Course Recommender

Calvin How Wai Kien

Picture Perfect
Gaining plenty of work experience stands accounting student in good stead.
“I want to be able to tell potential employers that I am a ‘solution’, not a ‘problem’. Whatever that needs doing, whether its sales, marketing or making a client feel comfortable, I will be able to do a good job,” proclaims Calvin How Wai Kien, a final year student in Nilai University’s BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance programme. This is no empty bluster of an over confident youngster but a claim that is backed up by plenty of hard toil in a variety of jobs.  He has taken on various odd jobs including a back-breaking stint as a banquet service attendant at Nilai University’s sister company, Nilai Springs Resort Hotel.  “Although it was extremely hard work, I learned many valuable lessons. In the service industry, it is hugely important the guests are happy and even a lowly banquet service worker has a role to play by simply listening carefully to guests requests and trying my best to fulfil them,” explains Calvin.
However, Calvin’s ‘eureka’  moment came when he snagged the job of photographer documenting the hotel’s many events which included regular wedding banquets and team building exercises. Having long been interested in photography, Calvin decided to start his photography outfit. “With digital cameras being affordable these days, there is plenty of competition. What I decided to do was to enrol in professional photography courses to learn from the best. I also decided to specialise in portraiture and to enter as many competitions as possible to build an impressive portfolio with a view of impressing corporate clients,” he says. The strategy seems to be paying off as he has won numerous competitions, the latest being the Bi-weekly Canon Young Photographer Award (Blue Category). His fledgling company (Calvin Pixels Photography) has also grown by leaps and bounds as it counts a number of banks and premier insurance companies among its regular clientele. It is no longer a solo outfit as he also has six “colleagues” working with him. “By providing quality over quantity, we have managed to impress our clients and convinced them it is worth paying a premium for our services,” says the driven 21-year-old who hails from Nilai.
Having an operational photography outfit does not seem to have impacted on his studies. Calvin still has his sights on an honours accounting and finance degree which he hopes will take him into a career in taxation. “I plan to do ACCA qualification after graduating and also to do some courses specialising on taxation,” he says, pointing out that he is pleased that Nilai U’s accounting and finance degree graduates are entitled up to eight exemptions from Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA). “My passion is photography and I will continue to do it even if I don’t make any money from it. Having a degree and a clear career plan will help me pay the bills,” Calvin surmises. “I also hope that potential employers see the value of having someone who has loads of work experience and also a business with plenty of satisfied clients. I am slowly building a portfolio of reference letters and recommendations from important clients which will show employers that I know how to make a customer happy.”
Driven and ambitious, Calvin says he was a quiet and reserved lad when he first joined Nilai U’s Foundation in Business programme. However, after getting to know his course mates and slowly breaking out of his shell via clubs like the Toastmasters, he realised that he needed to take charge of his future. “I do not want to be like everyone else. I want to learn as much as possible before entering the working world and I also want to be among the best in photography. I made a conscious decision to be more energetic and outspoken in class and also to be more sociable. I have the privilege of higher education and I want to make the most of it,” he proclaims.
Nilai U was established in 1997 and is rated Setara 5/Excellent by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency. For more information on Nilai U programmes, please look through our website or call 06-8502308 / 07-2262336.
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