WHAT’S NEXT AFTER SPM?
Have you ever dreamt of studying abroad without having to spend even a single penny? Have you ever dreamt of securing a full scholarship for your tertiary education which will lighten your parents’ burden? Have you ever dreamt of becoming a scholar and hanging around with some of the most brilliant peers in Malaysia? If yes, then Petronas Education Sponsorship Programme (PESP) would be a perfect pathway to help you realise your dreams! Thus, hesitate no more and apply for PESP once you get your SPM result since building castles in the air will be useless.
The sponsorship is opened for students aspiring to pursue their undergraduate studies at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) as well as overseas universities. Having received the PESP award for Accounting studies in United Kingdom, I would write about my experience of getting it and some advice for future applicants.
WHAT IS PETRONAS EDUCATION SPONSORSHIP PROGRAMME (PESP)?
It is an education sponsorship awarded by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) to outstanding Malaysians who have high academic calibre and leadership capability to pursue undergraduate studies in oil and gas related fields. The sponsored programmes range from Accounting to Sociology, from Applied Chemistry to Instrumentation Engineering. It is a fully-funded scholarship which equally takes care of the students’ tuition fee, welfare and also accommodation. The main aim of the PESP is to develop the right talent that will ultimately contribute to the growth of the society and the nation.
The bond for this sponsorship is 1: 1, which means after completing your 5-year studies under the sponsorship, you would need to be bonded to PETRONAS for 5 years. Besides, possessing the leadership skills and having participated actively in extra-curricular activities will be an added advantage for you in securing the PESP award.
HOW TO APPLY?
- Apply PESP via its Online Application System at https://educationsponsorship.petronas.com.my and follow the steps shown in the ‘Guidelines for PESP Applicants’ to register.
(NOTE: Application for PESP is usually opened on the date the SPM result is released and will only have 1 week for the students to apply before the deadline, so don’t miss the date!)
- Fill in the Application Form for PESP and most importantly, be truthful when providing your personal information. It’s the nicest one since there is NO essay or resume that you need to submit for PESP!
- Then select the programme, discipline and country that you would like to apply for. You can choose to apply for overseas or local programme, whereas for discipline, you will have various choices regarding the fields of studies you intend to pursue.
|Australia & New Zealand||Taylor’s University||South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE)|
|United States of America||Taylor’s University||American Degree Programme (ADP)|
|United Kingdom||Kolej Yayasan UEM/ UOW KDU/ Kolej Tunku Jaafar||A-Level|
|Malaysia||Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP)||UTP Foundation Programme|
|Japan||Ambang Asuhan Jepun, Universiti Malaya||Examination for Japanese University Admission (EJU)|
|China||Kong Zi Institute, Universiti Malaya||Chinese Proficiency Test|
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
After receiving my SPM result on 5 March 2020, I immediately applied for the PESP through its Online Application System at this website: https://educationsponsorship.petronas.com.my. The deadline for PESP application was on 11 March 2020.
From the sources online, I got to know that the shortlisted candidates would be invited to attend PETRONAS YoungStars Day (PYD) which aims at measuring the students’ potentials via series of assessments at the designated date and venue. However, due to the Movement Control Order imposed by the government because of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, PESP had to execute their PESP assessment activity via online mode this year.
All of the latest updates and announcement and invitation for PYD will be available at the website as well as through your email, so do check them from time to time!!
The assessments include:
Phase 1 Assessments which consist of Cambridge Personal Style Questionnaire (CPSQ) and Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA),
Phase 2 Assessment which is the Student Potential Assessment (SPA)
PHASE 1 ASSESSMENT: CAMBRIDGE PERSONAL STYLE QUESTIONNAIRE (CPSQ)
We were required to complete the CPSQ test within an hour anytime from 6 May 2020 to 12 May 2020. It is an online behavioral style assessment which will provide an insight into how you approach tasks and relate to others.
(NOTE: There is no right or wrong answer for this assessment.)
PHASE 1 ASSESSMENT: THINKING SKILLS ASSESSMENT (TSA)
On 13 May 2020, I received an email from PESP informing me that I had been shortlisted to proceed to the Phase 2 of the PESP assessment!
TSA is another assessment by Cambridge to test your ability in critical thinking and problem solving, skills which are really essential for success in higher education.
Since it is an important test, online remote proctoring was carried out to ensure the integrity of the online assessment where each candidate needed to use a laptop/ desktop that is equipped with webcam.
My session date was on 14 May 2020. There was only one section with 40 questions to be completed within 1 hour 30 minutes.
(IMPORTANT ADVICE: DO FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH SOME PRACTICE TESTS ONLINE BEFORE SITTING FOR THE ASSESSMENT, IT WOULD REALLY HELP A LOT!)
You can look for the practice tests using this website:
REMEMBER! LUCK = PREPARATION + OPPORTUNITY
PHASE 2 ASSESSMENT: STUDENT POTENTIAL ASSESSMENT (SPA)
This is a group interview session which was being conducted via Microsoft Teams. I attended my SPA session on 2 June 2020 for about 2 hours 30 minutes.
Before the interview, I received an email with a link of Microsoft Teams to get into the virtual chatroom.
During the interview, there were two interviewers as well as 4 candidates in my group. We started with a short briefing by the interviewers. Once the interview had started, each of us introduced ourselves and the ambience was really relaxing since everyone was so kind and friendly in the interview session.
Then, the task was given and my task was related to the skills for the future. We needed to choose the most important skill from the five skills provided, which were emotional intelligence, creativity, flexibility, data literacy and technical savviness besides providing reasons for it.
10 minutes was given to each candidate to prepare for the task individually as later, each of us would have to present our own ideas in 3 minutes.
After that, we prepared and discussed the task in the group for 20 minutes. There will always be different ideas presented by each candidate, so we learnt to accept others’ opinions and eventually, presented our best ideas to the interviewers.
Before the session ended, we got the chance to share our last words.
TIPS FOR ONLINE INTERVIEW SESSION:
- Be punctual as it will give a very good first impression!
- Wear smart casual that you are comfortable with.
- Ensure that you are in a conducive environment without any interruption and loud noise.
- Do research about PETRONAS beforehand to show your keen interest in the company.
- Keep smiling because smiling is contagious and it shows that you are a positive person!
All the best to you if you are applying!
June Yee Xin Rou is a PETRONAS scholar under PETRONAS Education Sponsorship Programme 2020. She is currently studying A-Levels at UOW Malaysia KDU University College, Utropolis Glenmarie and will hopefully pursue her degree studies in Accounting in United Kingdom. She used to putting the ice cream in the refrigerator section instead of the freezer section due to insufficient space in the freezer section, but still enjoyed eating the melted ice cream!