by Farhan Faizal
Let me tell you how I feel about 14Talks – Pure amazement.
As an organizing committee member and participant for this event, here is my summary on 14Talks:
The APAcS Toastmasters Club (APTC) has always liked to experiment with new things. A prime example would be this event which was inspired by TedTalks, the global public speaking platform.
Similarly, 14Talks was brought into the picture by APTC to enable both our students and alumni of this Department of Professional Accounting Studies to share and spread their ideas in the hopes of changing lives, even.
Held at our cherished Level 14 of Menara Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah, all participants gathered together on a bright Saturday morning.
Our first speaker, Wan Nurul Atikah, delivered a moving speech about failing.
As we all know, ACCA is infamous for the bittersweet experience of failing and trying again. With that in mind, we thought it was going to be a story that was similar to what we’ve heard from our fellow friends. However, to our amazement, it was not.
Nurul had gone from extending her completion time in Foundation in Accountancy to an inspirational point where she was the Project Director for The National Aspiration & Leadership Summit 2015 that catered to more than a thousand participants from around the country, gathering at PWTC. Now, she’s an auditor at Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
We were being told about 3 simple but significant words :
Just keep going!
It has the potential to make a big difference but we never felt it because it was stuck in our heads, not our hearts.
Nurul has been a living proof of these 3 words, she embodies it and it’s helped her get through all the challenging times prior to becoming an ACCA Affiliate last April.
Next, we listened to the speech of our all-time favourite student, Faez Normarsya. As we were sitting there, pumped up with motivation from Nurul, Marsya went on to share with us her ideas on how we can change the world!
Her focus was on social business which was a new thing for a lot of us. As accounting students, we were well informed about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) but social business? Not really.
Interestingly though, based on Marsya’s speech, social business allows not only the rich to help the poor but also to help the students. We were enlightened by the initiatives being carried out by others.
For instance, a coffee company buys the coffee beans directly from the farmers instead of the middle man/supplier. This enables the farmer to fully reap what he had sown. His profit margin wouldn’t be so minsicule and unjust as it was with the middle man.
Above all else, Marsya’s speech reminded us that there’s still hope in the world. She made us see our capabilities of helping others and in turn, changing the world with what we have right now. We have to realize that more often than not, the thing that holds us back is ourselves; it happens within or beyond our awareness.
After that intense moment of idea sharing, we were given the chance to unwind a little by participating in a game session called ‘Charades’.
Basically, you have to act out a certain item written on a paper and your teammates have to guess what it is. It was a lot of fun!
After that, the time came for the third speech by Farhah Mahzan. We all know Farhah as the Head of Corporate Relations for APAcS 13/14 and as a happy-go-lucky person. In her speech, she talked about avoiding mediocrity and how it is bad for us to be a mediocre student/future graduate.
Even though her approach was highly transparent and without any need to follow the typical style of a polite advice, what she said was really true. Farhah urged us to be the best version of ourselves and told us how to connect with people who can unlock that potential within us.
Sometimes, it is not that we are not capable of doing something remarkable or amazing, it is just that we don’t have the right resources to do so. In order to gain those resources, Farhah broke it down to us in a series of simple steps so that we can apply it to ourselves.
As for the final speech, Mohd Amirul Asyraf shared with us the beauty of language. We were mesmerized by the way he uncovered the Arabic language and how a small amount of letters can make up a few big, deeply meaningful words.
Although learning languages can usually be rather boring, Asyraf successfully made us feel that language should be appreciated even more. The idea that language can be beautiful has sparked an interest in the audience to know more about it.
For the transition in between the speeches, there were a series of impromptu speeches for those in the audience who also wanted to share their ideas.
Amazingly, the participants did their best in delivering their speech within a couple of minutes and for that, they received a small notebook as a gift.
My final thought on 14Talks is that as a student, we should not limit ourselves only to academics. Sharing ideas with your friends might look simple but we need to keep in mind that everything starts with an idea.
I hope, in bringing this event to APAcS, it can spark the hidden creativity within all of us and we can gather our strength and work together in order to make a change in this world and most importantly, a change in our own selves.