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“BeDigital Bootcamp: Empowering lives with equal employment opportunities”
Published on: Thursday, February 29, 2024
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“BeDigital Bootcamp: Empowering lives with equal employment opportunities”
Kota Kinabalu: The demand for tech talent was already high before the Covid-19 pandemic struck and as tech progresses quickly, there is a growing mismatch between the evolving needs of industries and the academic curriculum from higher education institutions.

To close this gap, some enthusiastic industry players are taking courageous actions to offer upskilling opportunities that make sure graduates are prepared for the industry.

PETRONAS is one such organisation that not only nurtures the nation’s future talent but is also passionate about accelerating the development of the nation’s digital talent.

The company set up the BeDigital Bootcamp, a two-week curated programme, to strengthen local graduates’ digital literacy, thereby enhancing their employability and meeting the demands of current and future employers.

Launched in March 2022, the first bootcamp was held in Sabah.

In 2023, it was expanded to Sarawak and the East Coast region of Peninsular Malaysia.

In total, five bootcamps have been held over two years, with 364 participants from 16 local universities.

Currently, bootcamps cohort 6 and 7 are taking place at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sabah.

PETRONAS collaborates with industry partners to enhance human capital development and contribute to the nation’s digital economic goals, such as with Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Sabah Energy Corporation who is the local programme and hiring partner.

At the end of the programme, bootcamp graduates will have the chance to secure employment with PETRONAS and its hiring partners.

The company now has more than 80 hiring partners participating in the BeDigital Bootcamp, and a total of 174 conditional employment offers have been issued under the initiative.

“From Shy to Confident: A BeDigital Transformation”

With the advancement of technology, Rafeatul Hannana Mohammad Firdaus felt the need to continuously upskill herself to thrive in the digital economy landscape.

The 25-year-old Finance graduate from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Kota Kinabalu learned about the BeDigital Bootcamp from her friends and seniors, and has no regrets being part of it. 

Participating in the programme has enabled her to conquer her shyness and cultivate a strong sense of self-assurance.

“I used to be very shy and cautious about talking in public or starting conversations with new people. 

“This experience has not only improved my ability to connect with others but also gave me a fresh outlook on digital and entrepreneurial ideas,” she said. 

Rafeatul found the BeDigital Bootcamp to be a truly transformative experience, as it provided her with the chance to forge meaningful connections with like-minded individuals. 

She was able to interact with peers from different universities and various academic fields, which broadened her social and professional connections.  

“I’ve also taken modules on Cyber Security, digital entrepreneurship and AI, which I think are very helpful for my current role,” she said.

“This incredible opportunity not only presented me with new avenues for my career, but also provided me with the means to financially support my family.

It marked a truly momentous milestone in my life,” said Rafeatul, who received a job offer at the end of the programme and has now progressed with a permanent position in Sabah Urban Development Corporation Sdn. Bhd.

Rafeatul hopes to venture into the e-commerce industry.

She views this as a hopeful direction, particularly in today’s digital age, where e-commerce is rapidly becoming the favoured method of conducting business for numerous individuals.

“It is important to stay committed to one’s dream and to push through setbacks no matter how challenging they may be,” she said. 

Through the sharing of her story, she aims to ignite motivation among others, encouraging them to pursue their passion fearlessly and embrace the obstacles that may arise.

She urged everyone, especially undergraduates, to take advantage of the PETRONAS BeDigital Bootcamp if they have the chance. 

“We should step out of our comfort zones and broaden our perspectives through the BeDigital Bootcamp which presents an ideal opportunity for everyone to embark on their transformative journey,” said Rafeatul.

“Inspired Excellence: The BeDigital Journey”

For Mohammad Ozaniezie Onasis, joining the BeDigital Bootcamp was a nervous but fulfilling experience.

The 25-year-old Computer Science graduate of Universiti Malaysia Sabah chanced upon the  programme when it was shared by his programme leader.

Mohammad, who joined the programme as a final year university student in 2022, said that he liked the comprehensive curriculum that had industry experts selected by PETRONAS, who taught useful skills in digital, innovation, and leadership.

He and his fellow bootcampers learned about design thinking, machine learning, data storytelling, transitioning into the working world, and digital entrepreneurship.

He shared that interacting with like-minded peers in a facilitative community has been inspirational as it enabled learners to encourage each other’s endeavours, helping him learn more about himself in terms of leadership capabilities and strengths. 

“Throughout the programme, I was exposed to various skills that are very useful to apply in the real world after graduating from university. 

“One of them is the “Working Backwards Method” pioneered by Amazon. Through this method, we were taught to focus on the main problems faced by customers, so that we can solve customer problems effectively,” he added.

Mohammad, who currently works at PETRONAS as a cyber security executive, also said that one of the most effective inputs during his participation in the programme was the sharing from industry leaders of PETRONAS. 

“We had the opportunity to hear from the Senior Vice President of Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM) PETRONAS, Datuk Bacho Pilong, who is also a native of Tawau, Sabah. 

“His eye-opening sharing session inspired me to always serve my country and family, even though I am far away from my family in Sabah,” he said.

Having joined the BeDigital Bootcamp has made a significant impact in Mohammad’s life. 

“If it weren’t for BeDigital Bootcamp, I wouldn’t have the financial means or opportunity to further upskill myself and pursue a potential career in the digital industry.

“I am also grateful that I am able to provide financial assistance to my family in Sabah,” he added.

He hopes to utilise his acquired skills to establish an information technology startup in Sabah to make a positive change in the lives of the people of Sabah. 

While highlighting the significance of contributing to society and the state of Sabah, he strongly believes that individuals who have achieved success in life have a moral obligation to make a positive impact on society and support the community that has been there for them. 

“It is important to constantly work towards achieving success in life and to never forget the importance of giving back to the society once we have accomplished our goals,” he said.

Mohammad deeply cherishes the importance of social responsibility and giving back, and he aspires to inspire others to embrace this value too.

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