Community service is one of thecompulsory subjects for all Malaysia university students. It was introduced bythe Ministry of Higher Education in 2014 for expanding educational technique toenhance the ability of university students to learn.
However, some studentsmight have the wrong perceptions and have doubt on this subject. They might bethinking of higher education is just a pathway for them to secure a job infuture and they only tend to score good grades and graduate with flying colourscould secure them to receive a good job. It is not worth their time to involvein the society because it might be the opportunity cost for them to enjoy theirleisure time.
In fact, in the context of competition for jobs, employers hadforceful the case that fresh graduates lack proficiency in the Englishlanguage, communication skills, soft skills and poor attitude (Free MalaysiaToday, 2017). According to number of surveys conducted by the MalaysianMinistry of Higher Education and Job Street, one of four fresh graduates inMalaysia remain unemployed for half a year after their graduation. Undeniably,we could find that the unemployment rate of fresh graduates in Malaysia isgetting higher and higher even though there are plenty of job opportunities outthere. Here comes to a point that how Malaysia university students could haveparticipated during their university life such as community service to improvetheir abilities and changing their attitudes?Let’s us take a glance on howcommunity service brings a lot of positive impacts to the university studentlike me.
· SocialResponsibility Community service develops anincreased sense of social responsibility to me. It gives a global view ofsociety and a heart for “giving back” and helping others who are in need. Infact, social responsibility includes the engagement of individuals towards thecommunity where they live, which can be expressed as an interest or focus pointtowards what is happening in our community, as well as participating activelyin the solving of some of the local problems. Every one of us should alwaysplay our important roles to take part in community services in different ways.However, our project is focusing on the welfare of animal. It is blessed thatthe dogs in the dog shelter are safe and sound. They are not suffering fromunpleasant states such as pain, fear and distress. By seeing the conditions ofthe dogs, I felt that the owner of the dog shelter made a great job to thesociety.
The owner of the dog shelter helps the dogs from being homeless,escaping from humane slaughter and most importantly fulfilling their basicneeds such as food and water. Animalsdeserve to have their rights too and is our responsibility as a human to ensureanimal welfare which includes consideration for all aspects of animal well-beingsuch as proper housing, nutrition, responsible care, disease treatment andprevention. From the experience of community service, I have learned that weshould bring positive benefits and changes to the individual and society. Frommy point of view, we should use the power of business to solve social andenvironmental problems because it demonstrates to both consumers and media thatthe company takes an interest in wider social issues that no impact on profitmargins. This will directly impact buying decisions where buyers seek to makeethical purchase. A good business shouldproduce or making something that will not bring harm tothesociety.
· DefinemyselfAn inspired approach saying thatstepping out into the real world and explore the potential, we will never knowwhat is waiting for us if we do not go where you have not been. Communityservice is an essential way for me to discover my own interests and have moreunderstandings towards my personalities, strengthen my strengths; andtransforms my weakness to strengths. Most importantly, I can widen my mindsetsand define my possible career paths by engaging in volunteer work. In fact,career pathing involves understanding what knowledge, skills, personalcharacteristics and experience are required for an employee to develop his orher career laterally.
Thus, I could take time now to learn and think about myinterests and motivations because these are the key stages in my careerexplorations. It can help me to formulate the ideas about different job rolesthat could suit me and the sectors or organizations that I might like to workin. Moreover, it is a very important element that I can tackle the questions duringthe job interviews. By showing how passionate you are in the job interview, thechances that you will get hired is getting higher because potential employerswant to know why you are a good fit for their company. Put in shorts, we arenot in a correct pathway to be succeed in our workplaces when we are involvedin the jobs that we do not have anyinterests and passions on it. · TimemanagementTime management is very important inevery part of our life.
From this community service, I have learned that Ishould manage my time wisely. Due to the time limit, we must keep the track ofour project on time which already planned in our proposal. Time is precious, I shouldutilize my time by being effective in my own time management so that it canenhances my time management skill in my future career as well. Time managementin the workplace is a real challenge. A good employee or employer should alwaysdevelop skills to effectively manage their time so that it will bring forthimprovements to their life. Furthermore, time management means workingefficiently and employers in every industry look for staff who can make optimaluse of time available to them in the job. For instant, employers are the rolemodels to the employees, they should always arrive at the workplace on time. Itshould not be an excuse that employers have the priorities to be late for workbecause they are the owners of the company.
On the other hand, employees shouldalways finish their works on time, they should not delay their jobs without anyrelevant reasons. Having bad time management in the workplace will bringtremendous effects to the company especially the production line. It will bringloss to every parties. To avoid this will be happened in the future, I willstart to improve mytime management. · TeamworkWhenworking in a team, my group members and I are working towards a common goal orset of objectives. By running up few discussions, we discussed about whatevents to taking out for getting funds as we must get the donation funds fordog shelter. We had brainstorming sessions and combining unique perspectivesfrom each of us to create more effective funding activities. Even though someof my ideas did not been implemented in the project but is an opportunity tolearn from my team members too.
