Saturday, August 21, 2010

One-day-model for Maxis!

SO, it was the much anticipated moment for all Maxis scholarship recipients (award ceremony aside) - the photo shoot!!! We were required to be at Untold Images Studio (link here) @ Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL 8am sharp on the 18th August. I woke up at 6am that day to prepare myself - (cold water) shower, breakfast, thorough brushing (darn those braces), and light make-up (ok...don't give me that look...I only applied a tinted moisturizer for the foundation to be applied easier later!)

Then after a couple of wrong turns and too-early-exits (which made me U-turned twice!), I reached at the studio 7.50am. Phew....I'm still on time at least! As usual lah... Others, being Malaysians are always late... When I was there, only 5 other recipients had arrived. LOL! I didn't know they serve us breakfast! I wouldn't have eaten my Maggi cup if I knew that earlier! Then again...I wouldn't want to brush my teeth before taking pictures! :P So, I politely declined their offer.....and waited...

Kenny, one of Maxis caretaker, were seen taking video shoots throughout the day.... He asked me to give a few words and I just said, "THANK YOU MAXIS for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime experience and the scholarship! It means a lot to me! THANK YOU!!!"

At almost 9am, more Maxis scholars arrived. And no doubt, all of them speak bloody good English! "Ahh.....I've found my niche", said the banana boy in me! Hehehe~

While some went to take their breakfast, the make-up artists asked the boys to go down to 'let them make us pretty' first. That's because making-up boys are so much easier than least, we don't need extensive make-ups, or hair curlers or mascaras....whatever! My face was made quite fair...or maybe it is my skin tone that I don't realise all this while...I am the fairest among the other boys! Most of the boys complained how they hated their make-up on! And how feminine they looked! Hahaha....

They were 29 of us there that day! And as usual, girls outnumbered the boys! Imagine how long the make-up artists have to spend their time doing all the girls! Pfftt.....this will be a looooong day!

Once the boys were all ready, we were the ones to start off the photo shooting session... Individual shots were taken then, at the end of the day, group shots! Vims, who will be doing aeronautical engineering at a university in UK, went first! Haha....and he felt so awkward wei~~~ Not to mention the pressure he felt when we are all watching him! LOL! Later, the studio director asked us to stay outside in the waiting room, so that Vims can loosen up! Haha.... Their theme was "Natural", so just be yourself and give them a BIG smile with energy was what we were told...

While in the waiting room, I've had my chance to mingle around with the rest of the Scholars. And each of them are unique in their own way! They were quite a number from local IMU and Monash University. While some will be studying overseas, mostly tops schools in the UK. There is one dude called Adrian who did his undergraduate studies in Harvard University and will now be pursuing his postgraduates in the same uni in Economics with Maxis funding! Smart guy I tell ya...I mean, how often do you get to know someone studying in Harvard?? LOL! And other renown universities include Oxford, Manchester and Bristol University! I feel so out of place being just from University Malaya! Hahaha....

Everyone there was great and extremely friendly!! Few of us clicked almost instantly! Ye Han, another dentist-in-the-making from IMU was one of the few that I was close with! We talked a lot that day, mostly on our course and interest in people's teeth! Haha! One really cool yet cheeky guy called Gurpreet was the clown there! He never fail to make us laugh with his witty, and sometimes lame, jokes! XD
Other cool people I met that day include pretty and sweet Yi Koon, hyperactive U Jean, darling Darshinie, Eu Jihn, Yong Jian, Ai Lin and Natashinie!! I really had fun just talking to them...

Right before 12.30pm, it was my turn!! I was pretty confident to be honest. Well....I mean, at least we don't need to pose for the camera, just be yourself and smile! How difficult could that be? My photo sessions were the fastest!! Hahaha....the photographer seems to be pleased with the results and said I looked really natural! *blush* Ye Han who was next, challenged me that he will do better than me by taking fewer shots than me!! Hahaha....but in the end, I still win! XP
However, his pics had more energy in it! I like them a lot.... Maybe he had much time improvising my poses while waiting! LOL! *joking* Or maybe it just came natural to him! Whatever it is, looking great Ye Han!! :D

The whole photo session lasted about 15 hours!!! The longest time took was by the group photos!! It seems the director had had a tough time trying to get good posing / expression / lighting with all 29 of us! But eventually, we made it.......after a tiring day that is! By the time I went back to uni, it was already 11.20pm! After shower and a difficult time removing make-up on my face, *THUMP*..... terus collapsed on my bed and slept throughout the night....EXHAUSTED!!!

