Preserving Dayak heritage through entrepreneurship

Inspired by her late grandmother’s traditional cooking and driven by her passion to preserve her culture and heritage, 28-year-old entrepreneur Lianny Bujang, who hails from Lundu, began running a Dayak-themed cafe in April last year.

Located in the heart of Kuching, the cafe called Entangen – Serian Bidayuh for sidewalk – serves Dayak-based cuisine such as bamboo-cooked chicken and pork, smoked pork and midin, as well as unique coffee and tea prepared in bamboo.

Its menu also includes a Dayak-Western fusion dish, namely spaghetti cooked with tapioca leaf, which is well-liked by both locals and tourists.

Running the cafe gives Lianny the opportunity to break away from the nine-to-five job she used to have as a tutor at a local college.

Still, having such freedom requires hard work in managing a newly-established cafe, whether in procuring necessary ingredients, ensuring the cleanliness of the premises, speaking to customers for feedback, cooperating with her staff in operating the business, or planning various aspects of the start-up.

“I also do some marketing – how to invite people, how they want to know about this cafe – because the greatest challenge is to create awareness and encourage local customers to try and appreciate traditional Dayak cuisine,” she told SarawakYES!

Interestingly, while running the cafe, she also dabbles in the construction field as project manager at her family’s construction company, and studies part-time at a local university, pursuing an MBA in Construction Management.

“I’m helping my dad as a project manager because he wants me to learn something new, so I’m taking this part-time programme to learn how to run a construction business since I don’t have a strong foundation in this field.”

Nevertheless, as daunting as it might seem, juggling her time between her cafe, the construction company and her studies doesn’t deter her, as she is able to lead the flexible lifestyle that she has always wanted and is surrounded by people from many different fields and backgrounds.

In fact, she hopes to open another branch that serves halal Dayak food and also manage her own construction business in the future.

She therefore believes that those intending to pursue entrepreneurship need to have passion, drive, creativity and initiative.

“Everybody can achieve their dreams, so just get up and don’t delay them. If you want to do it, just go ahead,” she said.

You can catch the video interview with Lianny on the SarawakYES! YouTube channel or the SarawakYES! Facebook page.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2iSEwpM

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Developing the land productively as a career

The life of a farmer may not be for everyone but for Johanes Jok, it is not just a job but also a source of inspiration.

He is inspired by the knowledge that he is able to develop his land for something useful and productive, as well as being able to help his family financially through farming.

“But most important for me personally is when I see our produce being sold. When I go to the market and actually see the people buying what I planted.

“That is when I feel a sense of gratefulness for being able to do what I do, because I am able to contribute to society; to provide food to people,” he said.

Johanes, who has been involved in agriculture for the past three years, plants vegetable crops at his farm in Kuala Baram Miri, with the support of the Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA).

For him, life as a farmer revolves around starting early each day to check on the crops and making sure they’re free from pests and diseases.

He’s also involved in preparations for harvesting, which involves tagging and selecting the crops to be harvested for the day.

“We usually harvest our crops around noontime and after we’re done we would bring our produce to the wholesaler.”

Johanes believes that if you are considering a career as a farmer, you should possess one critical quality – you have to be hardworking.

Apart from that, he also believes that dedication and commitment are also important traits to succeed as a farmer.

For the youth out there who might be thinking of giving agriculture a go, Johanes says they should keep at it as there are plenty of opportunities in this sector.

“In agriculture and farming, there are many opportunities out there, so don’t stop searching.

“If you feel you lack the experience or knowledge to become a good farmer, there’s always the Internet where you can source for the information that you need. On sites such as YouTube, you can learn all sorts of useful things, including methods of planting and farming.”

As with all endeavours in life, Johanes believes that if you are willing to put in the effort and dedicate your life to farming, it can be a rewarding career.

“At the end of the day, where there’s a will, there’s always a way.”

You can catch the video interview with Johanes on the SarawakYES! YouTube channel or the SarawakYES! Facebook page.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2eH1EX0

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Having a career that fulfils a childhood dream

As a member of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Corporal Yusman Nigon is actually fulfilling a childhood dream.

His ambition was always to become a police officer and Yusman, who has served with the police since 1998, is currently with the Tourist Police Unit of the Sarawak contingent police headquarters.

The Tourist Police is a specialised unit that focuses on preventing crimes in areas frequented by tourists as well as providing visitors with information on the law, customs, culture and attractions within the local community.

“As a member of the Tourist Police Unit, we patrol around Kuching Waterfront, Kuching’s Golden Triangle, tourist attractions such as museums, national parks including Matang Wildlife Park, Bako National Park, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, and longhouses like Annah Rais and Benuk,” said Yusman, who was posted to the Kuching Tourist Police Unit’s first batch, formed in 2001.

