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THEY may still be in college but when the final year business students of Advanced Learning College (ALC) graduate, they would have had a complete corporate experience.

The college in Klang, which is a subsidiary of PKT Logistics Group, organises a yearly competition for its students that requires them to raise money for a charity of their choice.

“The winner is the team which brings in the highest funds,” said PKT Logistics Group group chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director Datuk Michael Tio.

He said that the students were divided into groups of 10. Each group was required to organise an event that would benefit a charity organisation, with a capital of only RM400.

“Once they come up with plan, they have to look for sponsors and come up with a working paper for their project.

“PKT will provide some funds but students will have to look for other sponsors too.”

However, before pitching their ideas to other organisations, the groups had to first present their plans to Tio.

“The group with the best presentation gets the highest sponsorship from the company,” said Tio.

Besides the sponsorship, the company staff would also provide feedback on the presentation and tips on making improvements.

“It is based on the concept of The Apprentice. Each team will focus on their own operation and at the same time, compete with each other to bring in the most funds,” added Tio.

The company, he said would grill the students during the pre-event presentation by asking them the reasons why they chose a specific charity for their project.

“Last year, the students raised funds for several orphanages as well as for other groups such as the National Kidney Foundation.

ALC chief executive officer Edmund Edward said that the students had a tendency to be “more humane” and compassionate after completing their projects, adding that there were some who continued their work with the orphanages even after the conclusion of the competition.

Tio agreed, adding that many students who had undertaken such projects had a broader outlook and were more “matured”.The students managed to raise a total of RM170,000.

Tio said that competitions like these gave the students the real world experience that they needed. It was also an advantage for corporations because working with the students allowed employers to select or even recruit those with potential.

Tio said that like the competition, many of PKT’s other corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects were geared towards empowering others.

“I don’t believe in giving money away. CSR is about giving work to the people surrounding us,” said Tio, quoting the famous proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

He said that responsibility was not about giving away a chunk of an organisation’s profits yearly, but about conducting business in a manner that was fair and which uplifted others.

Besides providing scholarships for deserving students to study in ALC, the company also carried out an Anak Belajar Ibu Bekerja (ABIB) programme.

Under the programme, the company employs housewives from the surrounding residential areas to work while their children are in school.

Most of the women are initially placed in the spare parts centre.

“Once they’ve had sufficient experience, they are ready to take on more challenges,” said Tio.

With the added confidence, the women were able to carry out more tasks or even seek other jobs, he added.

Their families stood to gain from their income and more than that, it empowered the women, Tio said.

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