Life’s Lessons from Old Girls

Thirty five former students of SMJK Ave Maria Convent, Ipoh, organised a closed session with the school’s fifth formers to expose them to different career paths that they could take after completing their studies.

Through a programme by the AMC Alumni Network (AAN) initiated by old girl Soh Shen Yee, who is now in Harvard Business School doing her Master of Business Administration (MBA), seniors from Class of 1997 to Class of 2007 shared their tertiary education choices, career experiences and life’s lessons picked up along the way, with the students.

This career awareness workshop, aptly themed ‘Now and Then’, was held at the school’s multi-purpose hall recently. It had the support of the school management, Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and the AMC Alumni Association.

The panel of speakers, who returned from Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kuching and Singapore, alongside their counterparts in Ipoh, represented the legal, accounting and finance, education, public relations, business and management, medicine and healthcare, design and advertising, as well as engineering sectors. One of the speakers is a full-time stay-at-home mother. After the talk, they set up individual industry booths for students who needed further information in the respective fields.

Through such sessions, students were exposed to wider choices outside of more traditional careers, including lesser-known vocations. With wider options opened to them, and a support system from their seniors via an online outreach programme by AAN, they would be better at identifying their interests, to pursue those interests and avenues to seek scholarships.

Like a typical teenager, Megan Xin Yi, 17, was at a loss on the path to take after Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM). With an ambition to be a Biology teacher, she felt that such a talk was good in helping students to choose the correct career path. “I am glad that I made the effort to attend this workshop,” she remarked.

Datin Irene Lee, Chairperson of PTA said, “As these students move onto the next critical stage of their lives and into adulthood, the opportunity to hear of the experiences and knowledge of other alumni, who have overcome their personal and professional challenges to accomplish success in their respective fields, is a very valuable opportunity indeed.”

Madam Moy Ooi Thye, President of AMC Alumni Association added, “I am confident that this event inspired our juniors and helped instil hope and confidence in them as they make their post-SPM decisions. The AMC Alumni Association is very proud of the efforts put in by AAN.”

Meanwhile, Senior Assistant, Camelia Gomes expressed appreciation to AAN for returning to the school to motivate current students. “This is the fourth year such a workshop is held. We hope it will be an annual affair.”

Believed to be the only such event in Ipoh, co-organisers, Liang Shi Yuan and Poh Sze-Lyn, felt it was only fitting to give back to the school. “We hope that our sisterly advice will help them become the confident and successful women that Ave Maria Convent has prepared them to be. We also hope that other schools would organise similar workshops as well,” they said in a joint statement.


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