Tuesday, November 26, 2013

TalentCorp's Sector Focused Career Fair Can Help!

Your graduation day could be one of the happiest life moments you will ever experience. 

The years of blood, sweat and tears you poured into earning that one sheet of certification could prove worthwhile on that one memorable day. Despite the happy laughs, the colourful bouquets and proud smiles though, at the end of any convocation I dare say most, if not all, will leave with a single question in mind - what do I do with my life now? Luckily, you're not all alone and definitely not without help. 

In fact, just last week Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp) together with University Teknologi Mara (UiTM) held a Sector Focused Career Fair over at the UiTM Shah Alam Campus. This overall initiative aims to educate the public, especially students, on the career path opportunities available in eleven recommended sectors namely Oil & Gas, Electronics & Electrical, IT, Telecommunication, Biotechnology, Finance, Accounting, Healthcare, Tourism, FMCG & Education. The two-day fair last week was a joint effort between TalentCorp, Graduan, MDeC and UiTM, focusing on Shared Services and Outsourcing (SSO). (ᅌᴗᅌ* ) 

Since we're already dropping names, let me tell you that this Sector Focused Career Fair is supported by more than 30 well-established companies such as DHL, BASF, Electrolux, Frost & Sullivan, Sime Darby and GlaxoSmithKline. Visitors were honoured by the YB Senator Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid bin Omar, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department as he was so kind to drop by to officiate the fair and the graduates attended also got to meet with CEOs and senior HR representatives of participating companies. 

The calm before the much-welcomed storm of visitors.

Kan dah kata ramai orang! Ha ambik! 

I've give you twenty cents if you can spot me *wink

According to Johan Mahmood Merican, CEO of TalentCorp, "The success of our Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) depends on having the right quantity and quality of talent, to support Malaysia’s priority sectors to move up the value chain and continue growing. Malaysia certainly has a strong pipeline of young talent. TalentCorp and UiTM are hosting this SFCF to provide exposure and attract our young Malaysian graduates to pursue an exciting career with the fast growing shared services sector." 

From how I see it, it's a win-win situation

Visitors score insiders' scoop on the industry developments plus sectoral branding of the Shared Services and Outsourcing (SSO) sector while multinational corporations get to scout for potential talents. How often do you get such golden opportunities to rub shoulders with CEOs? How often do you get to window shop for your career path all in one day under one roof? There were even the Industry Career Quiz, Career Talks and my favourite yet, the Couch Corner Slot for a more casual chitchat. Everyone's happy, that's for sure! I honestly don't think it's too late for me to pay a visit to any more upcoming Sector Focused Career Fair by TalentCorp even when I already have secured a job, because it's a great platform for anyone at all to open up your minds and learn from others in the industry. 

For instant updates on more Sector Focused Career Fairs, just click on here!

Otherwise, you can visit the official website too - Talentcorp.com.my. So awesome to witness the organizing parties going all out to provide the best guidance and educative experience to students, especially the new graduates (even the undergraduates!) out there who have absolutely no idea where to move forward after graduation. Better yet, these advice and assistance come personally from the industry players themselves who could well be YOUR employer in the near future. See, you can't be that lost after all! ヽ(*⌒∇⌒*)ノ 

Friday, November 22, 2013

☆ Final Day at Mitaka Forest Ghibli Museum ☆

We've finally got to this point. My last day in Japan for the Summer holiday trip back in July 2012. (⊙︿⊙)


RIGHT RIGHT. I KNOW RIGHT. THIS IS MAGICAL. Okay enough capslock. No I'm not bipolar. 

If you don't know Ghibli I will unfriend you. Ghibli is a magical world of magical creatures that is magical.

Throughout the planning process, this was the one thing that I will never forgive myself if I missed it. Worse still, there are no official ways to purchase admission tickets so we had to seek Lady Luck's assistance to make sure they're still available when we touchdown Japan. 

According to the website,

Entrance to the Ghibli Museum is strictly by advance purchase of a reserved ticket which specifies the appointed date of the reservation. You can get reservation tickets at designated local travel agency counters in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, North America, Europe and Australia.

