Community the opportunity cost for them to enjoy

Community service is one of the
compulsory subjects for all Malaysia university students. It was introduced by
the Ministry of Higher Education in 2014 for expanding educational technique to
enhance the ability of university students to learn. However, some students
might have the wrong perceptions and have doubt on this subject. They might be
thinking of higher education is just a pathway for them to secure a job in
future and they only tend to score good grades and graduate with flying colours
could secure them to receive a good job. It is not worth their time to involve
in the society because it might be the opportunity cost for them to enjoy their
leisure time. In fact, in the context of competition for jobs, employers had
forceful the case that fresh graduates lack proficiency in the English
language, communication skills, soft skills and poor attitude (Free Malaysia
Today, 2017). According to number of surveys conducted by the Malaysian
Ministry of Higher Education and Job Street, one of four fresh graduates in
Malaysia remain unemployed for half a year after their graduation. Undeniably,
we could find that the unemployment rate of fresh graduates in Malaysia is
getting higher and higher even though there are plenty of job opportunities out
there. Here comes to a point that how Malaysia university students could have
participated during their university life such as community service to improve
their abilities and changing their attitudes?

Let’s us take a glance on how
community service brings a lot of positive impacts to the university student
like me.

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·       
Social
Responsibility

Community service develops an
increased sense of social responsibility to me. It gives a global view of
society and a heart for “giving back” and helping others who are in need. In
fact, social responsibility includes the engagement of individuals towards the
community where they live, which can be expressed as an interest or focus point
towards what is happening in our community, as well as participating actively
in the solving of some of the local problems. Every one of us should always
play our important roles to take part in community services in different ways.
However, our project is focusing on the welfare of animal. It is blessed that
the dogs in the dog shelter are safe and sound. They are not suffering from
unpleasant states such as pain, fear and distress. By seeing the conditions of
the dogs, I felt that the owner of the dog shelter made a great job to the
society. The owner of the dog shelter helps the dogs from being homeless,
escaping from humane slaughter and most importantly fulfilling their basic
needs such as food and water.  Animals
deserve to have their rights too and is our responsibility as a human to ensure
animal welfare which includes consideration for all aspects of animal well-being
such as proper housing, nutrition, responsible care, disease treatment and
prevention. From the experience of community service, I have learned that we
should bring positive benefits and changes to the individual and society. From
my point of view, we should use the power of business to solve social and
environmental problems because it demonstrates to both consumers and media that
the company takes an interest in wider social issues that no impact on profit
margins. This will directly impact buying decisions where buyers seek to make
ethical purchase.  A good business should
produce or making something that will not bring harm to
the
society. 

·        
Define
myself

An inspired approach saying that
stepping out into the real world and explore the potential, we will never know
what is waiting for us if we do not go where you have not been. Community
service is an essential way for me to discover my own interests and have more
understandings towards my personalities, strengthen my strengths; and
transforms my weakness to strengths. Most importantly, I can widen my mindsets
and define my possible career paths by engaging in volunteer work. In fact,
career pathing involves understanding what knowledge, skills, personal
characteristics and experience are required for an employee to develop his or
her career laterally. Thus, I could take time now to learn and think about my
interests and motivations because these are the key stages in my career
explorations. It can help me to formulate the ideas about different job roles
that could suit me and the sectors or organizations that I might like to work
in. Moreover, it is a very important element that I can tackle the questions during
the job interviews. By showing how passionate you are in the job interview, the
chances that you will get hired is getting higher because potential employers
want to know why you are a good fit for their company. Put in shorts, we are
not in a correct pathway to be succeed in our workplaces when we are involved
in the jobs that we do not have any
interests and passions on it.

        

 

 

·        
Time
management

Time management is very important in
every part of our life. From this community service, I have learned that I
should manage my time wisely. Due to the time limit, we must keep the track of
our project on time which already planned in our proposal. Time is precious, I should
utilize my time by being effective in my own time management so that it can
enhances my time management skill in my future career as well. Time management
in the workplace is a real challenge. A good employee or employer should always
develop skills to effectively manage their time so that it will bring forth
improvements to their life. Furthermore, time management means working
efficiently and employers in every industry look for staff who can make optimal
use of time available to them in the job. For instant, employers are the role
models to the employees, they should always arrive at the workplace on time. It
should not be an excuse that employers have the priorities to be late for work
because they are the owners of the company. On the other hand, employees should
always finish their works on time, they should not delay their jobs without any
relevant reasons. Having bad time management in the workplace will bring
tremendous effects to the company especially the production line. It will bring
loss to every parties. To avoid this will be happened in the future, I will
start to improve my
time management.