Although the unit has been established in Malaysia since 1985, he admitted he was not aware of its existence until his transfer to Kuching from his previous posting at the Sri Aman District police headquarters.

Yusman finds the work fulfilling, as he is able to learn an array of different cultures through his encounter with both international and local tourists.

Their sincere gratitude for the tourist police unit’s presence in ensuring security, as well as the local community’s positive feedback on the unit’s services, have inspired him to perform better in his profession.

“That is what inspires me to come to work every day, because serving the community and keeping them safe, in my opinion, is something that is noble,” said Yusman, who also revealed that a popular TV show called Gerak Khas was one of the sources of inspiration for him to serve with the police.

Aside from physical and academic qualifications, Yusman said that having the interest is vital for those who want to join the police force, along with the dedication, determination, discipline and integrity to perform a job that is deemed by many as dangerous and challenging.

He believes that ultimately a person’s passion and drive are necessary in whatever line of work he or she chooses.

“Choose a career you are interested in; the most important thing is to do your work with passion and be dedicated in delivering the tasks given to you.”

You can catch the video interview with Yusman on the SarawakYES! YouTube channel or on SarawakYES! Facebook page.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2ddEndv

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Love of drawing leads to a career as an architect

At the age of 14, Mark Curtis, who had always loved drawing, sketching and doodling, decided that he would one day become an architect, despite his limited knowledge about the career at the time.

What was certain, however, was his curiosity and interest in architects’ ability to plan, design and oversee the creation of physical structures from scratch.

“Being an architect, you’ll be able to start from a sketch and you can actually see your sketch, that one line, to be built up,” he said.

Mark has been an architect at Arkitek Kumpulan Design International in Kuching for the past five years, following his architectural studies and work outside Sarawak.

His responsibilities as an architect include controlling the design of a building and maintaining its quality, ensuring that every aspect complies with the requirements of his client and the relevant authorities.

Mark revealed that because an architect is involved in the entire process of building construction from inception to completion, problem-solving skills are required at every stage in making sure the structure being built is safe and meets the client’s satisfaction.

The process itself relies heavily on teamwork, with the architects leading the civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and quantity surveyors for each project.

Teamwork also counts within the architects’ office, where a group of architects have brainstorming sessions to help each other find solutions to problems faced in certain projects.

“You need to ask lots of questions. You need to know beforehand what is going to happen so that you actually foresee what is going to be put in that design,” he said.

Mark believes those intending to pursue a career in architecture need to be hardworking, observant, creative, innovative and flexible enough to adapt to change.

The satisfaction of creating something from the ground up continues to be a source of motivation for Mark, who now enjoys the career that he has always dreamed of since he was a boy.

“It has actually kept me going and made me want to improve myself and create new things – better things, better buildings and to keep on learning.”

You can catch the video interview with Mark on the SarawakYES! YouTube channel or on SarawakYES! Facebook page.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2cx0rRt

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Nursing as a career of choice for men

Nursing has always been traditionally considered a female-dominated field.

However, as the healthcare industry continues to evolve and the number of nursing courses offered increases, more and more men are taking up nursing as their career of choice.

One of them is Ibi Gibreson, a young staff nurse working at Normal Medical Specialist Centre Kuching.

He told SarawakYES! that his decision to take up nursing as a career was greatly influenced by his parents, who encouraged him to be in the medical field.

He admitted that although he could not see himself working as a nurse at first, fortunately his initial self-doubts didn’t stop him from enrolling in a nursing course.

Ibi also shared that when he first started at his job, he wasn’t able to adjust well to his new working hours, which required him to work on shifts. The challenge was to adapt to a different sleeping pattern, as he now had to stay awake all night looking after his patients.

However, as he began to get used to his new routine, he no longer saw this as an issue.

Ibi explained that one of the most important parts of the day is during the handover of the shift, where his colleagues will update him with details such as the present number of patients in the ward, their condition, and the procedures required for each patient.

As part of his daily work routine, he updates doctors on each patient’s condition, apart from monitoring their progress at all times.

According to Ibi, one of the most important traits of being a nurse is that you need to have the passion to care for others.

Apart from that, you need to constantly learn and improve your skills along the way because healthcare is continuously evolving.

For Ibi, the satisfaction of being a nurse is having the knowledge that the patient under his care is able to recover well and the gratitude that patients express for having nurses by their side throughout the recovery process.

You can catch the video interview with Ibi Gibreson on the SarawakYES! YouTube channel or on SarawakYES! Facebook page.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2cpWbml

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Ever considered a STEM career?

Choosing a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) would obviously require you to gain specific knowledge and skills in college or university.

