Children Are Our Future
Our community program is to collaborate with our past & present coaching clients (occasionally, some passionate business owners introduced to us) to host Career Exposure Day for under privileged children.
This program was developed to expose under privileged children to various career options, including academic, vocational and entrepreneurial opportunities.
The key difference in what we do is the amount of personal time a business owner and his team dedicate to the children during their visits. Unlike typical corporate CSR type of visits, they also commit to follow-ups after the visit and many end up sponsoring or mentoring someone they can relate to.
We came out with this program for a couple of reasons...
- There’s a lot of assumptions being made about “kids being too young to understand”, we don’t believe so, especially kids who’ve been through a lot more than their peers at the same stage in life, some are practically old souls in young bodies ironically acting childish to fit in.
- During our schooldays and even today, almost everyone gave "doctor, pilot, engineer, lawyer" as the answer when asked about what we wanted to be when we grew up. It was the "right" answer to give, whether we knew enough about it(or not) to be motivated by our own answer is another thing...
- Today every child is born a digital native, ie, they live in an always connected world with instant access to information, we complement that by letting them hear & experience from actual practitioners in the real environment.
We believe with exposure and clarity from young, more children will be able to discover their true passions, identify some career options and be motivated to pursue their dreams.
The Career Exposure Day is run differently from typical Corporate visits:
- The business owners who participate are first generation business owners who have overcome massive personal adversities in their lives that the children can relate to.
- Our clients, the business owners, need to commit a minimum of 1/2 day (usually full day) and participate personally in the process and they almost always commit more time to the follow-up process where the children are given 1-to-1 time with the owner, or sometimes, with a team member whose role interests a child.
- The agenda include the business owner's personal story, the business story and a customized process which we work out with each business (depending on the nature of business) to give the children " a day in the life of" experience of working in the business in various roles.
- The visit ends with a debrief, where each child goes through a questionnaire we designed to enable them to recap the roles available in the business, the skills/knowledge required, the financial opportunities and other points of interest.
- We follow up with the children after the session, at this point, it's up to the business owner to decide whether he/she still wants to be involved, they usually do.
Here are some examples:
Client: Brandcare Sdn Bhd
Brandcare is a multi-award winning business that helps FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) industry to build their brands and market share through specialized packaging design services.
Founder, Mr. Shawn Ng, started the process by sharing how he got into the industry and the lessons, both good and bad, that he learned along the way. After a few key members shared their stories, he paired the children with his staff in different departments for the day, so they got to experience what it's like to work in a creative environment. They also had the opportunity to ask their buddies of the day questions about their work on a one-to-one basis.
The last part of day was a sketching session designed to draw out creative talents. The most touching moment for me personally was when a few creative and introverted children who were weak in their studies realized there are options available to them. Many of the creative staff are also introverts so they connected very well. (One of the child, an extreme introvert with some bad experiences, who had not smiled or communicated directly unless asked in the entire year I was working with her, opened up during the session.)
It was a real eye-opening day for the children and the caretakers, this was their first exposure to the packaging design industry, a unique niche within the larger creative industry.
Client: Centrionics Sdn Bhd
Centrionics is a distributor of world class analyzers. They specialize in Process & Analytical Instruments and Solutions in the Petrochemical, Refinery, Semiconductor, Pharmaceutical, Food & Beverage, Power Utility and Environment-related industries.
Founder, Mr SC Woon, told his personal story, gave an overview of the petrochemical industry and why analyzers are needed. Each of his key team members then explained what they do and how they got involved in the industry.
The children then spent the rest of the day rotating between teams, getting the chance to experience some of the actual work hands on, including handling analyzers, safety gears and performing tests.
A highlight was team members sharing what else was required for some of the jobs besides academic qualifications, for example, a person with fear of heights will not be able to do some of the support work that involve climbing transmission towers.
Another highlight. A kid who always said in the past he wanted to be a "scientist" was now able to tell he prefered chemistry and physics to biology (after he compared what he learned here vs Gnosis Lab, another client, story below).
Client: Kheng Hoe Advocates
Kheng Hoe Advocates is a boutique legal practice specializing in construction disputes.
Founding partner, Mr. Kheng Hoe, started the session by explaining what lawyers do. He emphasized an effective lawyer needs to continuously learn and update himself long after graduation and that someone considering the career need to be prepared to do so.
The next part of the session was a mock trial, where the children were divided into teams and participated in a simulated case, allowing them to experience various roles in the legal process.
The best outcome to me personally was when one of the older children who talked about wanting to be a lawyer in the past came to us and affirmed his ambition after the session. He was all fired up because he got the chance to meet real lawyers and heard unvarnished views... his grades in school improved massively after the visit.
(Update: He's now pursuing his first year in legal studies!)
Client: Gnosis Laboratories
Gnosis Laboratories (M) Sdn Bhd, a medical laboratory company specializing in laboratory and clinical tests.
Founder, Mr. Yee Jo Kuan, explained what a medical lab does and gave an overview of the medical testing industry.
The next part of the day involved hands on experience for the children in handling lab equipment and doing a blood test for each child to identify their blood type.
They got to see the difference between a real world lab versus their school lab and got a much better idea on available opportunities.
If you are a first generation business owner who have gone through personal adversities to get where you are today and you are willing to share your story to inspire someone else to do the same, we may have the platform for you, we don’t care about the size of your business, we only care about the size of your heart. In fact, we find the children relates best to non-celebrity, “ordinary” entrepreneurs.
So if you want to play a part in exposing the next generation and the under privileged to real world working environment and to help them explore what is available, so that they may be inspired to pursue a worthwhile career and you are willing to...
- Be personally involved and share your personal story, the lessons you learned, your successes and failures. (It's important the kids can relate and see themselves in your story.)
- Follow our prescribed agenda, we will work with you to formulate a "day in the life of" activities which fits your industry.
- Pay it forward & do it without expecting any rewards except for the satisfaction of knowing a young child is inspired (a few might even have their passions ignited) because of your generosity.
...get in touch with us today!