultural cuisine.’
“We welcome the Alliance members to experience the distinctive palette and a tapestry of flavours of Malaysia,” said Madam Mae Ho, Executive Director of Berjaya Higher Education Sdn Bhd, in her welcome speech.This five-day event brought together 22 participants from 11 member institutions around the world, including BERJAYA UC, who attended diverse workshops and demonstrations on Malaysian local herbs and spices used in Malaysian heritage cuisine and beverages, Chinese tea demonstration, celebrated the mid-autumn festival with the art of making snow-skin mooncakes, as well as best practice discussions and sharing sessions on best teaching and learning practices.
“BERJAYA UC is proud to join the ranks of prestigious institutions in the Worldwide Alliance by Institut Paul Bocuse,” said Madam Mae Ho. Being a member of the Alliance further enhances the learning curve for BERJAYA UC’s staff and students not only through the appreciation of Malaysian cuisine but also through cross cultural promotion of gastronomy, culture and education built on Institut Paul Bocuse’s values of trust, respect and commitment. Mae added, “In our strive for excellence, it is an honour for us share our ethnic heritage cuisine to all the members of the Alliance.”
Internship Sharing Session
Senior students from BERJAYA Business School, School of Hospitality, School of Tourism and School of Culinary Arts returned from their internships to share their 16-week experience. 11 students from the various faculties took to the stage as they explained where they had gone during their internships, what they had done, and what they had learned. The students interned with various prestigious companies and hotels such as The Hilton KL and G Tower Hotel, where they were able to gain first-hand experience while surrounded by professionals and industry experts.
We hope that this sharing session has served as an inspiring and informative session for their juniors, who will be able to learn from the experience of their upperclassmen, as well as letting them know what to expect going into their industry.
Honours Seminar Series – Sam Morrah
Students from various faculties gathered in Lecture Theatre 1 to listen in on Mr. Sam Morrah, the Director of Sales of Club Med Malaysia, speak about the “Challenges of Selling Travel Packages” in the Asian Continent. Mr. Morrah, born and raised in New Zealand and currently based in Kuala Lumpur, spoke of his experience after nearly a decade of work in the travel industry and all that it had taught him, inspiring students as they listened eagerly.
Starting out in the travel company Topdeck, Morrah spent two years as a travel manager, before moving on to Contiki as Director of Sales and Marketing. It was while based in Singapore that he learned just how different the Asian market was from the European one, how important it was to know your market, including their attitudes and preferences.He stressed to the students the value in understanding who they were selling to the where, the time and the money involved in the client’s decision making process. Mr. Morrah now works with Club Med Malaysia, continuing to learn more about the Asian market, its challenges and how to overcome them.
Honours Seminar Series – Marcus Low
Mr. Marcus Low, founder and owner of Table & Apron in Damansara, spoke to Hospitality and Culinary Arts students of his experience with chasing restaurant success, or how he had been Pursuing Excellence as a Team Sport.
Table & Apron is a neighbourhood restaurant situated in Damansara, Malaysia, that aims to provide memorable dining experiences to their customers. Mr. Low believes that restaurants are the social fabric of communities, with restaurants being used as a medium to socialise, make memories and even make business deals; restaurants are very important to our society. He believes that there are a few core components to making and running a successful restaurant, many of which boil down to one simple thing: a good team. A team that works well together, communicates effectively and above all is hospitable.With humble beginnings as a dishwasher in a restaurant in Toronto, Mr. Low learned from working various stations when his co-workers were absent, developing skills in many areas. That is part of what inspired him to introduce a station rotation in his own restaurant, which as a result bolstered communication and competency in more than one designated area of expertise.
He asked every student in the hall one question: what is your reason for being in this industry? He says that Table & Apron turned from an empty shell of a restaurant to a bustling neighbourhood hub with heaps of regulars after he answered that question for himself. “When you go out and work in the field, look at your work as a craft. Find your reason for being, your reason for doing what you do. We are here to create a better experience, and that starts with each of you.”
World Vegetarian Day
A relatively standard day for most, served as a platform for education and change at Berjaya Times Square. Starting the day with a large conference featuring five speakers, including Berjaya Corporation’s founder Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan, attendees enjoyed a delicious vegetarian lunch between talks about topics ranging from carbon footprint of animal agriculture to systems behind Malaysia’s sanitary landfills.
Following the informative and interesting (and occasionally funny, thanks to our humorous speakers) talks, the crowd headed down to the ground floor of Berjaya Times Square, where students of BERJAYA UC as well as various staff volunteers from Berjaya’s subsidiaries, had put together an exhibition in honour of World Vegetarian Day. Offering colourful displays, interactive presentations and a life-sized cardboard cow, the event served to educate the public on the impact of their daily choices, from the way we drink our water to the way we mend holes in our clothing. In addition to educating people about the five R’s (refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle) a section of the exhibit was dedicated to animal agriculture and its impacts on our planet. The exhibition provided information on exactly how things such as recycling and animal agriculture are affecting us, our weather and various other things, telling us what we as individuals could do to prevent the bleak future that our actions are setting course for.We were honoured to have been a part in such an initiative, and wish that everyone who attended the conference and visited the exhibit has left more educated and more aware about the world around us and the impacts of our choices to the environment.
