Hello People

"No matter how hard life is, just think positive and you will succeed!" -Aliakamal-

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Second Semester in USM: A Summary

I am a person who really value memories.  And documenting memories is the best thing one could do to avoid from losing them.  Knowing me who keeps on forgetting and losing things, it is best that I write it here.  Of course, I am writing only nice wonderful memories that I would like to read again when I'm an old lady with 54 grandchildren ;)

Since I have too many stories to be documented (haha..), let me start with this first.  This is, dear readers, the story of a part of my life - the simple life of being a student.

So I started the semester with a hiking trip to Pantai Kerachut with my fellow MBA lecturers and friends  (click here to read the complete story).  I took 5 subjects in my first semester and another 5 in my second semester.  Which leave me with another 4 subjects to complete before I could attain my MBA.  As an MBA Sustainable Development student, below are the subjects that I have taken/will be taking to complete the whole programme.  You can actually choose which subjects you want to take in which semester, however, it is best to complete your specialised subjects as soon as possible to avoid any complications (graduating late especially) as these subjects will not be offered every semester.

Semester 1

Semester 2
MANAGERIAL ETHICS - specialisation
Remaining subjects 
another elective yet to be decided - elective

I am actually very worried about my remaining subjects, but let's discuss my concern in another episode. lol.

My second semester actually started on 18 February 2013 and ended on 19 June, the last day of my final exam, GSCM.  To sum, second semester was not as stressful as my first semester.  Just like what my senior, An Gee, told me when I came to her with my worries, "things will get much better as you go on.  semester pertama memang macamni".  True enough, I learnt a lot from my first semester and in my second semester I manage my time and assignments, hmm not excellently of course..  But Alhamdulillah I think I manage to do my best for everything that I have to do in the semester.     

Semester 2 consists of many subjects with theories and among all subjects, I really enjoy natural resources and ethics subjects.  Natural resource subject actually combines sustainable resource allocation with economic theory which is quite challenging but very interesting at the same time.  I wish we had more time to truly understand how all the theories could be applied in current business operations.  And for ethics, I simply love the Professor which makes me happy in his every class.. hehe.. For our final project for ethics, we actually wrote about ethical food handling in Subaidah, the most memorable assignment ever for the semester. lol

In this sem too, I received one of the best news in my life.  I am accepted to the One More Step Program, a program under Erasmus Mundus which would bring me to a foreign country as an exchange student.  I am really looking forward to this adventure which would happen very soon, next month!  Hopefully everything would turn out fine. Amin..

The confirmation, thank you Allah :)
In the middle end of the semester, my family and I went to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh  for a family vacation which was a great fun too.  More stories on this when I feel happy enough to do storytelling ;)

And finally, when the final is just around the corner, we arranged for group study :) I have never done this since SPM, but the confusing contents of several subjects and time constraint leave us no choice but to study in group.  I must say that studying together helped me tremendously, like really really helpful.  I am indebted and very thankful to every single person who have taught me beneficial knowledge throughout these two semesters.  I really appreciate your kindness :)

Cikgu Fairuz
Students beliau yang suka tangkap gambar :D
Notes to share
Waiting for 31st July I felt very nervous, but the best I could do now is pray for the best.  May we all get good result. aminn.

Below are more exclusive pictures of my MBA life (besides sitting in class, listening to 3 hour lectures daily) and my life important events too.  Enjoy :D
Jamuan kelas - Dominos Yumm!

Picnic at our secret beach

Barbeque in the morning yo!

Accidental hindustan style picnic after visiting pasar malam

My favourite sisters
Post exam durian and lunch treat :D
A note too cute to not stare at <3>

Belajar sama-sama, pandai sama-sama ;)

A ministore inside the lounge that kept me busy
When hurricane attacks MBA Lounge

Escape to Hat Yai, post final exam

Late lunch treat

GSB Club meeting

kesayangan saya kuasa tiga <3>

Meet my supervisor and other siblings :)

Vietnam :D

Pretty cake for our pretty Dr E :)

Jamuan kelas lagi

Makan banyak hati riang. lol

Final presentation: GSCM

Senior's Viva Voce

Teammates <3>

Syahmi, Farah and Tikah came for a visit. yeay!
Holiday with beloved opah and tok <3>
Kak Ana's wedding - coursemate in UiTM

Abg Khalif's Nikah Day
Kenduri Day

thanks for reading! :)

Ada Apa Dengan MBA?

