Asia Pacific Opinions

More mentors needed

Berjaya University’s Jolyn Soh Kher Shien says millennials want better ways to connect with industry leaders. 

I love to be around people who are passionate about what they do and I find business events professionals totally enjoy their work and possess a great zest for learning new things, which is a quality that I admire. 

My aim has always been to build a strong network in my chosen field and I believe that learning from good mentors is a very important building block to my career. 

Hence, in my opinion, it would be good to establish a mentorship programme where young professionals have the opportunity to connect with prominent industry leaders.

A programme like this would allow mentors to share and guide young professionals. Such a platform would also break down barriers and encourage us to seek clearer career progression. I believe this industry needs more prominent role models (like Steve Jobs) to really inspire young professionals. 

Last year, competed in the 2019 MICE Destination Marketing Contest in Taiwan with a team of fellow students from Berjaya University College. This is an annual contest organised by the Taiwan External Trade and Development Council (TAITRA) for university students all around the world to showcase the culture and MICE landscape of their country. 

As team leader, this was a great platform for me to build my communication skills and test my creativity. Being the overall champion for the past four years meant that we had to challenge ourselves to come up with more innovative ways to present our destination. It was tough, but we managed to take home the top prize again in 2019.

The most enjoyable part of the contest is the friendly rivalry and mutual respect among the participating teams. The competition will always be intense, as each team is under enormous pressure to win. However, it is important to remember that it is primarily a platform for learning and making new friends. 

As I am passionate about designing experiences, I have no doubt that my career lies in the business events industry. I am excited to challenge myself further by taking up managerial responsibilities and in leading interesting projects. 

Furthermore, I am keen to develop a mentorship programme with my University so that I can encourage and guide my junior peers in their career development. 

I’ve had the good fortune of connecting with key business events players through a recent internship programme, but not everyone has the same opportunities. I can see there is a gap and a need to establish a digital platform where senior students and new graduates can reach out and connect with the good mentors.

 Jolyn Soh Kher Shien is a student at Berjaya University College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.