Albukhary Career Prep Day 2015

01 Dec 2015


In response to the request of my good friend and mentor Cikgu Maarof Salleh and many others to share what transpired at the Forum on Book Smart Vs Street Smart which I moderated, here's a brief note on the context of the discussion:

In this modern world, one cannot go that far in life without book smart or simply paper qualification. And the ante is upped when paper qualification nowadays means a basic degree. It's just not enough to go by in life with just a secondary school or junior college qualification.

But the fact is, there are people who achieved fame n success without a basic degree or even college education, the likes of which include names such as the late Steve Jobs, Bill Gates n Richard Brenson.

The esteemed founder n chairman of the Albukhary Foundation, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar whom we affectionately called Tuan Syed is a case in point. I would urge you to read his biography.

What these people hv is street smart which is the ability to regurgitate the little knowledge that they hv and quickly n instinctively link that knowledge to their immediate surrounding and environment to give powerful meanings to the problem at hands. With that clarity in thought and linkages, they then proceed to give an innovative solution to the problem that will not only enrich themselves but also the wider society at large.

Moreover, the nature or quality of one's street smartness is very much a function of the way one was conditioned by the environment and the cumulative experience of life that one has undergone.

So does this mean that paper qualification is useless, born out of the exigencies of modern life where one has to prove to others that he or she is always a bester i.e. better than the best!!

And aren't fresh graduates at a disadvantage when at the point of their entry into the jobs market, their cumulative life experiences are too limited rendering almost worthless their street smartness despite their impressive credential and acquisition of book smartness.

And what could educational institutions, even at the primary n secondary levels do to imbue in their students a fair degree of street smartness as they enter the world of jobs n careers?

These were some of the issues touched by the panelists at the Forum which saw the participation of more than 20 companies and about 200 Albukhary Scholars.

The Forum was held in conjunction with the inaugural Albukhary Career Prep Day 2015 on 31 October.

Members of the Panel comprised one from the academia, n three practitioners of industry who have a wide experience in recruiting fresh graduates for their companies.

They were Prof Dr Nor Adnan Yahya, the Vice Chancellor of the Albukhary International University (AIU), Zulkarnain Shah Iskandar, General Manager of Tradewinds Plantation a Management Sdn Bhd, Izham Abd Wahab, Head Group Human Resources of MMC Corporation Bhd and Muhammad Rizal Md Zain, Head Group Human Capital of DRB-Hicom Bhd.


Jamari Mohtar

Head Group of Strategic Communications

Albukhary Foundation



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