An IMU Semester 6 medical student and JPA scholar, Wong Chern Yao, have advanced into the National Level of the Maybank Go Ahead Challenge 2014. This challenge is an international business case competition that challenges the participants’ intellect, stretches their creativity and tests their endurance. Chern Yao relates to us the process of getting into the National Level stage of this challenge. “I actually came to know about this challenge through my friends that I made when I participated in the Malaysian Public Policy Competition 2013. I decided to join this challenge as I have always had an interest in the corporate world and felt a strong gravitation towards it. During my tenure in high school, I was CEO of TriXxon, a mock company as part of EXxonMobil’s Young Entrepreneur Program in 2008. My company came in as overall champion among the 6 competing schools from around Malaysia. I also want to know how far I could go in a field totally unrelated to medicine and learn as much as I can. Learning isn’t just confined to books and classrooms and I am more of a doer. It’s also a good way to expand my social network to talented roving bright individuals. I believe that to be better as a person, you need to be surrounded by people who are ambitious and will motivate you to reach higher heights.”
“There are several stages to this challenge. The first stage is the registration. Participants will need to send in their resume and how they express their interest in participating this challenge. Upon registration, selected participants will be sent a link that is redirected to 2 online tests which is based on numerical and linguistic understanding. The tests are about 40 – 60 questions to be completed within 13 minutes and they are based on a mock company’s annual report. Depending on how one fares in the tests, successful participants are then sent an invitation to the campus challenge. I was invited to Universiti Malaya on 26 May 2014 which was 4 days after my Semester 5 First Professional Exam. Imagine the amount of cramming that I had to do to get as much business knowledge as I could within those few days. I sought the help of friends who are Futures Brokers from Kenanga Deutche Futures, Financial Analyst from PWC and also mates who are studying economics and finance.”
The Challenge received over 10,000 applications worldwide. Of these applications, 716 participants were invited to take part in the Campus Level competition in Malaysia. 93 participants, which includes Chern Yao, then advanced into the National Level of this challenge.
“The campus level challenge was divided into several challenges. The first round was somewhat like an Amazing Race whereby the clues collected was useful for the next stage which was analysis of the mock stocks to propose to an ‘Investor’. My team came in second for the Amazing Race. After that comes the elimination round followed by an IQ challenge. Then comes a life size board game challenge where contestants are placed in groups and are expected to either act out a movie character, hum to a song, draw something whilst blindfolded or play a game based on ‘Taboo’. This stage was particularly challenging as it really brings one out of their comfort zone. For this. I had to act out Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Carribean, hum to the Gangnam Style song by Psy (Korean K-Pop) and dance to Footloose. The top 3 teams get an edge in the next round which was the Debate challenge. My team came in second again for the board game challenge, thankfully. The debate round was basically a sales pitch i.e. trying to convince an investor to invest in your company based on the Annual Reports given to us.”
“Challenges wise, I felt like I was way out of my league akin to a fish being out of the water. There were participants who had a strong background in Economics, Finance and Accounting and I felt so humbled by their presence. At certain points in the challenge, I was really afraid I will bring down my team due to my lack of knowledge. However, what I lacked, I compensated as best as I could in other aspects such as team leadership, debating skills and my thick-face attitude. Other than that, I really enjoyed myself and found this very memorable.“
“After the Campus Challenge comes the National level in which I made through. If I pass the Nationals Levels (fingers crossed), I’ll be invited to the Grand Finals which gathers the best participants not only from the ASEAN countries but also China, Hong Kong and USA.” “At the end of the day, I could definitely relate to Julius Caesar when he utttered Veni, Vidi, Vici translated as I came, I saw, I conquered.” All the best to Chern Yao in this challenge!