Salam Ramadan everyone!
It has been 14 days now that we are fasting and I am sure most of you are already able to adapt well to our new eating schedule.

This post is dedicated to those who wish to know more about MBA in USM.

Being a girl with a curious mind, I have experienced being a corporate communication executive serving a big listed company before I switched to a very small construction company operating various businesses.  The experience that I had in both companies was very different but very meaningful and valuable in many ways.   I started working at the age of 21, and working life to me, is just like entering a new university called University of Money Making: where money matters above everything else.

Along the working life I then realise that, I need to be a stronger person if I were to lead projects.  I need to develop a stronger personality and speak convincingly if I were to influenced my superiors and subordinates.

So I give myself another chance to learn.  I am currently a full time student in Universiti Sains Malaysia pursuing my master's degree in business admin or a more glamorous name to it, I'm pursuing MBA now.  (Thanks to MARA and my parents I don't have to worry about funding)

So what is so interesting about MBA? Why don't I pursue a course that is more relevant to my degree - applied language studies?  (Actually MBA is quite relevant to my degree, I have a minor in business too.  )

The main reason that leads me to this course is, I see this course as a tool that would bring me towards broader opportunities.  It is true that experience is very important before you could be trusted to handle a particular task, but I believe, paper qualification is equally important.  Especially if you wish to venture into reputable companies, or even the government.  Of course, how you carry yourself, your communication skills, critical thinking skills and other soft skills carry a huge weightage too.

Given a chance, I would love to work in a moving environment.  Where I would do new things everyday, meet different people daily, gain new experience and knowledge continuously --and I could see this in business management, more than other fields.

Just like any other schools offering MBA, the students of Graduate School of Business (GSB) in USM come from various backgrounds, some are HR managers, engineers, architects, teachers, auditors, PTD, even nurse and policeman.  Being in the same class with them is actually a great honour to someone like me who could really learn a lot from these experienced people.

In USM, the university offer general MBA and also several other MBA with specialisation and my specialisation is Sustainable Development, we call it MBA SD.  I love my course so much and I love all my MBA friends a lot.

To my future juniors, I hope you would learn as much as we do, be as tough as us in facing challenges and please, don't forget to have fun along the journey ;)

If you wish to ask more about MBA at USM, feel free to email me at aliakamal69@gmail.com

P/s: My journey in USM has been quite colourful so far.  There were many moments where life gets hectic with piling assignments, research reports and quizzes.  And USM is quite tough I should say, with high requirements.  But trust me, YOU CAN DO IT! :D

thanks for reading! :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Feelings For You

I love poem so much.  Playing with words to express feelings is one of the arts that I value highly since I was very little :) I am always easily impressed by people who could write meaningful description effortlessly.

During my kindergarten/primary school years, I used to would write mama a letter whenever I got scolded by her, or feeling very sad for a reason or another.  Of course, I poured my heart content in the letter. hehe..  

Also, I am always looking forward to my parents' birthday, so that I could communicate my love and appreciation to them without feeling awkward.

So, just now, I found a very interesting poem and I think it would be a good one to share.  I edited the poem a bit.. just for fun. Happy reading :)
Feelings For You

Sometimes I wonder how I feel about you,
Scared of these feelings because it’s still new
I catch myself thinking of the best way to share,
Hoping you’ll return my confession showing you care
And then I catch myself again… and drag my thoughts back to reality
I am back at square one, does this just happen to me?

Poems are so stupid I swear I would never do this
But this is YOU, and you aren’t like anyone I have met
How much longer do I have to write, can I tell you yet?

Sitting in the same noisy place
I only could listen to your calming voice,
Anxious of my own feelings, gazillions of thoughts appear
Are you the one for me? I wonder

Hear what I am about to say to you, feel it from my heart, see it in my face
Hear it in my words and tone when we converse
I think I like you! So much more than I ever thought I could

 If only you know.