Sarawak is looking for more young people to take up careers in STEM and, as such, greater opportunities will emerge for those willing to take up the challenge to become engineers, researchers and technicians in various fields.

To catch a glimpse of STEM careers for our young Sarawakians, here are three of them who were featured in our SarawakYES! online video series ‘A Day in a Life’.

Research officer

As a research officer at the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC), Barbara Ngikoh is able to propose her own research projects and conduct necessary experiments that are in line with SBC’s vision and mission.

Even though she has a strong background in microbiology and chemistry, she believes it is vital for her to continue expanding her knowledge in science in order to overcome challenges faced in her research.

And while obtaining the desired result brings her joy, nothing can compare to the positive benefits a researcher can bring to the community and society at large.

“For example, we are working on potential anti-cancer drugs; so knowing that I am contributing towards this effort is inspiring enough.”

Marine maintenance engineer

A marine maintenance engineer ensures vessels are in tip-top condition; meaning work tends to be more hands-on compared to tasks within an office space.

Still, getting his hands dirty on this job didn’t hinder Syafiq Hashim from accepting the position following a year-long internship at Bintulu Port Sdn Bhd, as he believes that being hands-on allows him to improve in his work.

His work also requires him to be on standby with members of his team and he said the commitment they exhibit is a great motivation for him to always strive to be better at his job, as well.

“Our division (marine service) is considered the ‘heart’ of the service. If there are any faults or shortage of vessels, it would hamper our ability to provide good service.”

Production engineer

Her love for mathematics brought Bernadine Bungan Salo into the world of engineering, leading her to become a production engineer at Sakura Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd at Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu.

The job requires her to ensure the smooth operation of the production equipment and processes in making ferromanganese and ferroalloys that are used as ingredients in the production of various kinds of carbon, alloy steel and alloy iron.

While daunting, the position pushes her to gain more knowledge and allows her to explore the various aspects of her work, whether through training or interaction with her colleagues, who come from all over the world.

“To succeed, you must be willing to learn and ask people what you don’t know. Don’t give up – in everything you do.”

You can catch the video interviews with Barbara, Syafiq and Bernadine on the SarawakYES! YouTube channel or on the SarawakYES! Facebook page.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2bt62GA

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A passion for a career in the hospitality industry

For some of us, having the opportunity to build a career close to home is considered a blessing, especially if it’s in a line of work that we’re interested in.

For Mikai Sap from Sri Aman, a resort in Batang Ai provided him this opportunity three years ago.

After spending two years searching for the ‘right job’, he found work literally at his doorstep in 2013, starting out his hospitality industry career as a service agent at the resort.

Just a year into the job, Mikai’s passion for his work was spotted by his employers, and he was presented not only with a ‘Team Member of the Month’ award but was also the ‘Team Member of the Year’ award in 2014.

In just three short years, the management saw fit to promote Mikai to front office assistant manager.

For this 22-year old, the personality traits crucial for the job are to be positive, dedicated, a team player, and most importantly self-disciplined.

Although Mikai did not have the opportunity to pursue higher education after completing secondary school, he has proven that life’s obstacles can be overcome though passion, dedication and perseverance.

As for his day-to-day routine, it includes making sure that guests’ needs are met, especially in terms of registration and special arrangements that certain guests may request for.

Personally, he also makes it a point to make sure that the guests enjoy their stay and as such he enjoys chatting and making friends with the guests at the resort.

Part of his work also involves preparing the weekly and monthly reports as well as assisting in the planning, particularly to help the management prepare the duty roster for the team.

Mikai enjoys the challenge of working in the hospitality industry and in fact it is the challenges that drive him to do better.

He also sees his work as a continuous learning process as he revealed that he learns something new every day.

Apart from that, having the opportunity to work in his hometown offers another great benefit – having the satisfaction of being able to contribute something to his community in Batang Ai.

You can catch the video interview with Mikai on the SarawakYES! YouTube channel or on SarawakYES! Facebook page.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak –  to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2baof8H

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Finding entrepreneurial success as a hairstylist

Raymond Chin found himself entering the hairstyling industry after finishing secondary school 16 years ago, when his mother suggested he take up the trade like his cousin.

It actually took him a year to decide on fully committing himself to this vocation.

Today, through his perseverance and drive to upskill himself, he owns and runs Ray’s Salon, one of the most established salon chains in Kuching. Although his role in his company has expanded, the hairstylist and entrepreneur still takes the time to serve his customers personally, as he appreciates the relationship he has with all of them.

“When you have customers encouraging you, you won’t give up easily. You will continue to give your best,” he said.

