CEOs from FINCO’s Board of Directors recently took on the role of virtual volunteers in primary and secondary schools across Malaysia. To kick start its CEO Volunteering Month, the Financial Industry Collective Outreach (FINCO), a collaboration between all financial institutions in Malaysia with the guidance of Bank Negara Malaysia, invited members of its’ Board to lead talks and activities which aimed to inspire primary and secondary school students to strive to achieve their full potential in life.
Financial industry volunteers are a core element of FINCO’s flagship FINCO Reads and FINCO Mentor programmes and, despite restrictions on in-person volunteering in schools, FINCO’s first CEO Volunteering Month went ahead as planned with over 120 students dialling in to ask questions and get advice from seasoned leaders from Maybank, Standard Chartered Bank, Prudential Assurance, AIG Insurance, RHB Islamic Bank and Maybank Investment Bank.
Mr. Antony Lee, CEO of AIG Malaysia Insurance joined a FINCO Mentor Life Aspiration Workshop where students from SMK Sg. Paoh, Sarawak were eager to ask questions and gain insights into what it takes to achieve personal and professional success. Mr. Lee advised students, “Be open to change. The world is full of opportunities. Sometimes you need to take a step backwards to move 2 steps forwards.” Whereas students dialling in from Kelantan, Sabah and Selangor posed more personal questions to Mr. Abrar Anwar, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, asking him, “How do you handle people who look down on you?”
Tan Sri Azman Hashim, Chairman of FINCO’s Board of Directors said, “The financial industry shares a similar belief that education is crucial to enhancing the lives and livelihoods of youths from B40 communities. Over the past three years, financial institutions have encouraged hundreds of staff members to volunteer for FINCO programmes in schools across the country. I’m pleased that our Board members were able to connect with students and provide advice and the encouragement to be resilient and persevere with their studies, particularly during these long school closures”.
Since FINCO’s Life Aspiration Workshops are designed to encourage students to explore their personal values and life and career goals, each FINCO Mentor CEO volunteering session was very much driven by students’ own questions and interests. Key takeaways from sessions with Mr. Gan Leong Hin, CEO of Prudential Assurance and Dato’ Adissadikin Ali, CEO of RHB Islamic Bank, varied from, ‘have self-confidence’, ‘have self-discipline’ to ‘follow your passion and be happy’.
15-year-old Nabil from SMK Sungai Ara, Penang reflected on a session with Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, Group CEO of Maybank, “I did not know that he was from a small town and not from a big city. It means it is possible for me to be successful too”.
Volunteering for FINCO Reads, an English proficiency initiative, Encik Fad’l Mohamed, CEO of Maybank Investment Bank, led a Show and Tell on favourite books. Sharing his personal takeaways from his favourite book, A Driver’s Son by Tan Sri Abdul Kadir, students were encouraged to be disciplined and never give up.
After joining the session Haleisya from SK Sungai Danga, Johor told us, “I felt so nervous in the beginning but now that it is over, I can’t believe that I spoke to a CEO and learnt so much!”