The benefits of working in a team is theinspiration and ideas that can result from team discussions. When generating ideasamong our group members, there is a lot more scope for creativity in comparisonto working on a project alone. This can help to increase our progression on ourcommunity project and it allows us to get the work done faster with sharedresponsibilities. From this community service, I have learned that teamworkplays significant role to run a project successfully and it is very beneficialto my future career.
As teamwork allows employees the freedom to think outsidethe box. An effective team creates solutions that are generated from manydifferent perspectives of the other colleagues. This helps to see a situationfrom different angles and create a solution that one individual could not do iton his own. · LearningOur group consists of 32 members andall of us are coming from different backgrounds and some of the group membersare from different courses as well. Through this community service, it bringspeople together from different backgrounds and levels of experience.
It is anopportunity for professional development and learning. From this experience ofvoluntary service, I can get the chances to learn something new and get someknowledge from other group members too which allows my own skills andcapabilities to grow. Throughout the experiences, I get to learn many lessonsfrom the mistakes that I have done and this will help me to improve myself forthe better.
Moreover, learning something new gets me to prepare for my futurecareer as well. This is because I can access to new and different opportunitiesand this will be a golden key to be succeed in the workplace. I couldpotentially earn more money in my work life from learning a new and appropriateskill or by developing one that links to my work. Most importantly, developinga new skill will influence the way I do things day to day and it will make medoing things quicker and easier, saving time, energy and stress. Briefly,learning across our lives is essential for staying up to date in an ever-changing world. If we stop learning things, we could not improve ourselves,moving backwards and eventually will be eliminated from this competitive world.
· CommunicationskillBeing able to communicate effectivelyis the most important of all life skills. How well the information can beconveyed and received is a measure of how good our communication skills are. Thebest way to improve writing and speaking skill is through practice. Throughthis community service, I get the opportunity to improve my communication skill.To get the activities for donation funding and to succeed the project, we hadseveral meetings and discussions among our group members. Starting at thebeginning, we are not familiar with each other because we are still fresh inour first semester of year one. However, the experience of voluntary projectallows me to network with other people whom I have never known each other. During the section of taking donation box, italso enhances my communication skill where creating awareness to the studentsand encourage them to donate money for the dog shelter.
The ability of havinggood communication skills is very important for my future career this isbecause communication skill is ranked first among the job candidate’s “musthave” skill and quality. Thus, is a bonus if I able to demonstrate goodcommunication skills while applying for jobs and looking for a promotion to gethigher positions. · Criticalthinking skillCommunity servicehelps me to develop critical thinkingskills while solving real-worldproblems. While taking out the activities to fund for donation, my groupmembers and I faced some problems where we could not prepare and sell the foodto the staffs and students due to the rule of management stated that we shouldtake typhoid vaccine injection if we want to prepare the food. Hence, we forcedto change our plan as planned earlier. We started to think that we can get thesource of food from the sellers in our campus and sell it. We tried to getfried rice and fried noodles from the seller of mixed rice and get breads fromthe bread sellers in our campus. After dealing and discussing with the sellers,we managed to get cheaper price but we realised that we could not get theprofit that we are expecting, thus we need to seek for other solutions again.
From this experience, I have learnt to thinkabout problems and social issues in new ways. As we always must get a backupplan to reserve as an alternative plan for us to get things done faster if theprevious plan fails to reach our expectations. Critical thinking skill is veryimportant for me in my future career. As nowadays critical thinking skill hasbecome an increasingly-demanded skill in the workplace, job candidates areoften required to think critically before making decisions. · Selfesteem Participation in this communityproject also increased my confidence.
Before the experience of communityservice, I was too timid to speak out and share my ideas with the others. Aftergone through this, I have slowly become a little bit more confident withmyself. When taking the donation box andasking around the students to donate money for dog shelter, I felt veryembarrassing and awkward in the beginning because this is my first time to dosomething like this.
But after persuading people for a few times, I felt I haveincreased my self-esteem and the awkwardness of facing the crowd has decreased.I felt grateful that I could make the changes. From this experience, I shouldbe more confident with myself and self-esteem is will important to my futurecareer too. Undeniably, a good sense of self-esteem has an impact on the way weoperate in the workplace, how we deal with people and how much we achieve inour career. Furthermore, employees who have a high level of self-esteem willtrust their thinking and judgement and they are more likely do make betterdecisions. By increasing my self-esteem, I believe that it could lead me tohave a better performance in the workplace. · IndependenceThe purpose of this project itselftrains us to posse the ability to be independent.
From the beginning of theproject to the end of the project, we tend to be able to handle things on ourown. Everything starts from zero, we tend to organize ourselves and plan how torun the project successfully. Starting from the beginning, we tend to decide onwhich topic we are going to do.
