“No person is an island, you need people to help you, and the only way for you to convince other people to help you is by getting them to trust (your idea)”
Remember what we were all doing last year in early December? Yes, busting our bums preparing for the exams. But for the APAcS Star task force, on top of that they were also preparing for an eminent innovation competition at UiTM Melaka on the 7th and 8th of December 2016.
Lead by Nazrin Kamarul Bahrain, the team represented our department to compete in the Melaka International Intellectual Exposition (MIIEx), introducing APAcS Star; A Student Development Framework, only a year since its inauguration.
Following the success of producing nearly 40 ‘APAcS Star Graduates’ in its first year, APAcS Star achieves yet another accomplishment, winning the bronze award at MIIEx 2016, competing among 200 other products.
Let’s hear from the project leader himself about this tremendous achievement and his advice to anyone who needs a little push to get their idea out there.
1. APAcS Star is an excellent initiative by you and your team to help out students of 14. It is not surprising how this promising project was awarded with bronze out of 200 other participants. Would you please share with us your experience and a walk-through on how the competition works, its flow and process? And how was each project evaluated by the judges?
MIIEx is an annual competition organised by UiTM Melaka, a platform to encourage not just students, but just about anyone to exhibit or display their products or prototype as well as new ideas that contain commercial values.
There were three main categories; Innovation, Invention and Design. Applications are submitted by each faculty on behalf of its students and staffs. Puan Mahiran, the representative of faculty of accountancy registered APAcS Star under the ‘innovation by students’ category. I was appointed as the Project Leader of a team consisting of four APAcS Star task force; Amir Arif, Aina Syaza, Farah Nadia, Nurul Hidayah, as well as Puan Puteh Mariam and Puan Mahiran herself.
We had to undergo a few preliminary procedures which includes writing a summary of APAcS Star and creating a poster of APAcS Star consisting its achievements, collaborations, sponsorships and everything that goes with it. Each participant was then required to set up a booth and make a presentation on the 7th & 8th of December at UiTM Melaka. Evaluations were carried out by two judges per booth, one lecturer and one person from the industry, its judging criteria differs by category.
2. Having to compete with not only students but lecturers, administrative officers as well as the public isn’t a walk in the park. What was the biggest contributor to this huge win?
What I would say to be the biggest contributor to this humble win would be the innovation itself. Comparing APAcS Star to other innovations that did not get any award, I would say APAcs Star had the essence that the organiser was looking for, which I believe, is an innovation that is sustainable and can be used not only for academic purposes, but for industry use as well.
3. There are no actions without consequences, there are no sweetness sweeter than the fruits of effort. In your opinion, what impact does winning MIIEx have on APAcS and also the Faculty of Accountancy of UiTM as a whole?
Winning bronze in MIIEX is quite substantial to the Department of Professional Accountancy Studies (DPAS) specifically, and also to the faculty as a whole. I believe the biggest impact is that, with this long term and sustainable framework to guide the student society, we now have a stronger validation and a more relevant justification for all activities and programmes that APAcS has developed and created.
4. It’s remarkable how you took what started off as an idea, to a prodigious platform. Do you have any advice, or words of encouragement for students who would like to take things up a notch, but are still wrangling with their own ‘what ifs’?
Well, the only advice that I can give to anybody that has any form of idea that can benefit not only them but other people as well is firstly, to have conviction in your own idea. The thing about idea is that, you don’t inspire people. Nobody inspires anybody. It’s what they do that inspires people to follow them. You cannot convince anyone to believe in your own idea if you don’t believe in it yourself.
Once you’ve fully believed in your own idea, I suggest for you to get a few trustee friends that believes in your idea as much as you do. Because no idea can survive on it’s own. No person is an island, you need people to help you, and the only way for you to convince other people to help you is by getting them to trust in your structure or your plans. Create that plan of your idea, which will then make other people have some confidence and see you as a credible person to follow with.
Lastly, you have to pick your battles wisely. You have limited resources when you’re starting so don’t waste your resources on fighting unnecessary battles, and that includes fighting with your own team members. There are times where you have to let things go and there are times when you have to be defensive and be protective of your idea. And remember to choose your marketing strategy wisely, think of the ways for you to place your idea in the minds of your target market or audience.