The search for nation’s top talent culminated today at the Malaysian National Levels of the Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge (MGAC) 2017. Over 100 participants comprising nine nationalities competed their level best to secure a spot amongst the 60 finalists in the Global Finals taking place in Kuala Lumpur in early August this year.
Participants at the Malaysian National Levels were selected based on their outstanding performance in the Campus Level challenges, held across Malaysia from 5 May to 4 July 2017. Those who secure a place in the Global Finals will stand a chance to join Maybank’s highly-coveted Global Maybank Apprentice Programme (GMAP), where they can build a career in the Banking and Finance industry.
MGAC is the first student competition in the region that tests participants in both financial and non-financial disciplines, challenging beyond their academic excellence. Besides the rigorous business case challenges, participants are tested beyond their limits and wits to uncover the crème de la crème for the Global Finals.
They undergo various selection rounds, with each round increasing in its complexity in the cases and activities. The experience aims to provide participants with deeper insights and expectations of global and regional organisations in recruiting and nurturing talent for sustainability and growth of businesses.
At the event launch, Nora Abd Manaf, Group Chief Human Capital Officer of Maybank welcomed and congratulated the participants for their perseverance in reaching the National Levels. “MGAC is a powerful catalyst to bridge bright talent from different nationalities and academic disciplines, particularly in Asia. This year is the biggest year ever in its history. We received close to 40,000 applicants of 108 different nationalities. All of you here represent less than 1% of the population, congratulations!” said Nora.
She also emphasised that the large number of nationalities is testament to the international appeal of the competition to young talent worldwide and a demonstration of Maybank’s philosophy of embracing diversity and inclusion.
This year’s MGAC added new challenges in line with its hashtag #TakeOverTomorrow. The Malaysian National Levels saw participants undergoing a series of thought-provoking interventions that pushed them to defy the norms as well as understand and solution current global issues.
Designed internally by Maybank, the case study challenged participants to implement, sustain and execute a business model successfully, as they fictionally ventured into the gaming industry. This tested their creativity and business acumen in providing the most impactful strategy and solutions, using their analytical skills in interpreting data and information, as well as agility to succeed in an ever-changing environment.
The assessors throughout the Challenge comprised Maybank’s Senior Management who constantly provided feedback, guidance, and advice for the participants to grow professionally and personally.
Spanning over seven months, the road to the Global Finals involved the Campus and National Levels where 60 top talent selected from around the world will compete at the Global Finals. A total of 25 Campus Levels were held in countries where Maybank has presence namely Hong Kong, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia.
Lavania Vijayakumar, a Finance & Economics' degree student from Taylors University and Hewawasam Puwakpitiyage Lakshan Sanjana, an Accounting & Finance student from Sunway University were crowned National Level champions.
“It was a tough call for me, as I had to make a choice between forgoing my flight to Langkawi, or compete in the Nationals. Thankfully I made the right choice! MGAC taught me valuable lessons from my experience as a participant. Not only that I'm excited to apply the learnings from my MGAC experience into my studies and work, I'm also excited to do the same for my community. I look forward to new learning experiences in the Global Finals, as I get to compete alongside talented Finalists from around the world," said Lavania.
National Levels winners will compete in the Global Finals for a total cash prize of USD71,000. The Global Champion (individual winner) will be awarded with USD1,000 and a two-week internship experience at any Maybank office worldwide.
MGAC’s unique proposition and case studies have garnered various local and regional awards year-on-year. In 2016, it won top prize as the ‘Best Innovation on Campus’ at Malaysia’s 100 Leading Graduate Employer 2016 Awards. The Challenge was recognised as the ‘Best Recruitment Innovation’ in Singapore and for ‘Excellence in Graduate Development’ in Hong Kong, both at Asia Recruitment Awards for two years consecutively in 2015 and 2016.