 

 

 

·        
Teamwork

When
working in a team, my group members and I are working towards a common goal or
set of objectives. By running up few discussions, we discussed about what
events to taking out for getting funds as we must get the donation funds for
dog shelter. We had brainstorming sessions and combining unique perspectives
from each of us to create more effective funding activities. Even though some
of my ideas did not been implemented in the project but is an opportunity to
learn from my team members too. The benefits of working in a team is the
inspiration and ideas that can result from team discussions. When generating ideas
among our group members, there is a lot more scope for creativity in comparison
to working on a project alone. This can help to increase our progression on our
community project and it allows us to get the work done faster with shared
responsibilities. From this community service, I have learned that teamwork
plays significant role to run a project successfully and it is very beneficial
to my future career. As teamwork allows employees the freedom to think outside
the box. An effective team creates solutions that are generated from many
different perspectives of the other colleagues. This helps to see a situation
from different angles and create a solution that one individual could not do it
on his own.  

 

·        
Learning

Our group consists of 32 members and
all of us are coming from different backgrounds and some of the group members
are from different courses as well. Through this community service, it brings
people together from different backgrounds and levels of experience. It is an
opportunity for professional development and learning. From this experience of
voluntary service, I can get the chances to learn something new and get some
knowledge from other group members too which allows my own skills and
capabilities to grow. Throughout the experiences, I get to learn many lessons
from the mistakes that I have done and this will help me to improve myself for
the better. Moreover, learning something new gets me to prepare for my future
career as well. This is because I can access to new and different opportunities
and this will be a golden key to be succeed in the workplace. I could
potentially earn more money in my work life from learning a new and appropriate
skill or by developing one that links to my work. Most importantly, developing
a new skill will influence the way I do things day to day and it will make me
doing things quicker and easier, saving time, energy and stress. Briefly,
learning across our lives is essential for staying up to date in an ever-
changing world. If we stop learning things, we could not improve ourselves,
moving backwards and eventually will be eliminated from this competitive world.

 

 

·        
Communication
skill

Being able to communicate effectively
is the most important of all life skills. How well the information can be
conveyed and received is a measure of how good our communication skills are. The
best way to improve writing and speaking skill is through practice. Through
this community service, I get the opportunity to improve my communication skill.
To get the activities for donation funding and to succeed the project, we had
several meetings and discussions among our group members. Starting at the
beginning, we are not familiar with each other because we are still fresh in
our first semester of year one. However, the experience of voluntary project
allows me to network with other people whom I have never known each other.  During the section of taking donation box, it
also enhances my communication skill where creating awareness to the students
and encourage them to donate money for the dog shelter. The ability of having
good communication skills is very important for my future career this is
because communication skill is ranked first among the job candidate’s “must
have” skill and quality. Thus, is a bonus if I able to demonstrate good
communication skills while applying for jobs and looking for a promotion to get
higher positions.    

 

 

·        
Critical
thinking skill

Community service
helps me to develop critical thinking
skills while solving real-world
problems. While taking out the activities to fund for donation, my group
members and I faced some problems where we could not prepare and sell the food
to the staffs and students due to the rule of management stated that we should
take typhoid vaccine injection if we want to prepare the food. Hence, we forced
to change our plan as planned earlier. We started to think that we can get the
source of food from the sellers in our campus and sell it. We tried to get
fried rice and fried noodles from the seller of mixed rice and get breads from
the bread sellers in our campus. After dealing and discussing with the sellers,
we managed to get cheaper price but we realised that we could not get the
profit that we are expecting, thus we need to seek for other solutions again.  From this experience, I have learnt to think
about problems and social issues in new ways. As we always must get a backup
plan to reserve as an alternative plan for us to get things done faster if the
previous plan fails to reach our expectations. Critical thinking skill is very
important for me in my future career. As nowadays critical thinking skill has
become an increasingly-demanded skill in the workplace, job candidates are
often required to think critically before making decisions.   

 

 

·        
Self
esteem

Participation in this community
project also increased my confidence. Before the experience of community
service, I was too timid to speak out and share my ideas with the others. After
gone through this, I have slowly become a little bit more confident with
myself.  When taking the donation box and
asking around the students to donate money for dog shelter, I felt very
embarrassing and awkward in the beginning because this is my first time to do
something like this. But after persuading people for a few times, I felt I have
increased my self-esteem and the awkwardness of facing the crowd has decreased.
I felt grateful that I could make the changes. From this experience, I should
be more confident with myself and self-esteem is will important to my future
career too. Undeniably, a good sense of self-esteem has an impact on the way we
operate in the workplace, how we deal with people and how much we achieve in
our career. Furthermore, employees who have a high level of self-esteem will
trust their thinking and judgement and they are more likely do make better
decisions. By increasing my self-esteem, I believe that it could lead me to
have a better performance in the workplace.