None, none for Malaysians. We could only purchase them via the Lawson convenience stores in Japan. Fear not, for Lawson could easily be found anywhere and everywhere. There's a special machine for purchasing and you must read this (CLICK IT) through carefully on the specific instructions because the machine's all in Japanese. Admission fee for adults are ¥1000 (about RM38 at that time) and there are only four entrance slots in a day - 10AM, 12PM, 2PM and 4PM. So your itinerary must be precise before you decide to purchase okay! We went for the 4PM slot. Living dangerously and all eh.

So after the quick walkabout around Ameyoko and Asakusa, we headed straight to Mitaka. Mitaka's still within Tokyo, but it was more of a suburb so after a 20-30 minutes train ride we arrived at the quiet Mitaka Station. TO SEE THE LAST SHUTTLE BUS TO GHIBLI MUSEUM DRIVE OFF. Trust me we made quite a spectacle, running madly towards the bus just as the doors were closing but it has already started off as soon as we arrived at the bus stop. There were no choice but to walk. A twenty minutes walk to make it in time for the final entrance slot at 4PM. We practically speedwalked all the way. It was quite nice though, a nice change of environment from the bustling Tokyo city plus there were Ghibli Museum signs throughout the way so there are hardly any chance you'll get lost. If I can make it, I'm pretty sure anyone else can hahahaha!

The iconic Totoro ticket stand.

Unfortunately, no photography is allowed inside the Ghibli Museum. To be clear though, it wasn't so much as museum than it was a mansion. After all, Hayao Miyazaki designed the entire place and true to his style, there weren't any particular flow to the museum. Everything were seemingly displayed at every corner and at some point it felt like we were intruding upon his mansion especially messy rooms that were recreated to seem as if he just left his chair. It was magical. (✿´‿`)❤

Here are little bits of Ghibli Museum on the outside. 

Every corner, every turn seemed to hint at the genius of Ghibli Studio. No effort was spared into the little details around the entire museum. It was almost as if we've entered the Ghibli world and if it wasn't for the time restraint I would've liked to stay there to slowly explore all day long. Luckily though, we made it in time to catch the short animated film that was entirely in Japanese without any subtitles haha! Of course, the characters and storyline were expressive and simple enough for all to understand. You know, they rotate the short films around so that it's different everytime you visit. The one we saw was 星をかった日, The Day I Harvested A Star. There are no where else in the world that you can personally watch this save for the Saturn Theatre at this Ghibli Museum. It was incredible, my heart did little flutters throughout this entire experience and I could almost be in tears with happiness. This is why I have so much feels for dear Japan, because my dreams turn into reality here.

We stayed till the evening and chose to walk back to Mitaka Station. It was a leisurely, quiet walk as the weather cools down. We noticed the little things about people's homes, the cafes we passed by and the small handful of residents we saw going about their daily lives. Wish we had time to hang around the Inokashira Park by the museum though. But it was time to leave Tokyo to go back home. This visit to Ghibli Museum was the perfect wrap up to the entire whirlwind Summer holiday Tokyo 2012 trip. It was wonderful wonderful wonderful. (✿◠‿◠)

Managed to snap a picture with the road sign hehe

Look at the little ladybug there so cute ❤

Monday, November 18, 2013

Off Downtown to Ameyoko and Asakusa!

After the peace of Ueno Zoo we walked a little distance to Ameyoko (*⌒∇⌒*)

 Really, it's just a little distance away, because I'm just not one of those prone to long walks lol it was still within Ueno area, just off the Ueno Station. We had to ask our way there but we got there nonetheless. Just one of those little places in Tokyo that you visit to see what it's all about. Originally called Ameyo-Yokochou with 'ameya' referring to candy stores, this shopping street has all sorts of stuff on sale like fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, clothes and of course candy hahaha there are a handful of streetside restaurants too. Not exactly a tourist attraction but it's fun to look at the stuff that housewives here purchase on a daily basis haha moving no, as the clock says, it's lunchtime! Didn't know where to eat so we randomly picked an air conditioned place (can you blame us, it's summer!) and settled for some refreshing cool soba. Here's how the restaurant looks like on the inside, so retro got old school beer ad poster on the wall somemore. 

