Sunday, May 30, 2010

Almost there....Shell's second-stage interview

First things first, let me tell you about my second-stage interview for Shell pre-university scholarship at Shell House in Damansara Heights, in between my Taaruf Week in UIA. I previously wrote about my first-stage interview which was a phone interview here.

A few of us were selected for the second-stage interview few weeks later and for my session, there were 8 of us aged between 18 and 21. For some reason they mixed pre-university with undergraduate applicants for the interview so the competition became slightly stiffer.

There was an Asean scholar, an SPM leaver who just received an offer from JPA, a national champion of public speaking and yes, all of them were highly impressive. We were competing with the best among the best here *gulps*

As for the interview itself, it was tough but I walked out of the interview, knowing more of Shell, of business strategies and plans and even of myself than when I first walked in. The first part was an individual assessment where each of us was given 40 minutes to go through a case study of Shell's business in this particular country and during the assessment, we will be questioned by 2 of Shell's people on the issues highlighted as well as solutions to the problems given.

My assessors were both Shell engineers, a local and a British-Pakistani chemical engineer who got posted to KL. They kept on hitting me with questions from the case study as well as my proposed plan so there wasn't much time to think and I just said whatever came to mind. There wasn't any right or wrong answers, they just wanted to see how creative and innovative your thoughts can be.

Next up was the group assessment where I was paired with another candidate and together, we would have to come up with 2 projects to propose to Shell as part of their social investments. From there, we would have to re-group with another pair and decided again on the 2 projects for Shell while making sure we fulfill their criteria and stay within the allocated funds.

A mock 'press conference' was held after the discussion as the assessors role-played as journalists and asked us questions about our 2 choices. I thought that was a fun session. The whole thing actually. Something different than the typical, boring interview like JPA's (Zzzzz...)

I'm not sure of my chances of securing this scholarship (JPA just rejected me, by the way) since there's some tough competition and the places on offer are very limited. But otherwise, this had been good and if this still doesn't work out, I'm ready to make the best out of my time in UIA.

UIA, that's another story. Another day, perhaps.

The 8 candidates of the day

Deep in discussion about our interview sessions after they ended

With Weiyang, one of the candidates

Tee hee :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Away from home

Heya, peeps! I'm in IIUM aka UIA now for my Taaruf Week (orientation week) in its PJ campus. Yea, that's right. I'm officially a UIA student now.

This place is just so different than what I've been through before mainly because of its strict set of rules. I'm doing the whole away-from-home thing and wearing the headscarf full-time for the first time. So, no it's not easy and I'm trying to cope here.

I'll get back to you soon when my Taaruf Week is over and when I'm more settled down.

They say the first week is meant to be tough. No wonder I feel like going home already.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Krash Pad-ing 18, Zaffy!

You see, I'm kinda tired of celebrating birthdays with dinners at TGIF, Chilli's etc with friends. It's alright but quite the typical case, isn't it?

So instead of that, for my 18th birthday this year, the party was held at...Krash Pad! Yeah, the place where I've been volunteering at for the past few weeks. Decided to celebrate and share my birthday with the kids of Krash Pad and oh boy, what a party it was! ;)

We had magic show, head-banging performances, ice-creams, party games, you know, the whole party shebang. And the kids were amazing. Some of them had never celebrated their birthdays before so sharing this with them sort of gave them that small taste of birthday celebrations.

And they thoroughly enjoyed it! When you see joyous faces, widespread smiles and gaily laughters coming from these kids, you can't help but to glow with them too.

What a way to turn older eh?

Muchas gracias to friends and family who were willing to come down to KL and spend their Sunday evening at the party. The other volunteers of Krash pad were also very helpful with the setting up of the party and what not.

And thank you Ibu and Papa for sponsoring the party. Love you much! =)

Say Hello to Chase the Magician

The kids being entertained by Chase. And that's Rauf munching on tissue papers. Haha you ahh macha =p

The pretty girlfriends. Mimi, Me, Hanna and Nunu

Let's blow the party away!


The Krash Pad band setting up before playing a couple of great songs for everyone.

Our very own rendition of 'Telephone' by Keefe, Mimi and Nunu. The crowd got wild at the 'Eh eh eh eh' part. Lollersss!

With some of the kids. Well actually they are my cousins. Little (sometimes naughty) toddlers, they are.

Briefing them on the party games. We played the 'musical newspaper'. A version of musical chair but on newspaper.

And let the game begins!

Cake-cutting ceremony. I see thousands of hands on the same cake knife. Haha.


On another note, some photos from the lunch at Wondermilk on my birthday itself. With most of us leaving for university soon at different parts of the country, this one had been good. We all shall be missed :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

18 and counting

Yes, I turned 18 on Tuesday (11th May).

