Prof. Zaleha: IIUM graduates highly sought after by employers

By Shazni Ong

GOMBAK, 7 April 2015: A recent survey by JobStreet indicated that there is an increase in the number of graduates who are unable to find jobs, said IIUM Rector, Prof. Dato’ Sri Dr. Zaleha Kamaruddin.

“In the case of our university, 20 percent of graduates are unable to find jobs. We are zeroing in into understanding the phenomenon, especially trying to understand from which kulliyyah they come from,” said Zaleha when officiating the IIUM Career and Internship Fair 2015 earlier today.

Present at the Career Fair’s opening ceremony were the Deputy Rector (Internationalisation & Industry and Community Relations), Prof. Dr. Abdelaziz Berghout, Director of Alumni and Career Service Division, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wahabuddin Ra’ees, as well as senior academic staffs.

According to Zaleha further, many other public universities including IIUM had faced similar problems and that the main reason was due to the inability of students to grasp the English language. However, she stressed that this should not be a problem for IIUM students as they have been using English as a medium of learning throughout their studies.

“The high population of International students which is about 6000 on campus, as well as lecturers coming from 40 countries, so the environment should have helped our local students to use English for their best of knowledge. And because of this, IIUM graduates are highly sought after by employers,” added Zaleha.

Many of this year’s participating exhibitors were looking forward for this career fair. Nazirul from Bank Islam Commercial Department said that they were offering internship placement and for fresh graduates to fill up available vacancies at Bank Islam.

“What we are looking for are graduates with good confidence, loyal and knowledgeable in the field they are applying. Bank Islam hopes that graduates will be able to offer good services to their clients and customers in a consistent manner which will be beneficial for their career development,” said Nazirul.

“The Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) six months of internship programme fits with IIUM internship placement date. This allows us to pick the right candidates at the right time whereby upon completion of their internship, they will be absorbed into getting a proper job. For example, we conduct a boot camp whereby around 25 people will be taking part in a development training programme. From here, they will be exposed to mini projects and later will be placed into real life projects,” said Sivakumar from Hewlett-Packard IT Department.

“At the end of it, potential graduates are assessed through a performance review covering their strengths and weaknesses. It’s a very comprehensive module. And for those who did not manage to make it through, basically, HP has indirectly groom local talents. Since HP is a global company, it provides graduates the exposure of being in a multicultural environment as well as being able to work with the latest technology and prototypes,” added Sivakumar.

Mohani from Ernst & Young Talent Team stated that they were looking for graduates with high interest in consultancy.
“We are here for three reasons, namely for branding exercise, to educate students to explore further about their career, and to exercise our recruitment drive. Not only we are targeting those with economics and accounting, but also from IT, human sciences and engineering too,” said Mohani.

Since Ernst & Young is an advisory and professional service company, we are searching for graduates who have the passion to consult. Having people skills is the number 1. At Ernst & Young, we believe in taking care of people,” added Mohani, who was a graduate from IIUM.

Meanwhile, there were many students who took this opportunity to visit the Career Fair and explore further on job prospects and career paths.

“I am here today to do some job seeking and internship for human resource such as those doing recruitment, consultancy, training and development as I like to meet different kinds of people. Some of the companies I am targeting include Maybank, Deloitte and Hewlett Packard. I believe in the qualities that these companies are able to provide, such as interpersonal and management skills, due to their high standard and different culture settings,” said Nurdiyanah, a final year psychology student.

According to Syukri, a third year Islamic finance student, he is looking for internship programme that is offered by the company related to his field of study.

“I just went to the KPMG booth. I decided to have a go at it due to its status as a global company which should be an interesting place to do internship. I hope I will be able to learn many new and interesting experiences if I manage to get a place there. I prefer to settle in under finance division because it is related to my study. It should be interesting as I can apply what I have learned in class,” said Syukri.

The Career and Internship Fair is held at the Cultural Activity Centre (CAC) from today until 8 April. Almost 50 companies are taking part in this year’s fair. ***

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