    Edited from source: Feelings For You, Falling in Love Poem http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/feelings-for-you#ixzz2RTNTUoCi 

    thanks for reading! :)

    Teenage heart

    I am still a teenage right?


    Assalamualaikum everyone.  Just a quick short post from me who terribly fail to sleep tonight and lost 6 lives already playing candy crush on facebook last 1 and a half hour.

    Oh no, is this alia? How did she get involved with fb game? Ok, you may ask miss ming fang this question.  One fine day before maghrib, a day before natural resource test, she gave her advance handphone to me persuading me to play that game.  and of course, an easy to be influenced person like me has fallen in love with this game.  As stated by ming fang (2013) "Org tu develop game susah2 kenapa kita xmau main?" Lol ming fang, a very good reasoning which has become my strong reason too :)

    Alright, enough about the game.

    Oh, and it's raining outside which kak fadz said in fb due to her effort in singing froggy song "yeaayyy hujan.. berjaya jugak hasil aku menyanyi lagu kodok ngorok tadi... hehe"

    And before i went upstairs to sleep (eh, playing candy crush), i spent quality time with opah watching 'kilauan suara emas polident'. huhu.. i hope this compensate for living opah alone today for the whole day.  and my plan tomorrow is to accompany my 2 grandmas doing whatever they plan to do as I've been very busy last 7 days and cant even have a proper meal with them.  and i promise myself to spend at least 5 day hour to do my homework (dengar tu alia, dah janji k).

    The main topic: Teenage heart
    I have received a very happy news recently and upon knowing my acceptance, i felt like climbing the coconut tree. haha.. For the whole semester (next sem) I'll be going for an exchange program in Poland under erasmus mundus.  I will make a post on this later..mm don't know when yet.

    But, after 2 days, i was back to the normal me because, of course, being a student, you'll never be able to get rid of, above EVERYthing, the worry of not finishing your piling paperwork yet, in addition to preparation for in class presentations and testsss.  And now it's past 3 weeks already since I received the news, thus I do feel very normal.  No more over excited face coming to class, answering whatever comes first in her mind to every lecturer's question. lol

    Of my teenage heart, i start to wonder, what would it feel like to be far away from my comfort zone.  Far away from the grasp of my parents and their immediate consultation whenever i need them, far away from opah and tok timah comforting advise and delicious cooking, and far away from my supportive fun friends.

    Mixing with people of different upbringing, exposure and beliefs and perhaps may have conflicting views on me.. Would my Imaan be strong enough?

    I'm reflecting myself, trying my best to improve and strengthen my Imaan, attitude, personality and everything.  More than materialistic preparation, I've to prepare mentally.

    I want to be someone that my parents could let go with confidence, trust and peace of mind when September comes.

    One thing for sure, I shall miss EVERYone that I know in Malaysia really really badly.  Thank god, it'll only be 6 months.
    oh, i guess this post is not short after all. haha..
    thanks for reading! :)

    p/s: I'm currently managing a small business for GSB Club and it's so much fun :)

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Wordless Wednesday

    My love, my heart, my soul, my dearest abah & mama

    thanks for reading! :)

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    Post-Capitalist Ecological Economy OR Ecological Socialist Economic Democracy

    To share something academic on my blog is something that I have always wanted to do.  

    So, I'm doing it now :)

    This complicated topic was actually assigned to us by Dr Ellisha Nasruddin for our group project for Sustainability Concept and Issues (SCI) course.  Pursuing Master of Business Administration with a focus on Sustainable Development, SCI is one of our specialization courses.  Although SCI is undoubtedly a tough course, I love it so much as it has brought me to explore on exciting issues that I have never thought of concerning us, the economy and most importantly, the environment we are living in.  

    Actually, post-capitalist ecological economy or also known as ecological socialist economic democracy is an economic system proposed by the transformist environmental lovers to replace current economic system.  Capitalism in current economy is viewed as a threat to the environment sustainability.  The world should therefore be prepared to embrace on this new green economic system.. ‘a practical, workable post capitalist ecological economy, an economy by the people, for the people, that is geared to production for need, not for profit’.   