18 is a pretty significant number and I can already feel the bones in me changing.

Had an awesome lunch with a group of the best besties in the world at Wondermilk Cafe. Photos will be up as soon as they feel like uploading them.

And just you wait for this Sunday. That's when the real party is going to begin! Hehe ;)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Perginya Dia

I've been meaning to write this on here but had been put off by a few things. My paternal grandfather whom we fondly called as Tok Ayah just passed away last Tuesday (4/5/10) due to a long list of health complications. He had diabetes (his leg got amputated few years back), heart problem, renal failure, eye problem etc. etc.

To those who offered their condolences and sympathy to my family, I would always say, "Thank you. But it was best for him to go. Put an end to all his sufferings."

His last few days, no, make that his last month was a painful one. He was warded at HKL for about a month and he was constantly in pain. The doctors could only feed him milk through his nose and he wasn't allowed to take more than just a few sips of water. Every so often when he's in so much pain he would cry out, "Aduuhh sakiitt!" and that wasn't easy to hear.

At times like this, I wished I was a doctor because then perhaps I could do something to ease his pain rather than just stand by the bedside with slight tears in the eyes, watching him in agony. The HKL doctors were too busy attending to other patients.

The family had Tahlil for 3 nights in a row and it was nice to see family and friends from all over coming together to attend the Tahlil. But Tok Ayah's lack of presence was clearly felt. If he was around, he would join in the lively chats and banters and talk animatedly about Malaysian politics. Oh, he was really good at commentating on our politics and added his own dry humour to it. I'll miss that part of him.

Tok Ayah was the only grandfather I ever knew (my maternal grandfather passed away long before I was born) and he was the best at it, to me. When I was a kid, every time I visited their house I would first search and run over for my Tok Ayah as he took me on his lap.

There was this one time where I accidentally scratched his favourite car with a metal piece I found on the floor. I drew stick men on the car hood and ohh man, he was sooo furious about it. I was 6 years old then. He gave me the cold shoulder for awhile but being the Tok Ayah he was, he couldn't stay angry at me for long.

I remembered when I was in Form 4 and the WIRA debate team managed to get to the national levels which was held in Kelantan. I briefly mentioned it to him in passing and when I visited him the next time, he told me he was in Kelantan and went to visit the resort the team was staying in hoping to come and show his support. But we had gone back already. That somehow managed to tug at my heartstrings.

He had this favourite expression he used every time one of us asked him how was he.

"Apa khabar, Ayah"(How are you, father?)

"Ahh tak dok gapo. Nak habehkan lagu jaa."(Ahh nothing. Just finishing the song)

"Nak habiskan lagu." It referred to how he's about to reach the end of his life journey.

And when he passed away last Tuesday morning, like what my mum wrote on her blog, the song had ended, indeed.

You'll be dearly missed, Tok Ayah.


P/S You might want to read the story of our 'psychic' with my grandfather moments before his death here.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Kring, kring! It's Shell calling!

My scholarship journey has been...interesting so far, to say the least. Shortlisted results here and there but for the most part, rejections. But all is well, this is part and parcel of life, ain't it? Haha righttt.

So, Shell was the other one who was kind enough to shortlist me for their scholarship, alongside PNB and JPA (God bless them!) and their interview was done in a pretty unorthodox way.

Instead of the usual face-to-face interview, their first stage was the phone interview. Someone was saying, how would they know they're talking to the right person when it's only over the phone? For all you care for, it could be the mother who's answering for the child right?

Okay, anyway, I did answer the call on my own and the interviewer, a very professional-sounding lady explained to me what's the interview like. It should be around 45 to 60 minutes and she will test me in three different aspects: Capacity, Achievement, Relationship.

I shall not delve into the finer details but basically, I talked about my personal achievements and the things that I had been proud of throughout my years in school and afterwards. And she told me to choose a topic of discussion out of the 4 that she offered (CSR, renewable energy, quality of graduates for the employment market and the use of internet in business field).

I chose corporate social responsibility. I did read up on this prior to the interview but I've found that you can read all you want and you'll still end up with unexpected questions from the interviewer which requires you to think for the answers on your own. For that, I have my debating skills and experience to thank for, really :)

I felt today's interview was real and personal. Mainly because we talked about things that were close to my heart. Like my experience manning the editorial board, my debate moments, the volunteer stint I'm doing with the disadvantaged youths.

This had been pleasant. If I passed through this stage, then I'll be called up for the second-stage interview, a face-to-face one which will be even more grueling. Hopefully something good will come out of this, as always :)

Ohh I should also tell you about the other scholarship rejections. On how snooty and inconsiderate some of the other officers from the other companies can be. But I shall save that for another day.

Stay tuned!