Updated: May 1
by FutureLab | 29 Apr 2020
Oftentimes, a common issue faced by students and fresh graduates is finding their true calling when seeking employment opportunities.
While a bachelor’s degree may set the foundation for a career in a specific field, one may benefit from valuable insight from figures currently working within the industry.
In the debut of an online series dubbed FutureLab Live, Izzat Mohtarudin, Frost & Sullivan APAC’s Consulting Associate, was invited to share his journey and experiences from being a mentee under the program to being inspired to become a mentor himself. Interestingly, he initially pursued a bachelor’s degree in Chemical and Environmental Engineering before turning to the consulting landscape. Today, Izzat strives to extend the guidance he was shown to other mentees in a similar dilemma.
Founders Malaysia: What actually inspired you to sign up to be a mentor?
Izzat Mohtarudin: I would mainly attribute my inspiration to become a mentor to Brian. Brian saw a gap in the education system, and that was where he came up with the idea behind FutureLab. His vision inspired me as we shared a common sentiment. Personally speaking, I went through some difficult times while pursuing my studies, and was inclined to seek a career within the engineering sector. Now, I feel strongly towards helping people with similar stories and pursuing their career goals.
Founders Malaysia: How did it help shape your ambition and goals?
Izzat Mohtarudin: There are visible flaws within our education system. Speaking from experience, an issue within the education system is that there is a lack of flexibility in terms of where a student can proceed to pursue their future career prospects. Students are funneled into either the arts or science streams after the third form, limiting students to a narrow range of career options. The unavailability of formal career advisory services in high schools further complicates the issue, as students are uninformed of careers available to them beyond the fields of the arts or science. Personally, FutureLab provided me with insight into a wide range of alternative careers available for me to pursue.
Founders Malaysia: You are known to be active in volunteering back in the days, what are some of the tips to juggle between studies, social and personal growth?
Izzat Mohtarudin: The idea here is to prioritise your commitments, and to stick to things you are good at and enjoy. In terms of studies, practicing a regular schedule is a great start. It is also important to focus on both short and long-term goals, as well as gaining skills relevant to your professional ambition. Another practice to consider is self-reflection. At the end of the day, personal growth is subjective and is only measurable according to the metrics of one’s own beliefs.
Founders Malaysia: Now that we’re dealing with a worldwide pandemic, what’s your advice to the students especially, to prepare themselves for the future based on the current situation. What should they be doing now on top of studying?
Izzat Mohtarudin: The priority here should be on their studies and examinations. As most examinations have now been geared towards coursework-based assessments due to the outbreak, another practice to consider would be planning ahead of time. From there, students should research companies they are interested in, as well as stay up to date with news relevant to their industry. There are powerful networking tools such as LinkedIn and its features such as LinkedIn Learning, to be utilised for maximum learning effect.
Founders Malaysia: What are the three things you look for in a mentee?
Izzat Mohtarudin: I’m open to speaking to just about anyone. To quote another FutureLab mentor and former CEO and co-founder of iflix Malaysia, Azran Osman-Rani when he was on the subject of mentoring said that “mentoring is really driven by the mentee.” I am particularly interested in building a mentor-mentee relationship with the type of mentee that displays traits such as being proactive, curious and open to criticism.
We hope that the session provided you with the necessary takeaways and key insight into the current issue. Click here to watch the video.