Introducing First Batch To Employers
In fear and trembling because the first batch came in in 2000 right? and I think a few of them were fast-trackers, so they wanted to graduate in 2003. That was the year SARS hit us. It was really bad because, you know, nobody is doing anything. The economy was greatly affected, especially with travel, everybody gets paranoid. So it was into that situation where we had the first few graduates. How did we put our graduates out there? (In 2004) So the economy was slow to pick up. That means hiring was not going to be at the top of their minds. So how do we get the students to be seen by the employers? Of course we had the value of internship. Some of the employers get to see them during the internship period. Then we had to sell the (graduating) students. We invited the employers onto campus and to interact with our students and to have a sense of the products that we are putting out to them. So we had networking sessions like An evening under the stars. It was in the Bukit Timah Campus. Then we had other sessions where we brought industry speakers to come in and interact with our students. And I am so happy that during the interaction, and our first batch was really very good, they told me, Ruth, your university is really different. I feel the vibes. They feel the vibes and I remember once we brought in the CEO of DBS. And he had a session with the students and there were our students putting up their hands and asking very intelligent questions, practical ones, not just theoretical. And then he answered and he took notice of a (particular) student. As we walked him out, he turned to his HR fellow and said, Get the name of that student. I want to hire him. So it is the students that were starring. So we need to put these stars into the hands of the employers. We can't have everybody (employers) come in. So we got the students to compile their CVs. Come, put all your CVs together and we then market you. Then we heard from the employers, I'm looking for a person with this and this and these qualities. Ah, I know the exact person who fits your requirement. So here's the CV. Read (about) this guy. Try him out. Interview him. We did the matching. But that is only because we knew the products, and which product will sell to which employer. So we needed to intimately know our students and know the needs of the employers. Sometimes if you just read advertisements, you miss it because it is so generic. You don't know. So developing that relationship with the employers was so critical and to give them quick response, and say hey these are three people (you can consider). The response was Ruth I cannot imagine this. You just gave me the CVs within just a few minutes. Yes, I have them ready, I know who they were. I think they will fit your requirement. Have a look at them. If they are not good (enough), let me have a look again. Maybe I didn't understand your requirements.
So that was how we put the first batch out and it was a partnership (effort). We had to work with the students, very intensely, and we've got to work with our employers. So then I am glad that our first batch all got hired. And not only hired, they went to Wow places that you thought, oh we are a young university, nobody would hire us (our graduates) but they went to the great MNCs, the banks, we even had the first $100000 student (student earning more than $100,000 pa).