Against the backdrop of a highly energetic and engaging competition with some seasoned and experienced challengers, INTI students Nur Azre Binti Abdul Aziz, 22, Natalia Bong, 18 and Natasha Bong, 18 showed no signs of backing down as the three power women used their academic prowess and business insights to clinch the championship title at the recent national level Unilever Future Leaders’ League, a business case competition designed for Malaysian undergraduates and postgraduate.
(From L – R) Team Achieve’s members Natasha Bong, Nur Azre and Natalia Bong presenting their case study at the competition.
The competition, which is in its second year running, offers participants the opportunity to work on a business case challenge while competing for the opportunity to win an all-expense paid three days, two night’s trip to London to compete at the grand finale of the Global Future Leaders’ League.
Twin sisters Natalia Bong and Natasha Bong who came to hear of the competition from INTI’s Career Services decided to take on the challenge and persuaded fellow friend, Nur Azre, to join them as “Team Achieve” to embark on this journey which kick started back in July 2016. Motivated by a common goal which is to gain as much industry exposure as possible to enrich their college experience, the three friends have come a long way to make their mark in the competition and are now on their way to the grand finale in London where they will compete against some of the brightest and competitive students around the world to win the grand prize.
What started off as a giant leap into the unknown, turned into one the best experiences for the three friends in terms of fostering new friendships with fellow competitors from different varsities further to networking and gaining insightful knowledge from some of today’s top industry players.
(From L – R) Chairman of Unilever, Rakesh Mohan presenting the Future Leaders’ League national champion award to Nur Azre, Natasha and Natalia of Team Achieve.
“Participating in this competition has opened my eyes to many real-world situations in the corporate world. It’s a great experience to be able to adopt business models that we learn in a classroom setting into a real life situation and further coming to learn new models. Most of all, it has been amazing to be able to network with top leaders in Unilever and also other great talents, fostering a great innovative and learning atmosphere,” shared Natalia Bong, a first year business student from the Northwood University programme majoring in International Business and Management.
Through their participation in on-campus industry activities like Google Ignite and with the unyielding support from INTI’s Career Services team and faculty members from the Centre for American Education, the three friends were well prepared to face the challenges during the course of the competition which led to their success in the competition.
“INTI gave me the knowledge and understanding that I needed to undertake such a prestigious competition. The biggest help I received from INTI was the emotional support especially from the Career Services team, my lecturers and Dean from the Centre for American Education aside from our team’s Unilever mentor, friends and family. We are extremely grateful and thankful for everything they have done to help us through this competition and we hope to make them proud in the next round,” shared Natasha Bong.
Fellow teammate, Nur Azre Abdul Aziz, hopes the team’s experience will inspire other INTI students to take on similar challenges to gain knowledge outside the classroom and utilize all resources made available on campus to gain the full experiences to be industry ready.
“Let go of your fear of failing. As the young, millennial generation, it is time for us to change the perception that ours is a lazy generation. We need to strengthen the fact that we are adventurous and we are willing to try, experiment and grow from failures. The faster we fail, the faster we learn. There are endless opportunities out there and I would suggest seizing them faster than anyone else. Also, reach out, build your network and most importantly, when we swallow our pride and ask for help when we are stuck, we will definitely go a long way,” advised Nur Azre and fellow Northwood University programme student and entrepreneur who co-founded Note-ster.co, an education software.
From the onset of their education journey at INTI, students are given endless opportunities to engage in industry-focused initiatives driven by the Career Services team through its Enrolment to Employment initiative. This encompasses workshops, talks, mentorships, and training programmes to give INTI students insights and experiences needed to be industry ready and meet the growing demands of today’s employers.
INTI’s strong industry linkage with over 400 companies has resulted in 98% of INTI graduates being employed within six months of graduation with 82% earning incomes higher than the market average and 25% of graduates receiving job offers even before they graduate.