Yayasan TNB Scholarship Interview

I flew in from Kuch­ing just yes­ter­day (18th of April). A week before, my dad received a call from the cap­i­tal. Through the phone, and the phone alone, he was pro­vided details of the Yayasan TNB Schol­ar­ship inter­view on 2pm Thurs­day, the 19th of April. Dad was glad I was short­listed but we were puz­zled by that fact that there weren’t any black and white. No noti­fi­ca­tion let­ters, no faxes, no emails, just a phone call.

Nonethe­less, the tick­ets were booked and here I am. That day, my aunt drove me and mum there. The venue was at the Yayasan TNB (YTN) build­ing in UNITEN. It took an effort to find that place, poor sig­nage around Kajang were to blame. A few wrong turns and a few trips to gas sta­tions for direc­tions finally got us there.

The cam­pus was a sight. Espe­cially the Admin­is­tra­tion build­ing which was a large mod­ern com­plex cladded in glass. We had lunch in there, by then it was 1pm. It was also there that I met Faiz, for­mer NS camp mate who also flew in from Kuch­ing. Ain’t the world just small? XD

At 1.30pm, all stuffed and sat­is­fied, but with me more shaky and ner­vous, we made our way to the adja­cent block. YTN had a whole build­ing to them­selves but their office were sit­u­ated on the first floor. My aunt dropped me at the entrance. A few dudes obvi­ously my age in for­mal wear, tie and all, were already mak­ing their way into the building.

A pretty grand recep­tion counter greeted us, behind it was a wall which bore the foun­da­tions’ iden­tity in gold. I reg­is­tered myself on a list, being the 9th can­di­date to arrive. And to my sur­prise, two names above me was Nigel Sim, the year’s top stu­dent of Kuch­ing High! Bum­mer. There was already quite a few for­mal wear dudes sit­ting around, I found a seat between Faiz and Nigel.

At around 1.55pm, a staff announced for all the can­di­dates to move into their office. We were led into a small sem­i­nar room and sat in rows of six. There were about 20 males and 3 females in that room. And the silence was deaf­en­ing. At five min­utes pass two, a female YTN staff walked in and gave us a short brief­ing on the pro­ce­dures of the inter­view. She also gave us sur­pris­ing sta­tis­tics of chances of being selected for the schol­ar­ship at a ratio of only 1:9. Holy smokes! That means in that room of 23 can­di­dates, only 2 or 3 will get the scholarship.

After that, spir­its unde­terred, we were directed into a meet­ing room across the office for some ver­bal tests. We were given 10 min­utes for each test of about 35 to 40 ques­tions, all to be answered on a OMR paper. The first test was Ver­bal Com­pre­hen­sion, asked us ques­tions on Physics and stuff I reckon has to do with engi­neer­ing. Sim­ple exam­ples would be like ‘If hot is to cold so soft is to..? A. warm B. hard C. ten­der..’ and so on. That was of course one of the first ques­tions, and it got very much harder after that. One really has to know those Physics terms in Eng­lish to really score on that.

The sec­ond test was Ver­bal Rea­son­ing. I actu­ally had some fun com­plet­ing this one. A ques­tion would give you a set of three words, two of these three are pairs that are related as syn­onyms or antonyms. The left out word would then be related in one way or another with one of the answers given. Sound­ing almost like a game, one needs to have a vast vocab to score in this, for the last page of words were like mar­t­ian to me. Nonethe­less, I was pretty con­fi­dent I scored in the first two tests.

Next up was a pro­fil­ing test. Two sec­tions that con­sisted of good qual­i­ties and neg­a­tive qual­i­ties required us to check one among four qual­i­ties for every ques­tion. The process is pretty com­pli­cated but after trans­fer­ring the answers onto a result sheet and later onto a graph, we could clearly see how our per­son­al­ity tends to bend to. Of course, by that time, there would not be any more time to grab the eraser and alter the results. If I could remem­ber cor­rectly, my graph slanted more towards the ‘Dom­i­nant’ point, aha! Who­ever dares to chal­lenge me now?! XD

Then we were all back to the sem­i­nar room and one by one, we were called into the Room to be inter­viewed. Me being the 9th on the list, had the priv­i­lege of lis­ten­ing what the pre­vi­ous can­di­dates have to say about the inter­view, tips and all. But it was the wait that kills, with each can­di­date tak­ing 15 mins tops, I have to wait a min­i­mum of 2 hours before it was my turn.

