It is evident that Malaysia’s brain drain pressing issue has not improved, and public sentiment display signs that the problem could have augmented. While various initiatives have been made to resolve this problem, little effort has been made to address the disconnect between young professionals and the support they require to empower them in making informed decisions regarding their career. Stepping into the working world after studies will be one of the most daunting tasks a young graduate may encounter. However, setting foot and soaring in a Fortune 500 company does not need to be a dream, if one’s pathway has been paved right with The Steps.
How The Steps work
The Steps is online career mentoring platform that connects students and young professionals to professional mentors in achieving career goals. Their mentors come from various industries such as consulting, finance, engineering, legal and start-ups. Their student mentees span from local universities to the UK, US, Singapore and Hong Kong. The Steps aim to increase their reach of mentors and mentees so that they can cater to the needs of the community through 1-on-1 sessions, group training and online learning.
Their targeted audiences are ambitious, goal-oriented students and young professionals aged 18-30 years old. They sign up for a 30min career coaching session to ask his/her list of questions regarding their careers. The Steps categorise the contents of the conversation to the following: career path development, industry knowledge or mock interview. The Steps filter through the applications that they receive and match them with the most relevant mentor. The Steps service facilitates the conversation for students and young professionals with an advisor that is relevant to the field they are interested in and gives them the opportunity for career progression.
The Steps launch event in KL (Jan 2016) – Christine Yoong (Co-founder) with guests from Grab, LinkedIn and BCG
Paving The Steps
The company was founded in May 2015, when the co-founders at Harvard Business School started to work on an idea which they felt would solve an important problem in Malaysia – the knowledge gap. Malaysians are diligent, quick to learn and have great potential, but a lack of information transparency can hinder the developments of our young generation when it comes to career building. They started to build the website in May 2015 and tested the idea with the market, by sending out surveys and having beta testers use their service. They organized an event in August 2015 for students who were interested in UK scholarships, and their audience of A-level students were very enthusiastic about the truthful advice that they were receiving from our panel of speakers – Shell, Sime Darby, JPA and Maxis scholars.
Their founding team – Christine and Kimberly – have known each other for 8 years through their time in HELP A-levels and UK undergraduate years. They have gone through the career search process as university students and sought out premier institutions to embark their career. With their experience, they felt the need to expose young fellow Malaysians to a mentoring service that can further improve the human capital development in our country.
Co-founder Kimberly and guests from INTI and Google
The Brains Behind The Steps
The co-founders are Christine Yoong and Kimberly Xavier, who have known each other since they were in pre-university at HELP. Christine is an MBA student at Harvard Business School, who has worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs London and Los Angeles prior to business school. Kimberly, is a management consultant with Ernst & Young and has a wealth of experience in business consulting and financial services. Their interns Kelly Chong (Taylor’s University), Sharon Yip (Sunway University), Raja Sofia (Sunway University) and Ashreyna Kaur (Taylor’s University) come from diverse backgrounds of education ranging from Accounting and Finance, Business and Communications. Together, they are a high dose of ambition, perseverance and dedication!
The Steps team in KL
Taking The Steps With A Purpose
Their vision is to empower the careers of the young in Malaysia and Singapore, to achieve economic development through a highly valuable human capital base. With that, the goal is to bridge the gap between those entering the workforce as well as those looking to excel, with the experienced professional community. The significant difference is that their services are completely online-based and therefore, making it highly reachable to anyone and everyone. Also, their impressive pool of selectively hand-picked advisors that come from a wide range of different fields of employment that cater to all.
It is pivotal to educate our market about the value of having mentors in their journey – be it during your university years or during your professional life. “Finding a mentor can be very difficult – you need to know what you are looking for in terms of knowledge and experience that are relevant to you, seeking out people with that background and approaching them. We aim to bridge the gap by showing our community the possible topics and angles that they can approach mentors on our platform. Our role is in facilitating that process – finding mentors and matching them.”, The Steps tells TallyPress.
Their target is to be destination that ambitious young professionals and students come to when they are working through their career journey. Job mobility has been increasing in our generation and it is of utmost importance to be ready for your next job by being proactive in industry research and networking. The Steps will continue to evolve by offering more structured offerings (skills training, networking sessions, alumni network) and expanding our partners to include top employers of the country.
Full house at The Steps Launch Party.
I believe that life is too precious to be waiting for good things to happen to us. As someone who came from humble beginnings, my family has always instilled the value of hard work, courage and persistence in achieving our goals. Too many times we wait for us to be 100% ready before we make the plunge – be it applying for a scholarship, interviewing for a job, asking somebody out – that we miss out on those opportunities where we let fear control the decision. I’m a go-getter and want to see as many people around me reach for their dreams!
— The Steps