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"What are you going to be?"

Written by Iswaran, former PBP student.

My name is Iswaran and I’d like to share the journey of my life. Back in 2015 I found out about ‘free tuition’ known as ‘Pusat Bimbingan Pelajar’ (or academic guidance & mentorship in English) going on in my neighbourhood organised by a group known as Generasi Gemilang (GG). I found out that GG helps to educate people and improve their studies, so I decided to try it out to learn new things.

The people, or ‘mentors’, who taught us are all well-educated university graduates. I couldn’t afford to go for extra classes apart from attending school so these tuition classes were a great opportunity for me to improve my subjects. The mentors teach us 2 subjects: Mathematics and English. I am weak in my Mathematics. I had a GG volunteer named Ka Sen, as my mentor who taught me a simple way to solve tough questions. It seems to me that I found a great coach whom I could ask whatever question I couldn’t understand. Every week if I had doubts, I would consult him. It was even easier than asking my teacher for help in school. At the end of the year, I obtained good grades for both subjects – English and Mathematics.

2016 was an important year for me because I was sitting for my SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysian) examinations. I was able to revise my subjects in PBP and ask my mentors for help when I needed guidance. When the SPM results came around, another mentor, Simpson, spent time to talk to me about my options for furthering my studies. He asked me questions like “what are you interested in?” and “what are you going to be?”

I told him my favourite things was that I liked cars and liked being hands-on. So he showed me two options and they were vocational education programs.

One of it was automotive-related. A special program under the National Dual Training System (NDTS) in collaboration with Department of Skills Development (Jabatan Pembangunan Kemahiran) under the Ministry of Human Resources Malaysia. The training program covers the latest technical knowledge and diagnostic skills in line with the advanced technology and also Mercedes Benz products.

I went through two types of interviews. One was a paper test for mathematical reasoning, calculations for high level thinking skills. When they announced the results, I was fortunately selected and short-listed. I was then invited by the company for a face-to-face interview, after which, I was short-listed for their training program.

At the same time, I attended another interview with a firm known as Infineon Technologies, which then chose me for its Mechatronics education program. I brought this to my mentor and asked for advice on which would be a better choice. After a lot of discussion, I chose to purse the Mechatronics educational program offered by Infineon. The reason I ended up choosing this program was to study about semiconductors and manufacturing.

It was very interesting and appealing to me because I could see myself creating things in the future. It’s a 3.5 year program with 100% of my fees covered, on-the-job training, with monthly allowance after which, I will get an Advanced Skills Diploma (DLKM / Level 5 NOSS).

The subjects that I am currently studying under the program is difficult and requires a lot of focus. It’s only my first semester and it’s likely that it will become more challenging but I’ll continue to try my best and do all my homework. I would like to acknowledge, praise and thank my mentor a lot for walking me through this wonderful opportunity. PBP classes are still one of my most memorable classes. PBP mentors always give their students the best and for that I’d also like to thank all mentors from Generasi Gemilang (GG).

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