After lunch, it was Asakusa time! ❤ I've been so looking forward to this. The last time I was within the vicinity it was just to catch a quick lunch at this famous tenpura place at the corner right next to Sensoji Temple Kaminarimon entrance. Now I can finally go in and explore properly yay! Too bad we were too full to go for the tenpura, it was real good. Blog about it next time because it was Japan Trip #1. 

This is Japan Trip #3 in case you've forgotten, dear 80-year-old-future-self. 

The famous Kaminarimon entrace to Sensoji Temple.

Take one step past the gate and you find Nakamise Street

SO MANY PEOPLE ON A WEEKDAY. But how awesome is this whole stretch of shops heading to the main Sensoji Temple. Super awesome if you ask me. I believe I spent more time here at the shops than at the main temple building. What, shopping can be culture too (ಠ_ಠ) Perfect street to buy souvenirs, there are tons of stuff on sale here including postcards, candies, yukatas, specialty snacks, tee shirts and many more small items for everyone to bring back to their families. I love my travel partner YK! Almost everytime we visit a particular tourist attraction, by mutual silent agreement we'll naturally split up to attend to our own agenda. She goes straight to the main point to take lots of photographs while I get myself distracted with ice creams and contributing to the national economy. I mean, just look at all these shops and their colourful knick knacks! The popular stores always have pictures of celebrities who've been there haha I kept my eye open for sightings of Arashi member pictures but not my luck I suppose. 

Bought myself some ramune soda to quench the summer thirst. Nothing spells summer in Japan like ramune does. It was so refreshing and delicious! Now here, my absolute favourite store in all of Japan. The MATSUMOTO KIYOSHI drugstore. All the skincare, snacks and beauty products you'll ever need. Forever on sale, forever irresistable! Really HAVE to enter no matter how many times I pass by one every day in Japan, and these durgstores are everywhere and always so close to each other. Still, can't resist! ٩(●˙▿˙●)۶ 

Snacks for sale. Spot the konpeito. Regret not getting any!


Finally came to my culture-appreciation senses and moved forward to the real deal - Sensoji Temple.

Actually I think that's the Hozomon entrance. The actual temple is right inside. So many gates saya pun taktau. Luckily admission is free, I think I spent too much on ice creams. Sensoji Temple, also knowns as Asakusa Kannon Temple, is undoubtly the most popular and the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan. Well, it was built in the year 645. If that's not old I don't know what is. 645 holyma! Survived through the war and all, not too bad at all. Even the Nakamise shopping street's been here for centuries, no joke. There's also a beautiful garden at the Dempoin Temple next to Sensoji Temple, however it's no longer open to the public. That's real unfortunate because I've seen the pictures online and it really is very beautiful. Oh well. 

Fortune telling and the five-storeys pagoda

The uhm back side. 

Got a quick shot of Tokyo Sky Tree nearby! 

But not near enough to pay a visit unfortunately. See, one week in Tokyo is simply not enough to see everything. After a quick exploration we had to rush off to Mitaka just outside Tokyo for an exciting attraction that I am so happy to be able to cross off my bucket list. It was a dream come true and so much more. Wait for it! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Read - The Other Boleyn Girl

Just finished with a book and I'm all exhausted.

It's been too long since I committed to a new book. Uh huh, committed. In recent times I've always picked up old favourites to reread for leisure...but last Friday on a whim I took up a new book and got hooked big time. There are tons of unread books in my shelves, mostly from the past two Big Bad Wolf sales and I can't wait to dive into all the wonderful realms of storybooks. Time and situation hardly permits this luxury though, which is why it came as a surprise, even to myself, when I ventured to start out this thick new book:

 The Other Boleyn Girl.

Took my two days and several late nights to finish it up. A new book is a commitment I tell you. Once you start reading, there's no looking at anything else. I paid no heed to my favourite series on television and even made a decision to skip VS ARASHI airing earlier this afternoon on 8TV. JUST TO FINISH THIS BOOK. Level of commitment is no joke. 

Written by Philippa Gregory, this book is gripping, from the first page all the way to the last. The pace was consistent and the language easy to read yet descriptive enough to paint imaginary mind visuals. There are no lacking in excitement or thrills I can assure you. I've also watched the movie halfway through reading and it barely covered 20% of the book's content. Good read. 

