Having recently graduated at the time, I was searching for a job that would help me develop professionally while providing meaning to my daily life. I could have chosen to work in a bank or a consulting firm, but when the opportunity to work with an organisation like Teach For Malaysia came about, how could I refuse? Joining Teach For Malaysia as the Admissions Associate in January 2011 was a huge honour.
When I first joined, I had no knowledge of what was to come, especially the role I was about to play in selecting 50 of Malaysia’s best and brightest talent to participate in a life-changing programme. Many were very passionate and talented individuals that wanted to make a change and I never envisioned that I would be working with some of the most driven talent in Malaysia who have such a sense of possibility.
As the year progressed, I learnt more about the organisation, as well as my role in it. As the only Admissions Associate in the organisation, I had been in contact with almost every applicant. I was involved in reviewing their online applications, conducting their phone interviews, scoring their online assessments and screening them at the final stage known as Assessment Centre.
I was amazed at the number of people who wanted to be a part of the movement and would have never thought that many top graduates and top young professionals would apply to a programme that was completely new in the country. Individuals with degrees from top universities around the world and jobs at global organisations were acting on their goal to make a difference in Malaysia. Screening so many talented individuals was not an easy task. The hard part was to tell someone who was full of passion that they did not make it through.
The Assessment Centre stage of the admissions process has always been the favourite part of my job as I get to meet all the amazing individuals whom up to that point, I had only known by voice or through their written application. Meeting these applicants and seeing their enthusiasm lifted me up every week. It is not every day that you get to meet people who could have any job that they want in the world and yet, choose to Teach For Malaysia.
I always tell my co-workers and the people I meet that “I have the best job in Teach For Malaysia”, and I really do believe this. At the end of the admissions cycle, once the 50 Fellows had been confirmed, I felt a sense of accomplishment like no other. These 50 were the best and brightest of our applicants who committed to embark on a journey that would not only change their lives but also the lives of others. I am so proud of each and every one of the 50 Fellows, and I am certain that we could not have chosen better individuals to be a part of the pioneering cohort of Teach For Malaysia.
Congratulations to all of you! Thank you for making my year at Teach For Malaysia the best year of my life.