New breed of grad­u­ates

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Star Education Fair -

“The fact of the mat­ter is that em­ploy­ment is just one form of op­por­tu­nity,” Prof Rafi said.

“If the mar­ket ex­ists, it ex­ists, with or with­out em­ploy­ers.

Should a grad­u­ate switch from be­ing a job seeker to be­ing a busi­ness owner, his em­ploy­ment prob­lem would be solved and he could churn out prof­its.

But set­ting up a proper busi­ness en­ter­prise is no walk in the park, es­pe­cially for the in­ex­pe­ri­enced.

MMU es­tab­lished its En­tre­pre­neur De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre (EDC) with that in mind, through

A key fea­ture of the EDC is its Spin-Off Scheme, which was in­tro­duced to pro­vide fi­nan­cial sup­port for en­ter­prises at the pre-seed and seed stages.

This mi­cro-fund­ing ini­tia­tive in­tends to com­mer­cialise re­search projects at MMU, “spin­ning off” com­mer­cially vi­able projects into profit-mak­ing ven­tures.

While the orig­i­nal ben­e­fi­cia­ries were the univer­sity’s re­searchers, the pro­gramme has been made avail­able to staff and stu­dents.

Un­der the scheme, par­tic­i­pants may ap­ply for up to RM35,000 in fund­ing per project over 12 months.

Even­tu­ally it will lead to the Startup Scheme. Ev­ery MMU’s EDC par­tic­i­pant can ex­pect a thor­ough train­ing of how an en­ter­prise works, to de­velop busi­ness ideas and plans and the man­age­ment and mar­ket­ing pro­cesses should be han­dled.

Qual­i­fied par­tic­i­pants will also be in­vited to present pitches to in­vestors whose fund­ing would en­able suc­cess­ful en­ter­prises to op­er­ate and func­tion as in­tended.

While it has been only slightly a year since the EDC was in­tro­duced, MMU has made strides in cham­pi­oning en­trepreneur­ship.

The most re­cent suc­cess story is of MMU’s Fac­ulty of Com­put­ing and In­for­mat­ics stu­dent Nur Zahi­rah Zahrah who ven­tured into niche mar­ket­ing, by cre­at­ing por­trai­ture us­ing Ru­bik cube com­po­nents.

Zahi­rah mar­kets her ser­vice ex­clu­sively on­line, and re­cently, she made a mo­saic por­trait of min­is­ter of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Idris Ju­soh us­ing 800 pieces of the pop­u­lar puz­zle.

Prof Rafi is con­fi­dent that MMU is cham­pi­oning the trend that all uni­ver­si­ties will soon em­brace.

“I sin­cerely be­lieve that there is no es­cap­ing from the fact that, in time, there will be too many stu­dents for the job mar­ket to ab­sorb,” he said.

“When the time comes, MMU grad­u­ates will be ready as usual, be­cause in train­ing them to be en­trepreneurs, we have trained them to be job creators, and not just job seek­ers.

“We be­lieve they will en­joy great suc­cess.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on MMU’s pro­grammes and other de­tails, visit www.mmu.edu.my or call 1300 800 668 (MMU).

Nur Zahi­rah (left) ex­plain­ing to Idris (sec­ond from right) about the mo­saic por­trait done us­ing com­po­nents of Ru­bik cubes. Look­ing on is Prof Datuk Dr Ah­mad Rafi (far right).

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