KUCHING: While there are more opportunities for Malaysian graduates to become entrepreneurs, they must be ready for these opportunities.

Asst Prof Dr Haliza Mohd Said

Unitar’s Faculty of Business and Technology dean assistant prof Dr Haliza Mohd Said cited an industry round-table talk held by the university in August 2019 which concluded that graduates needed to improve themselves in terms of having the right soft skills and working attitude.

“While it is easy to find students who do well academically, it will be detrimental to the industry if graduates do not know how to conduct a presentation, negotiate with clients, coach and mentor colleagues, solve complex problems, be innovative or be a team player,” she said in a statement recently.

“For example, today’s secondary school students have already started selling or distributing products like their self-designed crafts, brand makeups, homemade food and handcrafted items, as well as profiting from showcasing their skills like singing, drawing and writing online,” she said.

While a person may be well-equipped to be an entrepreneur, Haliza cautioned that owning a business was far from a walk in the park.

“When you see people’s success stories online, you do not see the countless hours of hard work and sleepless nights. Entrepreneurship is all about good planning, hours of preparation, commitment and dedication.

“Being ready does not mean you no longer have to improve either. Communication, language and technological skills are things graduates should continue to work on even after heading into the workforce,” she said.

She noted that Unitar was striving to instil its ‘CARE’ principles – Collaborative, Adaptive, Reflective and Entrepreneurial – into its students through every aspect of the courses.