Yet his motivation, especially since starting Ray’s Salon 11 years back, was his strong belief in teamwork, while the support and encouragement of his family members allowed him to bring the business to greater heights. That belief has led him to develop his team of younger hairstylists, devoting his time to train and encourage them to take part in as many competitions and modelling photoshoots, in order to build up their network and achieve their own career goals.

Team-building sessions are also essential for him and his team in improving their camaraderie so they can better work together in the salon.

“I’m focused on helping my team members to give them hope for the future so that everyone can move forward, and have a strong team spirit and energy.”

Having been in the industry for 16 years, he believes there is a better future for hairstylists for they are becoming more specialised and creative, hence the increasing respect they have received as of late.

He said young people who are not academically inclined but possess a strong sense of creativity and love for fashion can choose to go for this career, although Chin cautioned that in any vocational-related occupation, in the initial stages the monetary reward may not be as high as one would expect.

“You can’t demand a lot because you’re learning from experience and techniques that will be passed on to you – which you can’t buy with money.

“So young people need to set a time frame, to use either one or two years to persevere, acquire skills, upskill themselves and make the most out of their experience.”

You can catch the video interview with Raymond on the SarawakYES! YouTube channel or on SarawakYES! Facebook page.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2b7EQ09

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From car wash attendant to car workshop owner

Perseverance and passion are essential personality traits for anyone to succeed in their career.

This is especially true for Herman Peni, who proved that even with a lack of opportunities available for him to continue his studies, success in life is still achievable with the desire to overcome stumbling blocks.

Driven by his passion for cars, Herman took the bold step to establish his own car repair workshop, Man Automobil, at a relatively young age.

He began working after he completed his secondary school education in 2002, when he started out as a car wash attendant at a local car showroom.

Looking back at those days, the 30-year-old who hails from Kampung Iboi, Sadong Jaya said his deep interest in cars was noticed by his former employer.

“In 2008, my former employer offered me the opportunity to be a car technician after he noticed my passion in helping the mechanic to fix cars.”

That was how it all started for Herman.

His former employer was also very supportive of him and regularly sent him for monthly training sessions to further improve his skills.

Herman explained that his journey to become an entrepreneur was not easy, especially in the initial stages when he only had a few customers.

Nowadays, Herman serves some 100 customers per month.

He believes that in order to become a successful entrepreneur, you need to have the passion to drive you in your work.

“There is no way you can succeed if there is no passion in what you do.”

He also believes that in order to be successful in business, it is important to always try to fulfil the requests of his customers.

“Fulfilling customers’ requests is my top priority. I need to make sure of that.”

Other than that, Herman believes that honesty is also an important part of doing business, in order to build trust with customers.

“It will ensure that customers will always come back to us.”

Working on his own is particularly fulfilling for Herman because he appreciates the sense of accomplishment he gets from all his efforts in providing quality service to his customers.

“We need to have a strong drive to achieve our goals and we need to provide only the best to our customers.”

You can catch the video interview with Herman on the SarawakYES! YouTube channel or on the SarawakYES! Facebook page.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2binlrw

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Driven by a higher cause

As children, it’s impossible to foresee what kind of career path we may embark on as adults.

But for Abang Mohammad Hudini Abang Kashim, a senior contracts administrator with Sarawak Energy Berhad, there may have been some tell-tale signs.

Hudini, as he’s known among his friends, told SarawakYES! that it was his mother who first noticed his interest in building things when he was a young boy.

“Since I was small, I’ve always been interested in construction. My mum used to buy me a lot of Lego sets.”

This was one of the main reasons he was attracted to join Sarawak Energy, a company he described as actively involved in the generation, transmission, distribution and retail of power in Sarawak.

“We harness power from hydropower, as well as coal and gas, and transmit the power through a series of network systems, which is currently being extensively constructed throughout the state.”

As a child, he would listen to his father’s stories about studying with oil lamps and this became one of the great motivators for him in his work, as he believes that everyone deserves access to electricity.

“Our main aim is to provide power stability to the state. I will make sure that my kids will never experience blackouts.”

Hudini works on projects that involve the construction of all of Sarawak Energy’s extra high voltage substations and their transmission lines.

One of the things he enjoys most in Sarawak Energy is the chance to work with people from different backgrounds and expertise.

Apart from that, he is also grateful the company provides them with facilities that promote good work and life balance.

“We do have a 24-hour gym in the office building, which we can use any time of the day.”

Ultimately, his work brings satisfaction to him, knowing he plays a part in helping to improve the lives of people across the state.

“Most of the projects we’re doing are mostly for the people of Sarawak, so you know what you’ve done is a big contribution to the community.”

You can catch the video interview with Hudini on the SarawakYES! YouTube channel or on SarawakYES! Facebook page.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2abGWN1

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