 

 

 

 

·       
Independence

The purpose of this project itself
trains us to posse the ability to be independent. From the beginning of the
project to the end of the project, we tend to be able to handle things on our
own. Everything starts from zero, we tend to organize ourselves and plan how to
run the project successfully. Starting from the beginning, we tend to decide on
which topic we are going to do. Being fair and square, we had voting on the
topics so that we could minimize the scope of our topic. I tend to make my own
decisions and explorations while doing the community services. Being
independence could help me to boost up my self-esteem at the same time, it
gives me a positive outlook on myself. It enhances me to have the ability to
believe in myself and possess to deal with any challenges. As we move into the
real world, we tend to less likely rely on the others. However, we are
anticipated to be independent as we are growing up from a student to an
employee or being an employer in the future. This is because business or
organization benefits a lot from employees who are motivated and work
independently with minimum supervision. Meanwhile, they can develop new skills
and increase their job satisfaction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

·        
Responsibility

In
this community project, I have learnt that we must have the ability to be
responsible to the things or decision that we make. Every action that we take
will drastically affect to the whole group. Every group members are anticipated
to give responds or opinions in every moment while making every step of the
project. Furthermore, it is important that I should have the responsibility to
complete the task which assigned from the group leader. While holding the
donation box, I felt that I have the responsibility to take care of it, and
always be alert that the box is secure.  The
ability to take the responsibility in workplace is very important in my future
career. If the tasks are not completed and functions of the job are not
performed properly, I will also should be responsible for dealing with
consequences.    

 

 

·        
Leadership

Leadership is very important in this
community project, leader must have the ability to lead every group members to
complete the task together. As leaders, they must lead the others to do the
right things and guide them to the right destination in a smooth and efficient
way.  By seeing how the leaders lead the
team, I have learnt that being a leader is not an easy job but without the
leaders in our group we will fail to succeed the project. I could try to learn
how to be a successful leader through the experience of community service.
Acquiring the skill of leadership is a bonus and is required for my future
career. I must acquire the ability to influence people to achieve a better
result and manage to lead a team of people to work effectively. A good leader
also must have the ability to prepare for making difficult decisions and give
the best contributions to the organizations or businesses. 

 

·        
Planning

Planning is preparing a sequence of
action steps to achieve some specific goal. At the beginning, we have three
topics to choose for our community project. After voting by every group
members, we decided to focus on animals’ welfare. As result, we planned to
visit dog shelter. After decided our topics, we started to work out for
proposal. In fact, by setting up our proposal we can define our goals and able
to keep our progress in track. As a member of event planner, I have to think
about what kind of activities should be carried out in order to run the project
successfully. Without planning wisely, we will fail to organize and run the
project because we will feel lost and miserable. Planning is very important in
workplace, it increases the efficiency of an organization and helps to achieve
the objectives of the organization. Through planning, we able to allocate
proper information, accurate instructions and useful guidance to run a project
successfully. 

 

 

·        
Discipline

Every one of us should always be
discipline throughout the whole process of community project because we are
representing the name of Xia Men University while doing any activities. Without
learning and following discipline now can cost me later in my future career.
Self-discipline always remind me of the proper code of behaviour and it also
helps me to achieve my goals in life. The ability of self- discipline aligns us
to keep working until we able to achieve our goals. This is the way of success.

 

 

·        
Creativity

Throughout
the experience of this community service, I can build up my creativity. I can
think creatively and think out of the box. From this experience of community
service, I have realised that creativity is very important to me in my future
career. This is because if I can apply creativity thinking to my daily work
life, I will find that working is not that bored and I can come up with unique
ideas too. In fact, creativity is crucial in business world today, especially
when the market is dependent on innovative and breaking technology.

 

·        
Personal
growth

Community service permits and
encourages university students to contribute to the society. It is a voluntary
task and I am free to reveal my real feelings and thoughts. Hence, I do not
need to learn by just memorizing a set of facts that had been taught in class,
but learn to know myself. It was different from classroom learning. It provides
an opportunity to apply academic learn into the real world.  It is also a chance for me to be active in
the sense of physical and mental. In turn, positive social psychological
factors are correlated with lower risks of poor physical health. By doing
volunteering task, it enhances my personal network to buffer stress and reduce
the risk of disease. I could build relationships and social connectedness with
peers and our project advisor. As wonderful as
chasing for good grade is, there are pitfalls to being a fanatic. Other
than reading books to obtain knowledges and scoring for good grades, I also
should step out of our comfort zone and explore the world. In short, the
experience of participating in voluntary service brings a lot of health benefits
to me in the sense of physically and mentally. Besides, I believe I will be
able to cope with stress and lead to better job performance in my future
workplace.  

 

 

 

 

Feedback

1)      I
personally feel very interested on the topic that we have chosen for our
community project. It really will create awareness of animal welfare among us
and the students in Xia Men University Malaysia.

2)      Due
to the time limitation, it is quite wasted that we did not find a sponsorship
to sponsor for our project.

3)      We
did not know earlier that the dog shelter did not have any pet shaver which
they were only using scissors to cut the dogs’ fur. We planned to help the dog
to cut their fur but did not acknowledge that they have the cleaning tools.

4)      Our
leaders always remind us the important dates of our activities which I really
appreciate that we have good leaders.

5)       I feel glad that we did not have any conflicts
between the group members.