Deloitte runs two of the most challenging competitions for undergraduates. The Deloitte Tax Challenge and Risk Intelligence Challenge Trophy are held annually and many students have benefited from these competitions throughout the years. It brings out the best talents among undergraduates, where they are tested in knowledge, creativity and soft skills to prepare them in the professional working world.
With the annual Risk Intelligence Challenge Trophy just around the corner, let’s look back on the unforgettable victorious journey of our Level 14 friends! It has been nearly 4 months since the grand finals of Deloitte Tax Challenge (DTC) 2016 and we had a chance to meet and interview the two bright young minds, Hafizah Zakaria and Syazwan Adlee, winner of the Merit Award and Deloitte’s Shining Star Award. We were greatly inspired by their stories and we hope to inspire you too!
1. When both of you first heard about Deloitte Tax Challenge, what was it that has motivated you to go for it?
It was our P6 lecturer, Madam Lai Ming Ling who urged us to enter the competition and considering that the first stage was only an online assessment, we didn’t think too much into it and faced the challenge head on while trying to do our best.
2. Do you mind sharing with us an overview of your journey throughout DTC, from its preliminary rounds up to its final stage.
At the first stage, we were required to register for an online test. Although it was an open-book test, the questions were quite challenging because we were not only asked questions based on the syllabus of Malaysian Taxation and Advanced Taxation but questions regarding public ruling was asked too and the past year questions we did in our P6 class were immensely helpful.
The second stage requires us to perform in both written and verbal assessment.
Hafizah: The written assessment requires us to write and construct our answers –those with good writing skill will have the upper hand in this stage.
Syazwan: As for me, I was more prepared for the team category as I have no expectation for the individual challenge. The verbal assessment was quite scary as you will be interviewed by Deloitte representatives. Fortunately, I was interviewed on Investment Property, a topic I have much confidence in.
Sadly, our team lost in this round. Henceforth, Hafizah and I proceeded to the final stage for the individual category. For the final stage, we were given 3 hours to do a presentation based on 3 different situations.
3. It is without a doubt that this challenge has equipped you and other contestants from UiTM with many valuable benefits. In your opinion, what was the most significant lesson you have gained from this challenge?
A day before the grand finale, a roadshow was held. It’s sort of a training camp for us to prepare for the final stage. We were taught on how to present in a corporate way. We learned the importance of movement, voice projection, voice variation, gestures, face expression and eye contact. It was definitely the best learning experience ever. The executive director of Deloitte even gave us a talk on Transfer Pricing.
4. There were many contestants from various universities participating in that challenge alongside you and some of our friends from Level 14. What was it do you think Syazwan that has won you the Shining Star award by Deloitte?
I think the criteria for winning the award is to be participative. I was not afraid to mingle with the contestants from other universities, managers and even partners of Deloitte. I also welcomed this opportunity to sharpen my networking skills.
5. Congratulations on winning the Merit Award, Hafizah. That is one proud achievement! What was the biggest factor behind this success?
I went through a lot of past year questions and I had also consulted with Madam Lai. It was also important to keep yourself up to date with the current issues especially issues relating to taxation.
6. What’s your advice to other students about joining the next Deloitte Tax Challenge?
Syazwan: It’s really good to challenge yourself in this challenge because not only will it contribute to your CV but this is your chance to meet and challenge other university students and have yourself professionally evaluated by the nation’s tax leaders. You might find it a struggle when it comes to managing time. But as your time becomes limited, you’ll treasure it more. Thus, every free time is a time worth filling. So don’t let your studies become your excuse from not exposing yourself to great opportunities.
Hafizah: Don’t forget to put your efforts and mind into it. Seeing other contestant might make us feels small but never underestimate yourself.
Syazwan and Hafizah, along with those before them have paved the way for us to be recognised both nationally and internationally. Now, it is time for us to continue carrying the torch and aspire to inspire. Deloitte is now back with the Malaysia Risk Intelligence Challenge (RIC) 2017, an inter-university competition aimed to raise risk awareness among undergraduate students.