Marketplace of Sustainability
Students from various faculties came together for their team building course assignment; making and selling items from recycled materials; from vases made out of paper spoons to dream catchers so pretty you won’t believe that they weren’t store-bought. The students gave it their all between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, enthusiastically advertising and selling their products, creating an environment similar to that of a night market (though they were significantly less rowdy). Fellow students and lecturers stopped by to inspect and purchase the hand-made products, priced anywhere between RM2 and RM6.
All proceeds would be either divided equally amongst the individual teams, or donated should they collect a sizeable enough amount. However, the true value of the project is allowing the students to work together and practice a lifestyle where they utilize the 5 R’s (refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle) and work towards a more sustainable future.
International Educational Week
One of the expectations of BERJAYA UC is to provide our students with a global experience. The International Exhibition Week, organized by the Student Experience Committee and the Department of Student Services, serves to do just that.
On day one, Professor Dr. Lee Chai Buan and student emcee Nazik from DPA, hailing from Kyrgyzstan (one of the featured countries), launched the week of events with a short welcoming speech. Professor Dr. Lee Chai Buan explained the aim of the event, along with wishing good luck to the students in charge of the exhibition. Eleven booths lined the student lounge on the eleventh floor, featuring displays about the Maldives, Korea, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Singapore, Jakarta, Bangladesh and Ghana. The booths consisted of a wide array of pictures and handicrafts from their featured country, each of them also selling a snack native to their country (with Dango from Japan, and Sondesh from Bangladesh). In the far corner of the student lounge stood a booth put up by the lovely librarians, Sakinah and Darina, who had put together a breath-taking display for our own country – Malaysia. With twinkling lights, intricate embroidery and a rather large Malaysian flag, the pair showed off Malaysian pride amongst the cluster of countries.The exhibition of the booths continued throughout the week, with students and staff members free to visit any of the countries during breaks and between classes.
Day three featured a talk by Mr. Tan Choo Khuan and Bachelors of Culinary Arts student Naven Kumaar regarding studying abroad; the procedure and experience. Mr. Tan relayed useful information for all degree students interested in spending a semester overseas in places like Sejong University in South Korea, Institut Paul Bocuse in France, and FHS Salzburg University in Austria, while Naven recalled his experience of his time spent in Lyon, France attending Institut Paul Bocuse. The pair had an informative and interesting session as they urged students to apply for the exchange program (the deadline is on March 19th 2019) and spoke of the wonders of overseas experience.
The international students of BERJAYA University took to the stage on Day Four. The five students (Aina of Singapore, Nazik of Kyrgyzstan, Daniel of Indonesia, Bruce of China, and Jeffrey of Ghana) each spoke about their experience as international students living in Malaysia. Dr. Antoon De Rycker and Dr. Ng Mei Leng also shared their experiences, both their pasts as foreign students and their working lives as foreigners.
Day five ended the inaugural International Education Week with bright and captivating performances from the countries featured during the week. International and local students alike took to the stage to dance their hearts out in front of their fellow students and faculties. The dances featured included Bharatanatyam, a South Indian classical dance, Poco-poco, a traditional line dance originating in Indonesia, and a group performance with several students and staff dancing in unison. A Sri Lankan envoy gave a short speech regarding the importance of intercultural awareness, before she, accompanied by Dr. Ng Mei Leng presented the prizes to the three best booths.
Honour’s Seminar Series Eddy Tan
Talent Acquisition Expert Eddy Tan joined Hospitality and Hotel Management students in Lecture Theatre 2 to give a talk titled; Me, You & Airbnb. He, along with his partners, spoke to the students about Teledirect Telecommerce. With offices across the globe, 6000 employees and a myriad awards under their belt (including one won just the day before), Teledirect Telecommerce is partnered with a multitude of companies spanning from Louis Vuitton to KFC.
He gave an interactive talk, asking the students questions for which they earned little gifts. He believes that people in the hospitality industry are truly special individuals, people who want to serve others and create memorable experiences for all. “Experiences,” Mr. Eddy Tan said. “That is what we do this for. It’s not your background or number of degrees; it is your consideration for guests, your will to serve and create these experiences that will lead you to success.”Mr. Tan urged the students to know their reason for being in the industry, because then, with a purpose, they can truly be successful and provide the best service that they possibly can.
Honour’s Seminar Series Merchant’s Lane
The founder of small café in the middle of China Town, Mr. Ken Ho, and his former employee turned business partner Mr. Kenneth Tan presented their talk, titled “Entrepreneurship – from Ideas to Execution” to a hall of Hospitality and Hotel Management students on Tuesday. With four years of experience in the café under their belt, and a lot of trial and error, the two complied a series of lessons they have learned from running their café; Merchant’s Lane.
After finishing his studies and working for a bit, Ken Ho found himself burnt out and I search of something new; that came in the form of opening a café. Once repurposing and redesigning an old building in China Town, Merchant’s Lane was up and running. However, all was not well with the now flourishing business at the beginning. With no experience running a café and bills to pay, Mr. Ken Ho had to learn quickly. Through trial and error and far too many experiments, he and his team managed to build the business into what it is today.He warned students never to look down upon the experience working at an establishment such as McDonald’s, Starbucks or Old Town might provide. Brands such as those have a vision, and have put in place a system with which to reach it. The two speakers outlined the lessons they had learned, from knowing your customers and pricing, to managing funds and minimizing waste. A lot of work goes into a successful business, and they were still learning and changing and adapting constantly, and urged the students to do the same.