    Interested to learn more about this new economic system? Do enjoy reading below explanation that I have taken from the group termpaper submitted at the end of last semester entitle: 


    What is Capitalist Economy?
    Today, the world largely operates under a global economic system based on the capitalist mode of production (Conklin, 1991).  Being the most efficient and profitable economy, production in capitalist economy is carried out to maximize corporations’ profit.  In capitalist economy, decisions regarding investment and the use of the means of production are determined by competing business owners in the marketplace.  Therefore, production takes place within the process of capital accumulation.  Being a strong supporter of socialism, Karl Marx, has heavily critiqued capitalism as “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie” with the belief that this economy is run by the wealthy class purely for their own benefit (Peavler, 2012).  


    Why is Capitalist Economy a Threat to Ecological Sustainability?
     In his study, Smith (2010) argues that irresistible and relentless pressures for growth are needed for day-to-day requirements of capitalist reproduction in a competitive market.  Growth is an iron law of capitalist development and it can only exist with constant revolutionizing of productive forces, with constantly expanding markets, and with ever-growing consumption of resources.  In ensuring ecological sustainability, socialism and eco-socialists generally believe that capitalist economy system is irrelevant due to its bad impacts.  

    Capitalist economy violates the law of sustainability in which it enriches the economy and a small part of the society (the wealthy group) while deteriorating the environment and bottom billion’s wellbeing.  Besides, capitalist is the cause of social exclusion, inequality (Kovel & Lowy, 2001). 


    Thus, Herman Daly proposed for a steady state economy in order to replace current system.  A steady state capitalist economy is an economy of relatively stable size. It features stable population and stable consumption that remain at or below carrying capacity.  However, Smith (2010) argues that steady state economy is based on weak assumption, as it assumes that growth is optional rather than built-into capitalism.  He concludes that capitalist growth cannot be stopped, or even slowed and market-driven growth is driving us towards collapse.  Therefore, ecological economist should abandon the fantasy of a steady-state capitalism and work on post-capitalist economic democracy. 

    What is Ecosystem Resilience All About?
    The amazing characteristic of ecosystem is it has the natural ability to recover or return to its original stage after being disturbed.  However, due to human activities, most of them involving extensive natural resources usage and environmental pollution to serve the capitalist needs of production, this ability have declined globally in the last half century (Chapin, 2009).  Chapin (2009) has also reviewed that in the collapse of many advanced human societies, including Babylon, the Roman Empire, and the Mayan Civilization was contributed by environmental degradation.  Therefore, it is of vital importance that human play their role in ecosystem management starting by establishing resilience-based ecosystem stewardship.  Nevertheless, by considering ecosystem interest in the heart of every activity, capitalist economy may not be able to function at its best.     

    Is Socialist Economy Good?
    Socialist economy is defined as an economic system based on state an economic system based on state ownership of capital.  It is a system in which the means of production, such as money and other form of capital, are owned by the state or public (Peavler, 2012).  Everyone works for wealth that will be distributed to everyone under socialist system which is contradicting with capitalist system.  Also, in socialist economy, the government will decide how wealth would be distributed among the people.  Socialist oriented economy focuses more on qualitative development instead of quantitative development.          
    Karl Marx, a strong supporter of socialism, argued that society would be governed by the working class or workers’ democracy.  Eventually, socialism would be replaced by stateless, classless society called communism.  However, socialism as an ideology or as a political concept has been in declined for a number of years and it is now replaced with liberal ‘democracy’ and market economics (Sarkar, 2000).

    Achieving Ecological Socialist Economic Democracy and Its Issues
    Sarkar (2000) in his book argues that the socialist project is not dead but to flourish, it must be incorporated with the lessons of ecology.  The incorporation would be able to offer a fresh, exciting and relevant vision of an ecologically sustainable and socially just way of living.  Sarkar’s view was also supported by Smith (2010) which stated that the best way to run the economy and maintaining ecological sustainability is by having ‘a practical, workable post capitalist ecological economy, an economy by the people, for the people, that is geared to production for need, not for profit’.  

