Interview with Poi Shie Xian – FedEx/JA ITC Alumnus cum JA Malaysia Intern
Written by JA Malaysia Alumnus – Richelle Khor
Imagine yourself as a student and you have been offered an internship opportunity, bearing in mind that next year you would be entering the most important year in your schooling history. Would you allow uncertainty to triumph over excitement- as the thought of additional workload may exacerbate academic stress? Or would you eventually challenge yourself, but only after struggling in dilemma and a rigorous self-interrogation? Personally, I belong to the latter group but for Shie Xian, the standard norm is not enough to bind his adventurous spirit.
“Truth to be told, I did not know what to expect from the internship. ‘Internship’, to a high school student sounded fancy and I felt excited.” Started off as an intern in 2018, an internship opportunity was a training ground for Shie Xian to examine his business acumen and explore future career plans. Although it was the pure feeling of exhilaration that propelled him to the jungle, his development is prominent as he eventually progressed to become a JA Officer, spearheading the execution of our largest project of the year- JA Mall.
His connection with JA matures into a sense of mission as the importance of education strikes glaringly to him in his exposure to the less-privileged facets of the society. These students who stand at the bottom of the pyramid supposedly receive higher attention but they are often ruthlessly glossed over by glamorous covers, to fabricate a flourishing phenomenon. Amongst the unfortunate are our budding talents and tomorrow’s rising stars. Saddened by the gloomy prospects, Shie Xian then becomes inspired to venture into education. It is a bittersweet journey of self-discovery as his encounter with diverse students and experience in a mentor position gradually develop into a passion for teaching.
Given their circumstances, these students may not be the most brilliant; in the end, they may not even emerge as the top. However, Shie Xian has observed that, “[…] while some of them started a bit far behind, they are also the ones who made the most progress.” By this, in fact, they have won; all of them deserve to be victorious winners. It is the growth from the process that JA strives to achieve; it is the courage to attempt and fail that JA wishes to cultivate. From the company formation, capital accumulation, physical transactions and finally liquidation, these are simulations that model actual commercial practices and just like the real world, the students are not shielded from setbacks and hurdles.
When asked whether he would recommend JA programmes to students, he gave a firm yes. Students rarely possess as much autonomy in usual school programmes but under JA, they are forced to be independent and apply their knowledge to real-world situations. It is an engaging learning curve and the inspiration, message and incentive derived are not to be found in the textbooks. It is certainly gruelling but the obstacles sharpen and hone the students, teaching them not only business transactions but also transforming them into conscientious corporate agents that uphold ethical practices. Not to mention that after working with JA as a team, he sees the hard work and dedication devoted by each JA member to present activities that would truly be propitious to the students.
“Just try it and that’s how you become the person you want to become.” was Shie Xian’s advice to the students. Indeed, at times we tend to over-rationalise our actions, planning step by step meticulously for the fear of making mistakes and wasting time. Perhaps with passion and sincerity in heart, decisions made on a whim might become the concrete blueprint to our aspirations. Having extended his journey with JA, we shall continue to anticipate the embellishments he would bring to the organisation; the boy who never yields to hesitation.