Nonethe­less, it did came. The YTN staff called for my name as I took a deep breath and tried to calm my shak­ing hands. She took my port­fo­lio and guided me into the Room. The panel con­sists of malay and a Cau­casian. A chair was placed against the wall about 3 metres away from their desk. I greeted them in my shaky voice and they told me to have a seat.

An the inter­view begun by ask­ing me to ‘say some­thing about myself’. So I cleared my throat and bab­bled every­thing my absent mind could think of about myself. The Cau­casian lis­tened on with­out a twitch in his move­ments, while the malay guy kept on smiling.

Then they con­tin­ued to ask on ‘Tell us what do you know about TNB’. Ok well, I cer­tainly did my home­work and pre­pared for this par­tic­u­lar ques­tion. So, once again, I bab­bled every­thing accord­ing to what I had rehearsed again and again in the sem­i­nar room. But I was stu­pid. I took less than 2 min­utes pour­ing out every­thing I knew and then there was silence.

The Malay guy seem fas­ci­nated at me, prob­a­bly for how much I’ve pre­pared or maybe how much facts I’ve got wrong, I don’t know. But that wasn’t the fact with the cau­casian. He con­tin­ued to stare at his desk and blurted ‘is THAT all?’ He was not con­tented at all. He con­tin­ued to shoot me with ques­tions, ask­ing ‘What is the mar­ket share price of TNB?’ And THAT caught me com­pletely off guard. I blinked at his wavy blonde hair in dis­be­lief, chok­ing out an ’ I’m n-not sure.

He then con­tin­ued to bom­bard me with ques­tions only a busi­ness ana­lyst with a five-digit salary would know. ‘How much stake does TNB have in SESCO?’ ‘How many power plants does TNB oper­ate?’ The Malay guy stopped smil­ing when I grinded out my third ‘I’m not s-sure about that, either’. That ses­sion ended with me feel­ing all so stupid.

They con­tin­ued to ask me about my plans if I don’t get the inter­view, which was going for form 6. They also asked what other schol­ar­ships had I applied for. And then they told me that was all and the YTN staff returned me my port­fo­lio. I stood up and thanked them.

And then I stepped out and exhaled two tonnes of CO2.

Any­way, I’d take it as a first expe­ri­ence for me and per­haps a les­son — don’t ever blurt out every­thing you know all at once, leave room for ques­tions. I wouldn’t expect to get the schol­ar­ship but the expe­ri­ence was worth it.

That said, I’d still be brac­ing for form 6, the two-year psy­cho­log­i­cal stress programme.

by shenghan in General, Life, School on 23rd April, 2007 at 2pm, Monday, April 23rd, 2007 02:51 pm GMT +8


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  1. Aimi said

    Wow! Such impres­sive expe­ri­enced u had..well i think it may really help me if i man­age 2 be in the short­listed list..but i really didn’t expect that they would asked such question..‘that only the busi­ness ana­lyst with a five-digit salary would know’..but it really wor­ries me now.. even a can­di­date like u which really gud in speak­ing didn’t get it, how about me?? i am really not very gud in speaking..

  2. Lele said

    where can i get the form 4 the schol­ar­ship? do reply A.S.A.P…!! TQ

  3. ida said

    how and when sclar­ship tnb was offer?

  4. ihsan said

    what is the spm min­i­mum achieve­ment required to apply your schol­ar­ship offer?

  5. haseef said

    Thanx for shar­ing your expe­ri­ence! :D Im going for the very same inter­view this fri­day, i hope theyll have mercy on me..lol

  6. abuzae said

    this iw just too good to be true, but never the less where and when does it hold.