Good English an advantage

Wednesday June 27, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/6/27/focus/11527642&sec=focus

ENGLISH FOR MORE OPPORTUNITIES
By KANG SOON CHEN

educate@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: PwC Malaysia, which was named as the top graduate employer last year, has adopted a stringent interview process which involves a written English test for its candidates as well as case studies or technical tests for more senior positions.

It will be tough for graduates to get through the interview process if their English is poor, said PwC Malaysia partner and assurance leader designate Pauline Ho.

With English being the language of commerce, she said a good grasp of the language would give employees an advantage to move up the corporate ladder at multinational corporations (MNCs).

“The ability to express your thoughts and ideas will further your career, no matter the industry you are in.

“An organisation like ours which has a presence in many places around the world offers secondment opportunities for employees. Naturally, they will need a strong command of English to qualify for any secondment,” said Ho.

Motorola Solutions Malaysia research and development head Dr Hari Narayanan said the day-to-day operations in an MNC requires employees to present, conduct reviews and communicate via e-mails in English.

“An employee who is not proficient in English will encounter various communications challenges at work. This can be a serious professional impediment, regardless of technical knowledge in their professional field,” he said.

Deloitte Malaysia country managing partner Tan Theng Hooi said graduates need

good English to thrive in the business environment.

“In our experience, a good command of English coupled with strong skill sets are two important criteria that help employees to advance their careers,” said Tan.

Despite only picking up English in university, Ernst & Young quality and risk management analyst Diong Hoe Sing is not intimidated by the English-speaking environment at his workplace.

“I feel confident when I have presentations in English,” said Diong, 29.

He said that he learnt English by memorising words and phrases from the dictionary.

Sean Cheang Shian Yee, 27, enjoys a high-flying career as a South-East Asia regional marketing executive with Jotun Paints Malaysia.

He travels regularly to Norway, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Myanmar to conduct marketing presentations and research.

“English serves as a bridge for me to reach my customers, understand their expectations and deliver the right message to them.”