28 October 2020

Secrets to Survive and Ace Your University Life


As I clicked the ‘Submit’ button for my last degree examination paper, it was finally time for me to bid adios to Taylor’s University. As the senior batch leaves, here comes the new batch so… 

Welcome, new Taylorians! Congratulations on getting enrolled into the No.1 Private University in Malaysia and Southeast Asia! 

My parting gift for you are some tips on how you can get the best experience of being a true Taylorian!

1. Be Open-Minded and Keep Exploring!

As I write this article, I’m assuming that you’re younger than me, which makes you either a millennial or a Gen Z (trying to guess my age is strictly prohibited!). You should spend your youth being open-minded and exploring all your choices. Hold that thought! I promise you that this is as cliché as it gets. 

When you’re enrolling into Taylor’s University, there are loads of cool, dope, and awesome programmes available for you to choose from. It's exciting but can also be overwhelming.

Hence, I suggest keeping your options open. Taylor’s University offers much flexibility when it comes to learning. For example, if you’re entrepreneurial and business-minded (that makes the two of us, high five!), there are lots of specialisations to choose from — Accounting, Finance, Economics, Banking, the list goes on

You can enrol in a Business programme first and choose your specialisation after the first semester. Based on the modules that you’re interested in and how well you scored in them would be great in determining your specialisation.

Plus, you can explore your interest by diversifying your electives. I chose electives of different subspecialties, ranging from derivatives to economic policies, to find out which one piqued my interest. Only one week into work-life and I can see that this has clearly paid off. Being knowledgeable in different subspecialisations has helped me better understand the inner workings of the banking industry.

2. Work Hard, Play Hard

We’ve major shopping malls such as Sunway Pyramid, Empire, and Paradigm, that are only a short ride away #blessed. However, did you know that Taylor’s has some great spots for you to lepak with your friends? The Instagrammable Starbucks and playing pool at Student Life Centre (SLC) are some of the obvious choices. Fancy a game of table tennis? Then head on over to Maybank@Taylors! (Even though it’s in a bank, it’s completely FOC to play!) Perhaps you’re more of a chess player. Then, have a quick game outside of Taylor’s Library!

As we go about playing and studying hard, there’s one spot that often slip our minds and take for granted especially when we find ourselves rushing to class. It's our very own lake! Raise your hand if you’re guilty as charged!

Now, the amazing lakeside view may be one of the reasons why you signed up for Taylor’s. I mean, everyone can say that they hang by an enormous field but how many of them can brag about chilling by a lake in between classes with some cute companies? (I’m talking about our Taylor’s ducks ya!) 

But ever so often, as your university life starts to get busy and the stress starts to accumulate, we tend to forget about smelling the roses that’s already there for us! So here’s a reminder that as much as you work hard, remember to rest and play hard too! 

And with all the resting and playing, don’t forget to drop by one of the many shops available for you to grab a bite like Arisan Cafe or Grab Fresh!

Pop Quiz!

Do you want to:

A. Dabble in new experience.

B. Meet people from all walks of life.

C. Live your uni days doing what you’re passionate about .

D. All of the above.

If you answered D, look no further! There are a number of student bodies and student organisations here to fit your every interest and goals. Joining different clubs and societies is your ticket to attending (or, if you’re adventurous, organising) cultural or community-centric events with people who have similar interests all while having the time of your lives. 

If you have any reservations with being outdoors, don’t worry! As everyone is shifting towards the virtual lifestyle, you can still meet new people and explore your interests online — whether you want to binge-watch Netflix together, discuss a similar interest, or pour your heart out to a supportive group of friends.

PS. Looking for a safe space for a good venting session or think you can lend your ears to someone else? Do check out Connect TULC!

3. Build Strong Connections

Nope! I know what you’re thinking and I’m not talking about WiFi connection. 

During your tertiary days, you’ll get to meet a lot of people —  from academics and recruiters, to executives and politicians. There’s no better time than this to live your life with arms wide open, today is where your book begins (argh I’ve relapsed into a song again!) 

The friendships, relationships, and mentorships with the people around you will help build your professional identity as you join the working society later on in life.

Establishing good connections is crucial because you can be inspired and motivated by others to work on yourself. Secondly, you'll be able to learn from others’ trials and hardships as well as help answer this million-dollar question — “What should I do with my life?”  

I enrolled in Finance and Economics determined that I didn’t want anything to do with accounting. However, my perspective changed a great deal during my internship. My seniors kept it real when they shared the pros and cons of auditing. They also shared their mistakes and gave valuable insights. Having a good relationship with them helped me view accounting in a completely different angle. By the end of my internship, I had a newfound liking towards working with numbers which has led me to a different career path!

4. Leverage Your Resources

One way of enjoying your university life, or as I call it the #TaylorianExperience, is to know your stuff. Help yourself by taking the time to explore the different Taylor’s websites, be it TIMeS, Campus Central, Taylor’s SEEDS, or TOPAS. Plus, there’s abundant resources and assistance available at your beck and call.

Did You Know? 

Both Taylor’s University and Taylor’s College have an array of different articles that can help you grow as an individual inside and outside of your student life!

A rookie mistake I often see is not leveraging the library resources. There’s no problem relying on Mr. Google but the library should be your best friend! I still remember how I grinned like a Cheshire cat when I received a midterm paper. The questions were very similar to the questions from the textbook I found in the library. Yay!

From then on, I made it a ritual to borrow textbooks and references a month in advance. Friendly reminder, be considerate and do not hog them during test season. 

Taylor’s Library also conducts journal publication workshops, webinars, and online training. If you navigate through the assignments and presentations without high research skills, you’re just like Tony Stark without his Iron Man suit — brilliant but defenceless.

Friendly Reminder 

Whether it’s preparation for quizzes, assignments, interviews, or anything else, don’t do it at the last hour. Even if you’re the self-proclaimed ‘King of Last Minutes’, it’s never a good idea to coffee IV drip yourself the next morning.

If you’re in your final year, you’re about to transition into the real world. Yup, I’m talking about internships and job applications! In this case, don’t shy shy from getting advice from Taylor’s Career Services. Besides email blasting on job openings, they consistently share about various events such as competitions, company tours, and opportunities to upskill yourselves. I'm thankful for the helpful tips during the career grooming session with Ms Throbanee and Mr Izwal from Career Services. Because of them, I’ve landed a job with one of the top companies I’ve been eyeing for — Maybank!

Tip: Career Services also offer services such as reviewing your CV and resumee. Make sure to perfect them before circulation!

Dear Taylorian newbies, let's keep in mind the saying by Thomas Dewar, a Scottish distiller, “Your mind is like a parachute, it won’t work without opening it.”.

In fact, my favourite Taylor’s Business School lecturer, Dr Ratneswary Rasiah said this in a more eloquent manner, “Limit only exists in the mind.” In order to Rise with the Best, you’ll need to have grit to make your way to greatness. Keep that bright-eyed and bushy-tailed attitude. Don’t just Grab your food, parcels, or ride. Rather, grab the abundant opportunities that come along your way. 

After all, your uni days will go by so fast! Hence, make the most out of it and don’t forget to have fun in the process!

Taylor’s alumni, Puteri Nelissa Milani completed her Bachelor of Business (Honours) Finance and Economics at Taylor's University in August 2020. She is also a journalist for the independent student-run organisation Financial Literacy for Youths: Malaysia (FLY: Malaysia).

Puteri Nelissa Milani
Guest Contributor