Sahbani Grabs Top Award In The Young Axiata CEO Programme

Last Updated : 25 Dec 2016 [download this file]

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20 DECEMBER 2016 / 20 RABIULAWAL 1438H






 Translated by Nur Ida Faradilla binti Aziz (




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UUM ONLINE: Sahbani Shapudin, 23, received the award for the Best Axiata Young CEO Development Programme (YCDP) for the Digital Business Project category and took home a cash prize of MYR1, 000.

The aim of the programme was to produce young leaders equipped with leadership skills as well as to expose students to the real challenges that they will face in the realm of work in the future.

"It was not easy to make it into this competition because contestants had to go through a rigorous screening process, which included writing an essay, attending an interview, taking an online assessment, and finally, from a pool of 6,000 applicants, only 75 people made it through.

"The competition was very intense, with impressive participants. In my cohort, only 24 of us were students while the remaining were working individuals. I got the opportunity to witness a different mindset, what the industry wants, and how CEOs work," said Sahbani. 

He explained that the programme gave invaluable experience to the participants apart from honing leadership skills and soft skills, which students needed to have in order to meet the demands of the job market. 

He added that the programme also provided a platform for participants to interact with multinational companies, build a network, and also interact with students studying overseas.

He explained further that participants were also exposed to certain aspects of management such as how to organise a press conference for a company in difficulties, within 15 minutes.

"Before joining this programme, my limited knowledge and insufficient English language skills made me apprehensive about signing up for this competition. However, the supportive guidance that I received from the Career Development Centre (CDC) helped boost my confidence," he added.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Alumni), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Abdul Malek Abdul Karim, said that, other than the YCDP programme, which focused on young professionals, Axiata also offered Axiata's University Leadership Development Programme (ULDP), which entailed a two-week summer camp programme involving local and international university students.

Students who completed the summer camp will be given the opportunity to undergo an eight-week internship in the following year at any of Axiata’s branches around the world, for instance in Cambodia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India.

Recognizing the importance of this programme to the students, the Student Affairs Department (HEP) has requested the CDC to host a Preparation Workshop involving 28 UUM students so as to encourage more students to take part in the programme.  

"The English language is very important, particularly for large companies such as Axiata. Our students can speak English, but rarely converse in the language, so we must motivate them and groom them fittingly so that they will exude confidence," he said.      

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Abdul Malek called for more students to participate in the programme, which will commence in February 2017, as it offered valuable experience that could not be obtained elsewhere.



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