By Faruq Irfan
The pandemic has brought about many challenges when it comes to internships, but some students are adapting well – even thriving, in their new-found roles. Faruq Irfan is a professional communication student at IUMW, who’s currently juggling his studies while building his future career through the Maybank Young Bankers Internship Programme. He works in the branch during the days, and catches up on all his studies at home in the evenings. We spoke to Faruq to find out how he’s coping with his internship during these challenging times.
How do you cope with having to intern and study all at once?
It’s something that I never thought of doing simultaneously – juggling between my studies whilst trying to build my future career. Working in the branch for 9 hours every day until 5.45 pm and sometimes close to 7 pm, I still need to go back to catch up with the recorded online classes, complete tutorials and discuss the assignments with my group-mates. All these compressed into one night may sound crazy and undoable for some but honestly, if you’ve set your mind in the right path, you can do anything.
Luckily, I’m blessed with a great bunch of intern supervisors who are willing to give me some time off during working hours to consult with my lecturers on the lessons and discuss the progress of my assignments. The bottom line is that I have to sacrifice a lot in order to be in the position I am right now.
How has this experience helped you grow?
I’d like to emphasise how this experience has allowed me to grow into something I myself never knew I could. As a student from a Professional Communication degree, I was able to understand the people and customers better in my Maybank branch. In fact, the ability to know them better and find their needs is part of my learning module. It was great to be able to implement that in my working/internship opportunity as it became one of my strongest weapons while working in the sales department of Maybank promoting products to customers.
This experience has also helped to develop my personality from being an introvert into an extrovert character. I find this useful to create more connections and to put myself out there instead of being the reserved person I used to be.
How did your journey in IUMW help you during your internship?
When I was given the opportunity to join the programme (Maybank Young Bankers Internship Programme), we were in the midst of the first stage of Covid-19 where everything was uncertain, from when we were supposed to re-enter campus or will everything be online -based. We were clueless and lost in the situation. After emailing my Programme Coordinator, Mr Shawal for guidance, he encouraged me to go for it! Plus its Maybank, how could you say no to one of the largest organisations in Malaysia?
Head of the faculty, Dr Nisa, gave me the biggest support to pursue this internship programme, even though I was supposed to be joining my course-mates in my final semester. Of course, I had to keep up with my lessons and complete everything remotely. She understood my eagerness to build the right career path and has been there for me from the very beginning of my internship by giving likes and thumbs up on my LinkedIn posts. The same goes for Mr Shawal. They are both really nice for supporting me that way. It makes me feel excited and determined to complete these two commitments that are life-changing, and I’ll remember them until the grey days of life!
Not forgetting receiving help from the registrar, Ms Halisah, who prepared my internship letter despite the hurdles during lockdown, and helped me sort my programme registration for the internship.
Any advice for your fellow juniors in IUMW?
Have faith in everything you do. You might be questioning why things have to be so bad sometimes but that’s life. Don’t ever give up. You are your strongest cheerleader. Anything is possible because life has its secret. I never thought I’d be a banker someday when I took up my Professional Communication course but guess what, with that background, I could make emotional & personal connections with my customers. With that being said, trust the process and always have faith, things will make sense and add up someday, even if not today.