It was indeed a memorable day for me! Not because of all the lights, camera or action but the company that was so undeniably great!!! Now, I can't wait for the award ceremony which will be held at Hilton KL, on the 3rd of September 2010, 9am - cause I can't wait to meet up with my new found friends again! XD

PS: Due to publicity concern, Maxis doesn't allow me to post up any unofficial photos taken on that day. Only after the award ceremony, am I allowed to do so. So sorry guys..... you'll have to wait! :)
No least, you'll get to look at which pic Maxis chose to be made as banners and backdrops! I'll be posting them all together then! Toorah!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Maxis Scholarship for Excellence: The Interviews

If only I had blogged about this immediately after the interviews, then I could have remembered the situations better. But then again, if I didn't get it in the end, malulah..... Haha! No worries....I'll try to recall them as best I could!

First Interview
I remember I received an anonymous call when I was in the midst of dinner at Madam Kwan's with my aunt! Haha....true enough, I almost choked when the caller told me to go for the first interview session on Monday (that day was a Friday)! I was told to bring along my certified documents or all my original certificates and a CV along for it. It was being held at Menara Maxis (next to KLCC), 10am on the 5th July 2010.

I had had a rough start that day... My water bottle cap was loose and it wet my bag and in it was all my documents! I was like WTF and trying to dry them as much as I could while cursing under my breath! :P Thankfully the interview went on smoothly. The interviewer was so friendly and I think it was the most relaxing interview I've ever been to! It turned out to be more like a friendly chat!! And was pretty fun! :D

If my memory serves me correctly, the questions that she asked me was as such:
  1. Tell me about yourself - I honestly hate this question, cause it's so simple that you don't know where to start and where to stop talking! LOL....
  2. What are your hobbies?
  3. Why the dream you have (for me, it's an oral maxillofacial surgeon)?
  4. Do you have any role model in achieving your dream?
  5. Tell me about your leadership qualities
  6. What is the most significant thing that happened in your life?
  7. If you are to change 2 things about Malaysia, what is it and why? - I think I didn't quite nail this one... I realized I can answer much better later, if compared to when I was there in front of her! Haha...but wouldn't all of us too?? One tends to think better in a less stressful situations mah...
  8. What are your 3 major weaknesses?
  9. Why must we choose you for this scholarship?
  10. Any questions for me?
The entire interview lasted about 30 minutes! And according to her, only 10 will be selected out of 40 applicants. If you are successful, they'll contact you for the next round.
Second Interview
The next interview for me was on the 27th July 2010. So you do the maths.... the next notification will be roughly in 3 weeks time.
Time:               2.40 PM
Venue:             Conference Room, Level 8, Menara Maxis, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Dress code:      Formal
This time, instead of one-to-one, it's three-to-one! I was required to bring a copy of my CV and original certificates too for (in case) verification purposes. All the interviewers were professors from various local universities, namely: Professor Dato’ Dr. Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid, President of the Malaysian Institute of Human Resources Malaysia (MIHRM) and Deputy President of the INTI University College Laureate International Universities; Associate Professor Dr. Stefanie Pillai, Associate Professor for the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics in University Malaya; and Professor Datuk Dr. Roziah bt Omar, Director of Leadership Academy at the Ministry of Higher Education. Trust me, they are really really nice people!! I don't feel intimidated by them at all!

I expect the questions to be tougher this time but surprisingly it wasn't! In fact they only ask me these few questions:
  1. Tell me about yourself (again)! - =.="
  2. Why the course you chose (in my case, dentistry)?
  3. Are you receiving any financial assistance?
  4. You say you are actively involve in (your hobby), do you still participate in them in your university?
  5. Are you planning to set up your own clinic in the future? 
  6. What do you think about the Dental Faculty of University Malaya (which is the university I am studying now)?
  7. Which professor do you like in your faculty?
  8. What do you think about dental health in dogs and cats? - this was a real bummer! I was stunned a moment to think about what to answer! Haha.... but I think I did OK for this! :P
As you can see....the questions asked in the 2nd round of interview was something more related to your choice of studies. Compared to the 1st round which have more general questions about yourself! I did consult with previous Maxis scholars for the type of questions they'll ask this time round.... most said that it will be more difficult as there will be more thinking questions thrown to you! Well, I believe it is true for them but for me, it was as relaxing, if not more relaxing, than the previous session! My 2nd session only lasted less than 10 minutes!! I was shocked when they say thank you and allow me to leave! I thought I busted it..... But a Maxis employee who is taking care of us in the quarantine room told me that it is a good news! I was as puzzled the first time I hear it! It seems that the reason why they don't spend so much time with you in the conference room, is that they are sure to offer you a place for the scholarship! Hence, why the need to waste time for something that is assuring! Whereas for those applicants that are not so convincing, they'll spend more time interrogating them! LOL! Or so it seems.....of course I kept my fingers crossed after hearing this and in a way, it made me calm down and thank God, on 11th August 2010, I received this:

Congratulations! You have been selected as one of the 2010 Maxis Scholarship for Excellence - Undergraduate Programme Award recipients.
      We will be celebrating this joyous occasion with you in an upcoming award ceremony tentatively planned on the morning of 3 September at Hilton KL, KL Sentral. Both your parents are also invited for this ceremony. (Note: Immediate family members can attend the ceremony should your parents not be available to participate in this ceremony)
     There will also be a photoshoot next Wednesday, 18 August. This is great fun as you’ll get to dress up and interact with other recipients. The details for the shoot area as below. We’ll be giving you more details on the requirements for the photoshoot in a separate email.

