INTI recently collaborated with its industry partner, DELL Malaysia to organize Hack2Hire, a first of its kind varsity competition organized by DELL Malaysia, as a practical means to hire talents. The opportunity was magnanimous as 75 of INTI’s best and brightest from its Computing and IT schools faced off in teams over a 24-hour period to research, hack, code and impress the socks off of 13 senior representatives from DELL Malaysia and DELL India, and earn one of 11 opportunities to work at DELL Malaysia.
All smiles for the winners of the competition along with their INTI and DELL mentors.
Most of them being in their second or final year of their degree programmes, the 15 teams of undergraduate students from INTI International College Subang and INTI International University, Nilai worked tirelessly to prepare their presentations, coding work and prototypes which were then presented to the panel of experienced IT professionals from DELL. The panel included Sheenam Ohrie, DELL India’s Vice President, Enterprise Data Intelligence & Mobility and TS Koay, DELL Cyberjaya’s General Manager. The daunting task required the teams to each focus on a problem statement provided as part of the competition and develop a solution with a working functional prototype that would aid the solution to the problem statement.
INTI’s lecturers and DELL’s representatives served as mentors to these groups of students on the first day of the competition, as they researched and prepared their pitch for the competition day. Through counselling and guidance from academicians and industry professions, the students gained valuable insights which assisted them throughout the competition. From the ideation process to using the right software, tools, and leveraging skills to successfully produce a working prototype within the time frame of the competition, the participants truly benefitted from the interactions with DELL’s professionals, which was apparent in the presentations during Day 2 of the competition.
“I was very impressed by the talent pool we have seen at INTI. The students really impressed us with their creativity and ability to problem solve in the short period of time that was given to them. We were really impressed with the solutions which we may not have thought of beforehand as a team, and this essentially spoke volumes of the work the students produced. We were looking for 11 suitable candidates to fill in various positions available at DELL and we believe we have found some of the best talents out there through this Hack2Hire competition,” shared TS Koay, DELL Cyberjaya’s General Manager who was part of the judging panel in determining the competition winners and identifying talents for DELL.
(middle) Mr Shanmuga Sundram, with his team of students, UOW YIKES, who took home the winning title at DELL’s Hack2Hire competition.
Through this competition, INTI has been able to assist DELL in its search for the right talent that meets their expectations, while providing students with job opportunities months to a year before they complete their programme and graduate from INTI. Additionally, 6 students were also offered internships with DELL’s IT department, with 4 starting in June 2019 and another 2 pursuing this opportunity in August 2019.
Tan Lin Nah, INTI’s acting Chief Executive Officer cum Chief Operating Officer was very proud of the outcome of this collaboration and how meaningful this experience has been for the participating students. She commented, “INTI’s faculty were just as much a part of the competition as the students. Through their mentorship and guidance, they were able to direct the students towards unleashing their full potential, skills and capabilities. This competition has been a great way for our future graduates to meet their employers and we are grateful to DELL Malaysia for this exciting collaboration.”
Shanmuga Sundram, a senior lecture for Computing and IT from INTI International College Subang and a fellow academic mentor of the winning team for Hack2Hire, beamed with pride as he spoke about his team of students and their mental preparedness to undertake the daunting tasks of the competition.
“It was critical for the students to do their research beforehand when the problem statements were revealed. As the problem revolved around crop and farming industry solutions, we managed to speak to someone in the agricultural industry who gave them insights on understanding the industry and how they could incorporate their knowledge in Computing and IT into the farming industry, and provide a viable solution to the problem statement. In the end, the students were able to develop a comprehensive system which wowed and impressed the judges. I am very proud of the work and effort the students put in and they truly deserve the win,” shared Shanmuga.
The winning team, UOW YIKES from INTI International College Subang were ecstatic when their team was named winners. 21-year-old Jamie Yeoh Zi Yi, who is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a double major in Software Engineering and Digital Systems Security along with her team mate, 24-year-old Phartheban Selvam who is also pursuing the Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science while majoring in Software Engineering were both floored to be announced as two of the 11 candidates being offered job opportunities by DELL to join the company upon graduation. Having participated in similar hackathon-like events in the past helped the two final year students gear up for the event.
“I think this has been really exciting and we’re both on an adrenaline high from winning the competition. We didn’t really have much expectations but we did give it our best and I guess our work paid off. Also, the icing on the cake was getting a job offer from DELL which was so unexpected but we are really appreciative to our mentors and to DELL for this opportunity,” shared Jamie.
The top three teams of the competition walked away with certificates, DELL monitors and other merchandise from DELL. The panel of judges were so impressed by the presenting teams that they added on another two prizes and gave away Special Mention prizes to the another two teams who were as equally impressive as the three winning teams.
Events like these, along with all other industry-focused initiatives and collaboration has led to INTI’s high employability track record which showed in 2017, that 99% of INTI graduates are employed within six months of graduation, 91% are paid higher than the market minimum average, while 60% of graduates receive job offers even before they graduate. These numbers are validated by BDO, making INTI the only private higher education institution in Malaysia to validate its employability numbers.