Interpersonal development

18 Sep 2019 / 17:06 H.

For the second year running, students of Victoria University’s (VU) Bachelor of Business at Sunway College took part in the Nescafe Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (NYEP). With a pop-up store on campus, students had the chance to manage the coffee hub for two months as their own business; from marketing, to management and promotion.

“Given that I am taking a double degree in marketing and international trade, I was able to use my knowledge learned in the classroom to come up with some marketing initiatives which helped boost sales for the mobile unit. Communication skills and human skills are also important, and it was fortunate that I was taught these in the programme,” explained Braxton Yap Win Kit.

“On the last day, our target was to reach our key performance indicator (KPI) of 400 cups by the end of the day. One of our VU lecturers, Soon Pei Shan, donated 168 cups for our CSR project, so we got ambitious and wanted to break last year’s record, which was 602 cups,” explained Jennifer Chandra.

“We tried to boost our sales by doing more mobile sales and delivery, promote the ‘Super Special Recipe’, and also spread the news that it was our last day. In the end, we managed to break the Sunway College record with 612 cups.”

Sunway College VU Undergraduate Programme senior lecturer Teh Ya Yee encourages her students to participate in the NYEP to develop soft skills in teamwork and problem solving.

“Constant communication among the members to get everyone on the same page is important to determine the success of their business. The NYEP experience has definitely helped sharpen their teamwork skills,” explained Teh, who teaches Entrepreneurial Skills.

“As unexpected issues occur frequently, students were constantly making decisions and solving problems throughout their business operation. It is not easy for university students who do not have business experience in decision-making, be it stock orders, marketing promotions, customer complaints or technical issues such as a power trip. But they have learned to set their priorities and make decisions.”

This could be seen with Adyl Wallie Karim, who had to work as a cashier and developed people skills from communicating with customers and ensuring they were satisfied upon leaving the store.

“This has improved my skill in teamwork and showed me how to communicate better with my teammates,” he said.

For Jessica Novia, she found that although each member had their own role and responsibility, they supported each other and stepped-in to help when necessary due to the fact that they worked as a team, and not as individuals.

The programme offers a focused learning experience that adds value beyond discipline and technical knowledge, cultivating and developing attributes highly valued by employers. – by Mark Mathen Victor

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