- Monsta is a network for students to access real-world opportunities through experiential learning compared to traditional methods.
- Monsta was founded in 2016 by 27-year-old Chan Zhi Ee, who has 8 years of experience working in the youth and event industry with over 100 universities and colleges across Southeast Asia.
- Monsta will be having the MonStar Awards 2018 which recognises student Key Opinion Leaders from universities across Malaysia.
A problem many fresh graduates face during job hunting is finding a job that states you need X amount of years of experience in a particular field. First off, how do they expect fresh graduates who just finished school to have any experience at all?
The only experience will probably be their internships, but honestly many internships are spent doing something not in your field or worse—brewing coffee, printing materials or running errands for your superiors. Students hardly enjoy their internships, as they feel misplaced (I know I didn’t enjoy mine).
However, there’s a network called Monsta that wants to solve this problem by helping Malaysian students to get real-world experience by working with their key industry partners.
A University Of Experience
When I first heard of Monsta I thought it was something out of Pixar’s hit movie, “Monsters, Inc.” However, after speaking to the 27 year-old founder, Chan Zhi Ee, I realised that Monsta is more than just a typical job placement platform.
She said, “We are the first network for students to access real-world opportunities through experiential learning.”
It all began in 2016; the business was started to help students with their internship placements because they realised that the majority of students were lost, uncertain, and fearful about their future paths. Unfortunately, one big problem they faced was with mismatching between both the students and the companies.
Therefore, Zhi Ee and her team decided to improve the business model to be student specialists who expose young talents to real-world opportunities through fun and engaging ways.
She explained, “As we go about this improved business model, we are committed to solve 5 core problems that students face with stepping into the working industry: increase employability, increase qualifications, building up reputation, bridging expectation for both companies and students, and finally, reduce mismatching.”
The Monsta team went on the field to study the trends and preferences of students and found that 60% of the respondents prefer engagement through practical learning while 80% of them are looking for opportunities for personal growth and future career direction.
From the research results, they had their eureka moment as they realised that short term job placements like internships are not going to solve mismatching and employment issues, but education and engagement with the real-world can.
Therefore, Monsta, also self-named the University of Experience, was established to design “Schools” for companies to transform the traditional way of learning.
How Monsta Works
Zhi Ee found that engaging students through internships took up too much time as they could only reach out to a limited number of talents.
Thus Monsta uses the 4C strategy (competition, campaign, challenge, community) projects to engage with relevant student talents. Through this strategy, companies can create a “honeypot” to attract the right pool of talents.
She gave an example of how they attract creative art students by designing “Art Competitions” where participants can get rewards and potential offer letters or recommendation endorsement from Monsta’s industry partners.
She explained, “Eventually we could evaluate and assess potential talents through these practical projects in a fun and productive way.”
Thanks to Monsta’s close relationship with students and industry players, they have come up with the MonStar Awards 2018, the first award to recognise 100 student Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) across Malaysia. Monsta defines these KOLs as individuals who go beyond just academic excellence to pursue their passions.
“Alongside our mission to provide real-world opportunities to young talents, we believe that, MonStar Awards 2018 is the platform for students across Malaysia to realise that their potential is limitless,” she added.
The MonStar Awards also provides a platform for students to network with Monsta partners such as Lazada, Photobook, Nando’s, Tealive, Mamee and many more.
Monsta received over 100 submissions from 33 campuses across Malaysia and the top 50 will be evaluated by their experienced panel of judges: Bryan Loo, Amber Chia, Zikry Kholil, John-Son Oei and Desmond Ngai.
The KOLs will be evaluated based on certain criteria such as creativity of a video recording and authenticity of the student key opinion leader (which includes his or her uniqueness and talk-ability).
The MonStar Awards will be happening on the 24th of November 2018 at MaGIC Cyberjaya. Zhi Ee stated that they are expecting 300 attendees from various backgrounds, consisting of student KOLs, companies, campus partners, and university students at the event.
“It will be an unforgettable night for everyone because there will be a mocktail networking opportunity for everyone who attends, a scrumptious buffet dinner, recognition to all nominees, announcement of Top 10 KOLs and not to forget the performance and juice mocktail after-party for more networking,” Zhi Ee explained.
A Journey Of Learning Not Only For Students But Herself
As the business is relatively new, Zhi Ee said she had a tough time seeking clarity and managing people during these two years.
“In this past two years of running Monsta, I have learnt that clarity is power. Hence, I am always learning to communicate my message out clearly. At the same time, with my interest in consistent learning and development, I am never afraid to receive feedback and criticism from our team or customers to improve Monsta, so we can be more relevant in the market,” said Zhi Ee.
Her best accomplishment in Monsta is that she gets to witness the growth of students who participated in past programmes. She brought up the example of Kimberly Lai from Sunway University who graduated from the “School of Nandos” where she helped launch the digital marketing campaign.
Kimberly told Zhi Ee, “I was able to learn a lot about how content differs depending on one’s purpose and target audience, as well as how to best create content that would increase engagement and interest. At the end of both the experiences, I managed to be able to put out content that was appropriate enough for a professional setting and would engage with the correct markets, while also staying true to myself and my style of caption writing, image capturing and live-streaming/updating.”
With over 500+ students who joined their programmes in the past, Zhi Ee is very proud of the opportunities that Monsta provides to students.
“We have more than 500+ who joined our past programs, and a few of them gotten themselves in good companies, working in the field they are passionate. Some of them are even pursuing their company to cooperate with Monsta to provide students more access to opportunities.”
- If you would like to register for the MonStar Awards 2018 on the 24th of November 2018 at MaGIC Cyberjaya or find out more about it, you can click here.
- If you would like to keep up to date with Monsta, you can check out their social media here and website here.
Feature Image Credit: Monsta