Being fair and square, we had voting on thetopics so that we could minimize the scope of our topic. I tend to make my owndecisions and explorations while doing the community services. Beingindependence could help me to boost up my self-esteem at the same time, itgives me a positive outlook on myself.
It enhances me to have the ability tobelieve in myself and possess to deal with any challenges. As we move into thereal world, we tend to less likely rely on the others. However, we areanticipated to be independent as we are growing up from a student to anemployee or being an employer in the future. This is because business ororganization benefits a lot from employees who are motivated and workindependently with minimum supervision. Meanwhile, they can develop new skillsand increase their job satisfaction. · Responsibility Inthis community project, I have learnt that we must have the ability to beresponsible to the things or decision that we make. Every action that we takewill drastically affect to the whole group.
Every group members are anticipatedto give responds or opinions in every moment while making every step of theproject. Furthermore, it is important that I should have the responsibility tocomplete the task which assigned from the group leader. While holding thedonation box, I felt that I have the responsibility to take care of it, andalways be alert that the box is secure. Theability to take the responsibility in workplace is very important in my futurecareer. If the tasks are not completed and functions of the job are notperformed properly, I will also should be responsible for dealing withconsequences. · LeadershipLeadership is very important in thiscommunity project, leader must have the ability to lead every group members tocomplete the task together. As leaders, they must lead the others to do theright things and guide them to the right destination in a smooth and efficientway.
By seeing how the leaders lead theteam, I have learnt that being a leader is not an easy job but without theleaders in our group we will fail to succeed the project. I could try to learnhow to be a successful leader through the experience of community service.Acquiring the skill of leadership is a bonus and is required for my futurecareer. I must acquire the ability to influence people to achieve a betterresult and manage to lead a team of people to work effectively. A good leaderalso must have the ability to prepare for making difficult decisions and givethe best contributions to the organizations or businesses. · PlanningPlanning is preparing a sequence ofaction steps to achieve some specific goal.
At the beginning, we have threetopics to choose for our community project. After voting by every groupmembers, we decided to focus on animals’ welfare. As result, we planned tovisit dog shelter. After decided our topics, we started to work out forproposal. In fact, by setting up our proposal we can define our goals and ableto keep our progress in track.
As a member of event planner, I have to thinkabout what kind of activities should be carried out in order to run the projectsuccessfully. Without planning wisely, we will fail to organize and run theproject because we will feel lost and miserable. Planning is very important inworkplace, it increases the efficiency of an organization and helps to achievethe objectives of the organization. Through planning, we able to allocateproper information, accurate instructions and useful guidance to run a projectsuccessfully.
· DisciplineEvery one of us should always bediscipline throughout the whole process of community project because we arerepresenting the name of Xia Men University while doing any activities. Withoutlearning and following discipline now can cost me later in my future career.Self-discipline always remind me of the proper code of behaviour and it alsohelps me to achieve my goals in life. The ability of self- discipline aligns usto keep working until we able to achieve our goals. This is the way of success. · Creativity Throughoutthe experience of this community service, I can build up my creativity. I canthink creatively and think out of the box. From this experience of communityservice, I have realised that creativity is very important to me in my futurecareer.
This is because if I can apply creativity thinking to my daily worklife, I will find that working is not that bored and I can come up with uniqueideas too. In fact, creativity is crucial in business world today, especiallywhen the market is dependent on innovative and breaking technology. · Personalgrowth Community service permits andencourages university students to contribute to the society. It is a voluntarytask and I am free to reveal my real feelings and thoughts. Hence, I do notneed to learn by just memorizing a set of facts that had been taught in class,but learn to know myself. It was different from classroom learning. It providesan opportunity to apply academic learn into the real world.
It is also a chance for me to be active inthe sense of physical and mental. In turn, positive social psychologicalfactors are correlated with lower risks of poor physical health. By doingvolunteering task, it enhances my personal network to buffer stress and reducethe risk of disease. I could build relationships and social connectedness withpeers and our project advisor. As wonderful aschasing for good grade is, there are pitfalls to being a fanatic.
Otherthan reading books to obtain knowledges and scoring for good grades, I alsoshould step out of our comfort zone and explore the world. In short, theexperience of participating in voluntary service brings a lot of health benefitsto me in the sense of physically and mentally. Besides, I believe I will beable to cope with stress and lead to better job performance in my futureworkplace.
Feedback1) Ipersonally feel very interested on the topic that we have chosen for ourcommunity project. It really will create awareness of animal welfare among usand the students in Xia Men University Malaysia. 2) Dueto the time limitation, it is quite wasted that we did not find a sponsorshipto sponsor for our project.
3) Wedid not know earlier that the dog shelter did not have any pet shaver whichthey were only using scissors to cut the dogs’ fur. We planned to help the dogto cut their fur but did not acknowledge that they have the cleaning tools. 4) Ourleaders always remind us the important dates of our activities which I reallyappreciate that we have good leaders.5) I feel glad that we did not have any conflictsbetween the group members.