Can't stand the weathered front cover though. All my books are in excellent condittion, with most carefully plastic-wrapped but this copy was the best of the worse-looking ones at the sale last year. Plus, I'm not fond of book covers that use images from its movie. For RM9 though, it's a steal. If I can find nicer looking ones this year I might just get another to replace this hahaha as you can tell, I've got a tad of OCD. In any case, it's a recommended read from my part. Exhausting though when you've been reading for hours and hours throughout the weekend and now I'm all but brain dead. Goodness, it's Monday tomorrow.

In other news, December is not too far off and I am not too much looking forward to it. I bid you good night. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Misteri Monday

It was a tragic Monday morning for all of us.

and then I found this on my laptop. 

Shit just got real. 

Final Day : Starting with the Ueno Zoo (上野動物園)

That last #ThrowbackJapan post was totally half-assed lol

Moving on, it was Disneyland Day. There's so much to talk and show but...I'm not going to do it hahahaha it just doesn't feel like Disneyland time. Imma skip that altogether, maybe do an epic throwback post in the near future but right now I'll share about my last day in Japan instead! Decided to schedule Ueno Zoo + Asakusa + Ameyoko + Ghibli Museum on the last day because we needed a little er calm after the long amazing Disneyland visit. Uh huh, I've got every day planned out months before the trip. Am glad we decided not to include Kyoto in the itinerary though because there simply wouldn't be enough time to explore all of Tokyo and its vicinity. We could barely squeeze in all the tourists hotspots in Tokyo, it was unfortunate that we had to skip Akihabara and Shinjuku too. Good thing is, I've been to these places in the previous trips and personally there's really not much going on there (except to earn the privilege of saying "been there, done that" hahaha) 。◕‿◕。

Ueno Zoo. It was a perfectly quiet weekday.

Founded in 1882, Ueno Zoo is the officially the oldest zoo in the entire country. Located in Ueno Park, it is open from morning till evening on every day except Mondays - with entrance fee going at ¥600 for adults, that's about RM20 at that time. Luckily, we carry along this awesomesauce Tokyo guide book that holds tons of discount vouchers for tourists so we got the tickets a little cheaper than the usual rate. YEAY TO DISCOUNTS! The (free!) guide book can be found tucked along random shelves at the airport if you're keen. Highly recommended.

Appreciate the English map! 

Giant Pandas - one of Ueno Zoo's most popular residents. At that time, news just broke that the new baby panda had died of pneumonia. At six days old, the male cub was to be the first baby panda in Japan for more than two decades. The months prior to birth was filled with anticipation and progress was extensively covered in the news even all the way to Malaysia so the sudden news of its death was real sad (|||❛︵❛.) The picture on the right shows a little memorial shrine the zoo staff had built for kind visitors to share their condolences and flowers over the tragedy. The mother, Shin Shin was slumped at the back of her corner and barely moved nor responded to visitors. I took a shot but it's really too heartbreaking, I don't think I'd like to share it.

Okay now I'm all melancholy. Sigh. 
Let's move on shall we to the rest of the animal kingdom in Ueno Zoo

The flamingos are absolutely lovely! Okay I confess. One of the main contributing reasons for this visit to Ueno Zoo is due to the fact that Hana Yori Dango was shot here. You know, that scene where Makino and Domyouji came here for their double date! I knew I had to come here because the great Matsumoto Jun once lived and breathed here hahaha this zoo really is old though. Everything's so classic it's almost a step back in time. At one point, we had to take a monorail to the west side of the zoo. Just look at the little monorail station, so quiet and quaint! It is actually the first monorail in the country, having started ferrying visitors between the east and west side of Ueno Zoo back in 1958. A one-way fare costs ¥150, approximately RM4. 

Take all my money please, I need some air con and shade from the unforgiving summer sun! (。◔‸◔。) 

The Shinobazu Pond. I'd assume this to be the Lotus Pond. 
There are the Boat Pond and the Cormorant Pond of the Shinobazu Ponds but I didn't go any further.

Beautiful isn't it? Imagine all the blooming lotuses!