Next up: Photo shoot and the much awaited award ceremony! *beams*

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Maxis Scholarship for Excellence: Application

Recently I have been awarded a scholarship by Maxis known as Maxis Scholarship for Excellence 2010. I am of course thrilled and on cloud nine when I got to know of such great news!! If you've been following my previous blog posts, I had had bad experiences with other scholarship applications namely Tun Tan Cheng Lock Foundation / Scholarship which I don't wish to elaborate here. But just in case you want to know how to apply for it, read application, here, and interview, here. Now, I am glad to say that I am proud and totally honoured to be a Maxis' Scholar for the year 2010!! Maxis has totally lifted my parents' burden on my tertiary studies expenses! Though it may not be an extravagant amount of money, it, nonetheless, means a lot to me! With this, I am very grateful towards Maxis!

So, this post is intended to inform you guys on how to apply for Maxis Scholarship for Excellence which is a biannual program (usually April and November) and application is done online via Maxis website. Here's this year's application site (which is obviously closed). Maxis "presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to embark upon a journey that will lead them to the realisation of their greatest goals" for BOTH undergraduate AND postgraduate students, who will be (or in my case, already) pursuing their course in a recognized (by Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education) in Malaysia OR abroad!

Application requirements include SOFT COPIES of:
  • Proof of age (Certified Birth Certificate / Certified I.C.),
  • Relevant academic transcripts including your SPM and foundation course results(STPM Results / A-Level Results / Matriculation Results / Diploma Results / Foundation Study Results),
  • Letter of admission from the university,
  • Two letters of recommendation from people who are qualified to provide insight into the applicant’s potential for success and leadership,
  • Résumé (This MUST be included if the applicant has any prior work experience) 
  • Any other documents that applicants wish to submit to strengthen their application including copies of articles written, reports of volunteer work, extra-curricular certificates etc.
Oh! Before I go on any further, of course you'll need to find out who's eligible for it right?? Haha...sorry, my mistake. Here is the eligibility:
  • Applicants or their parents must be a Maxis postpaid customer with a minimum of one year tenure with Maxis postpaid services, having a good payment record with Maxis.
  • must be Malaysian citizens aged below 23 years old
  • must not be bonded to any body and must have secured an unconditional offer or acceptance letter from a local or foreign university prior to receiving the Maxis Scholarship for Excellence
  • Applicants currently in their 1st or 2nd year of undergraduate studies may also apply for this scholarship
  • Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence and be active in extra-curricular activities. Applicants must at least pass their SPM examinations and achieve any of the following results in their foundation course of choice :
    • STPM - minimum 3 As or
    • Matriculation / Diploma - CGPA 3.5 or above or
    • A Levels - minimum 3 As or
    • Australian TER - minimum 90.0 or
    • Recognized foundation/Pre-university courses – equivalent to CGPA 3.5 or above or
    • Current 1st or 2nd year university students must have a CGPA of 3.5 or above
  •  Applicants are also required to: 
    • Possess a good command of the English language, both written and oral;
    • Be a team player;
    • Excel in extra-curricular activities and sports; and
    • Possess leadership qualities.
  • For local universities, there is no restriction to field of studies; for foreign universities, preferred field of studies are those related to the telecommunications industry, ie.:
    • Business Administration/Management/Marketing/Accounting/Finance/Communications/Human Resources Management;
    • Engineering – Electronic/Electrical/Power/Computer Communications/Telecommunications/Civil and Mechanical;
    • Computer Science/Information Technology/Information System/Science Quantitative;
    • Mathematics/Actuarial Science;
    • Law.
In case you are wondering how much is the scholarship value and are there any catch?? Well, Maxis Scholarship for Excellence awards RM10,000 per annum for local university students while foreign universities will get up to RM150,000 yearly! ONLY FOREIGN university applicants will be bonded for 3 years. So, yes! Local university students will get the award with NO STRINGS ATTACHED! :D
If you want to know more, here's a link to their terms and conditions.

The flow of the whole application includes: first, an online application; followed by first interview and then a second interview (if you have passed the first one); finally anouncement of successful recipients and an award ceremony!

I'll talk about my experience on both interviews in the next post and FYI, I am required to go for a publicity photo shoot this Wednesday!!! How cool is that!?! Haha....all right guys... keep an eye on the next post then! Bye~~~

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