    Smith (2010) also suggested that in order to achieve eco-socialist economic democracy there are at least seven issues that have to be discussed and considered.  The first issue is to find way to put the brakes on out-of-control growth, even if it involves drastically retrenching or shutting down relevant organisations.  The second issue is to have radical production restructuring to enforce sharp limits on the production and to physically ration the use and consumption of all sorts of natural resources.  The third issue is to sharply increase investments in things that society really need, like renewable energy, organic farming, health, quality schools for our children, and many other currently underfunded social and environmental needs.

    Forth issue is discard production that is geared to mindless consumerism and needless repetitive consumption and the industries that support them. Too many choices and too short a lifespan for products have socially and environmentally unbearable costs.  The fifth issue is invent a rational approach to waste which means to minimize all waste, forbid the disposal of toxics of any sort, eliminate most if not all single-use products and enforce mandatory and systematic reuse of containers and packaging. Lastly, Smith if we have to shut down polluting or wasteful industries then society is going to have to provide equivalent jobs because if we do not, more problems will emerge.

    The biggest concern about implementing this new macro-economic model is to destroy the freedom that society currently has through capitalist economic model, to buy and produce as they wish.  The market would also be very limited.  However, planning and executing this new system is imperative as we are now very efficiently liquidating every resource on the planet and if we want to save ourselves and many citizens of the ecology, we have to live without the freedom of capitalist.


    Eco-socialist Efficiency vs. Capitalist Efficiency
    The concept of efficiency in eco-socialist economy is very different from capitalist economy.  There is room for labour and natural resources efficiency in an ecological economy but in capitalist economy, it is the opposite.  Capitalist economy suggests that efficiency in usage of resources means using the saved resources to produce even more commodities.  In capitalist system, efficiency happens when the conversion of even more natural resources into the products is accelerated (Smith, 2010).  Gains in technological efficiency and economies of scale have observed increased overall consumption of natural resources rather than saving them.
    Contradicting with capitalist economy, eco-socialist economy does not really have profit as main goal of production.  Such gains in efficiency could actually save these natural resources for the benefit of society and future generation.  From a social ecological perspective, it would be ridiculously inefficient to waste resources by producing unnecessary products and services.  It would be highly efficient if car and electrical appliances are built to be durable and long lasting and have them in the way that they can be upgraded and improved without having the needs to replace them.  As suggested by Smith (2010), it would be far less costly to society and environment.  However, in the capitalist world that we are living in there would only one business goal, increasing profit.  Thus, corporations would produce at a large scale, sell products at lower prices to more customers and push sales and profit higher (Smith, 2010)          


    In his article, Smith defines post-capitalist economic democracy as a new macro-economic model, a practical workable post capitalist ecological economy, an economy by the people, for the people, that is geared to production for need, not for profit (Smith, 2010)

    On the same note, Sarkar (2000) argues that the Socialist project is not dead but in order to flourish, it must be incorporated with lessons of ecology.  A fresh, exciting, and relevant mission of ecological sustainable and socially just way of living could be achieved through this incorporation.  


    Reformist and Transformist’s Ideal Economy Model for Sustainable Development
    A reformist approach sees the current dominant capitalist model and its supporting political structures, and noting its various forms around the world, as fundamentally sound and well able to deliver the key reformist sustainability goal of continued human development or, more commonly, sustainable development.

    Transformational approach sees the current dominant economic, political and institutional system as the root cause of current unsustainable behavior, and to progress a sustainable world agenda fundamental transformational change to this system is needed (Clifton, 2011). The key features of socio-economic system change suggested by the transformist are:

    1.   Human wellbeing as best progressed through consumptive sufficiency and a focus on wellbeing through life experiences
    2.   Continued consumptive growth as unsustainable and a primary cause of ecological problems and poverty
    3.   Poverty as best resolved through resource allocation not more global-level resource-through-put growth
    4.   Quantitative constraints place on natural resource use and waste discharged into the
    earth’s ecosystem  

    These stated features also consist in eco-socialist economic democracy.  Thus, ecological socialist economic democracy is seen as the best approach in satisfying not only transformists’ but also other eco-socialists’ requirement of an ideal economy.

    Kindly email me (aliakamal69@gmail.com) for more details and full reference list.  Hope you have gained something beneficial by reading our work and please, do not plagiarise! 

    Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something for environmental sustainability.

    thanks for reading! :)
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