AUAM-NAMSA Corporate Pathways Networking Dinner – Some small reflections.

The journey has been pretty interesting in a whole bunch of different ways.

Amongst other things, I’ve received a partnership with GerakBudaya, and also in conjunction with the American Universities Alumni Association of Malaysia and the National Assembly of Malaysian Students in the United States of America (NAMSA), we are organizing this event.

Here’s the event PDF to showcase that this is quite real.

Honestly, even the term Corporate Pathways is a bit of a misnomer.

I don’t know how corporate this event is going to be, primarily because it’s mainly going to be focused upon experience sharing and how people thought about their lives in the course of GLC in relation to the education that they received while they were in the U.S.

There is a whole backstory to this that goes back about a month or two months or so, but has led me to a place of networking, meeting different people, and establishing friendly chat after friendly chat, rather than transactional moment after transactional moment with a bunch of different people with whom I probably never imagined at the outset that I’d be on casual speaking terms with.

Anyway, here are some of the people who will be on the panel.

GLC Panel:

Nick Khaw, Head of Research at Khazanah and alumnus of Harvard University.

Aik Chong Phuah, previous CEO of Petronas Digital and alumnus of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Brendan Yap, Senior Executive at the Securities Commission and alumnus of NYU.

Athirah Azmi, former Manager, Client Coverage at Maybank Investment Bank and alumna of the University of Chicago 

Private Sector Panel:

Audrey Ooi, co-founder of Colony Coworking Space and an alumna of Mount Holyoke College, also known as @fourfeetnine.

Dato’ Vincent Choo, Founder, Urban Ground Group, Franchisee Subway; alumnus of Eastern Michigan University.

Yen Ping Teh, APAC Product Partnerships at Google and an alumna of Mount Holyoke College.
Brian Soo, Chief Innovation Officer of and an alumnus of the University of California, San Diego.

It’s been a whole whirlwind of experiences from trying to ensure representation, meeting different alumni clubs, encountering representatives of the different organizations dedicated towards Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, and so on and so forth. All I can say is that it’s been interesting and unique to see what’s been going on develop over the course of time.

Didn’t think that it was going to be possible for me to organize something like this before, but I guess it was… And here I am with just another iteration of the thoughts that I had before.

“Now that we’ve done this, what can we do next?”, goes the thought.

Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that question, but what’s for sure is this:

The universe has placed me in a unique position, I think, to make a difference, to bring people together, and to create new experiences that are valuable and meaningful towards members of our society at large. And so long as I am here, and that universe continues to give me strength, I will endeavor to create better ones, and to level up along the way, so that I can do good to my country, and contribute towards it, rather than constantly complaining, failing to take action, and sitting immured in a prison of my own doubts.

I look forward to seeing this happen, and the interesting developments that lie ahead 🙂

The Most Moral Business?

From a very young age, I had always understood businesses as entities that bring value to society in meaningful ways that otherwise it would not receive – and that’s one of the many reasons why the bookstore had always stood out to me as one of the ultimate business forms; after all, what could deliver more value to society than the transmission of knowledge itself for the profit of mankind, far above and in excess the monetary value that is paid for them?

There is a huge camp out there of people who think that knowledge should be free and fairly accessible – I don’t dispute this to be a valuable point of view, but I also consider it to not be tenable; sure, we can say that society is the core issue and that knowledge *should* all be made available to the universe, but the fact remains that creating and obtaining knowledge is a costly effort, and if nothing else, the process of assembling something together whether through study or physical organization is something that manifestly should be rewarded.

A critic might very well say that that’s the capitalist in me speaking and fighting against all the tides of justice, but I believe that life is about managing circumstances, finding spaces in the interstices of ideals and reality where there is a happy balance, and pushing forward in the thrust for existence.

In my ethical system and paradigm, that bookstore is the most moral of the businesses out there – maybe a little strange if you consider that Amazon had started out as an online bookstore perhaps, but that’s what we’re working with here x)

Anyway, I’m very happy to announce that I have a brand new partnership with the online bookstore GerakBudaya, for whom I’ve begun writing reviews – most immediately, a review of Dr. Toh Kin Woon’s “Malaysia’s New Economic Policy In Its First Decade”, casually titled “The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions” (not by me, but by the admin!!!)

It was super fun to reflect on the New Economic Policy, to meet a thinker who had dedicated his academic career to something so crucial to Malaysia’s society, and to become sufficiently capable of understanding as to develop a viewpoint valuable to society.

There are many things that have been happening recently – too many to contain within the margins of this page alone. Can’t wait to see how things will develop in the days ahead 🙂

Fighting Perfectionism

If there were a flaw that I would observe about myself, I think it would be this. That I am someone who thinks a little too much about what other people think.

What this means sometimes is that I tend to not want to release things because I fear that they won’t be appreciated, people won’t like them, or anything else of that nature.

And granted, that doesn’t happen across everything. If it’s just an Instagram story, for example, I just enjoy releasing dumb, interesting things that reflect the different random things that happen during the course of the day.

But when it comes to more extended creative projects, I think that I am restrained in some ways by feeling that everything needs to be perfect.

Everything needs to somehow just match up with the best. And in some ways, that is kind of negative, because if you were to just try for things that aren’t always good, if you’re a new perfectionist, then what ends up happening is that, sure, you might end up creating a good product, but what will probably happen also is that you’ll just not release anything.

And believe me, that does happen quite a fair bit for me. I am the kind of person who tends to hem to haw, to just kind of let things go by because I think, “Oh, it’s not ready. Oh, I shouldn’t release this. Oh, more needs to be done.”

And that’s just my nature. I tend to be pretty careful with a lot of different things.

But at the same time, I’d like to try to get past that and I think that that can happen in at least two different ways.

One is that I reach a level of ability whereby the things that I do end up matching what I consider to be a nice standard. Maybe that’s a bit of a cop-out because that requires me to get to a certain level whereby pretty much anything I say or do just becomes acceptable as a creative product. It’s not really that sort of change of heart that I was kind of going at along the way earlier, but it’s one possibility, really.

I genuinely believe that people who can produce prodigiously, many of them are at that level partly because I think that that is the level that I would need to be at.

Maybe that’s a limiting belief.

Maybe in reality, the vast majority of the things that people make out there in this world are just not particularly good.

Maybe I’m just a little too self-concerned, conceited, caught up in my own thinking when actually there’s no enemy.

But who knows?

What’s for sure is that there is a sort of limiting belief that has been operating in my life, and I think it’s a good time to let it go – one of the reasons why I’m treating this website sort of as a group therapy session at the moment.

But in the future, I do genuinely hope that somehow or another, a little part of me is going to change. A little part of me is going to transform. A little part of me is just going to develop that skill, that pride, that recognition of something worthwhile to share. Maybe so worthwhile that it doesn’t matter even if I come out imperfect, even if it’s not ready, whatever – Because what matters most is the contribution and not perfection.

Who knows? Anyway, life has been interesting, and I’m kind of looking forward to what’s coming up here and there. So many different things to update, lots of ideas to share along, and a whole range of things I never thought that I would ever experience.

I’m very grateful for what the universe has brought, what it brings, and what it will continue to bring. Let’s just put it there.