Currently in Year 1, Semester 2 in International Business and Marketing, Stephanie Gan joined Taylors during her foundation year. Now, she shares with us her journey as a student in Taylor's, her involvement in clubs and societies, tips on getting around campus (she doesn't drive!) and the different facilities there.
Click the different tabs to navigate through the topics discussed during Stephanie Gan's interview.
Building a Foundation for Degree
[05:50] Danniel: Before I go into your degree, could you tell me a little bit more about your Foundation in Business?
Stephanie: Before choosing Foundation in Business, I actually wanted to pursue something in the architecture field. I was choosing between Foundation in Business and Foundation in Natural and Built Environment. Although I like drawing and creating, I have to admit that I don't have the skills to do it so my final decision was to go for Foundation in Business.
[06:36] Danniel: So far, did you like it? Any regrets that you chose Foundation in Business?
Stephanie: No regrets but if I had another chance to choose again, I would go for Foundation in Natural and Built Environment.
[09:37] Danniel: Now that we've talked about your foundation, let's go a little bit into your degree. How is it so far? Is it still easy since you're only in your first year?
Stephanie: I would say that I can still manage because what I learned in foundation is slightly similar to year 1 of degree so I can still cope with it.
[10:01] Danniel: Would you say your foundation prepared you enough for Year 1?
Stephanie: I tried very hard to get good grades in foundation and I took the knowledge and applied it in degree. I read back all my old notes and new slides that are given by the lecturers in degree Year 1.
[10:24] Danniel: Let's pretend you never took Foundation in Business and went straight into degree. Do you think you would be able to cope or would it be very challenging?
Stephanie: If I had a second chance, I would have taken Foundation in Natural and Built Environment. Why? Because I get to try out the drawing things in the foundation and if I find that, within the year, I'm not really happy about it, I can still transfer my programme and school to business school. What I learn in foundation and Year 1 is something similar and a bit informative. It'd be quite easy to catch up.
Where Friendship Starts
[11:08] Danniel: Since you took foundation and went to degree, did the friends you make in foundation follow you to the same degree? Did you have the same group of friends as your foundation as well?
Stephanie: Yeah. I met old friends from foundation in degree but I also met new friends during the orientation day. We became good friends. I didn't have much friends in foundation. I was quite introverted at that time. In degree, I met new friends and they brought me to the clubs and societies in Taylor's and I get to explore more in Taylor's.
[17:01] Danniel: Your friends from degree, do you foresee them being your lifelong friends?
Stephanie: Yeah! I'm planning to pursue my Year 3 in Australia in QUT (Queensland University of Technology) and some of my friends want to go to the same place as well. Maybe we will group together and go there so you would have friends not far from home. You'd still be able to feel the warmth from each other.
[17:40] Danniel: Could you tell me more? You can spend your 3rd year in another university?
Stephanie: I plan to transfer and try studying overseas. I want to have experience with their culture and meet the people there. On campus, although there are many international students, I only mix with locals. So if I do have the chance to transfer to other countries, I can meet new people there.
[18:43] Danniel: When you go to Australia, are you also doing International Business and Marketing in that university?
Stephanie: I think I can choose between International Business or Marketing but I think I'll choose Marketing because I like Marketing.
[18:58] Danniel: When you finish that final year programme in Australia, do you come back with an Australian certificate or just a Taylor's certificate?
Stephanie: From what my consultant said, if you study in Taylor's for 2 years and 1 year in QUT or UK's UWE (University of West England, Bristol), you'll get 1 Taylor's cert and 1 cert from them.
[20:00] Danniel: Aside from Australia and the UK, are there any other places that we can go to?
Stephanie: I think there are more countries you can go to but I don't think they will give you two certs. Maybe 1 cert from the overseas country, depending on the school you're in.
Working With Coursemates
[20:34] Danniel: I came from the School of Liberal Arts and most of us won't have the same friends throughout the whole 3 years because we don't have the same classes for all 3 years. In my school, we choose our classes and get different classmates every semester. Do you have the same classmates every class?
Stephanie: Not really. For semester 1, I've got these classmates but in semester 2, I got to choose my own timetable. So I purposely choose the same class as my friends. In the 3rd semester, some students from a different course from International Business and Marketing, they may go for other subjects and won't be the same class as me. There may be some people leaving and joining.
[21:32] Danniel: Since you signed up purposely with your friends to have the same class together, how does it feel to have the same classmates for the whole 2 semester? Do you group together for group assignments?
Stephanie: I like having group assignments with my friends because we know each other well and we meet every day. We have our group chat so we can look out for each other progress, whether they're doing their work or not. If you work with strangers, you would have worries if they do their work or not. I think it's good to reach out to strangers and work with them so we meet new people.
[22:12] Danniel: That is true. You do make new friends. How has your experience been working with strangers, people outside your group of friends?
Stephanie: For this semester (semester 2), I have this subject called Marketing and we had a group assignment called 'Fresh Mart' where we had to sell food to Taylorians. We group in fives and the whole class sells one cuisine. We sold Vietnamese food. Five of us had to write a report for the whole process. There were 2 people who were completely new to me and they were my seniors. They took marketing as an elective subject. It was quite good because we communicated well. We kept in touch to keep track of our own progress. We created Google Docs and see their progress if they do work or not.
[11:49] Danniel: What clubs and society did you join?
Stephanie: I joined STAR (Taylor's Ambassadors) and BURSA Young Investor Club.
BURSA Young Investor Club
[12:08] Danniel: Right, you need to have some time to do your assignments and stuff. I have not heard of the BURSA Young Investor Club. What's that?
Stephanie: They teach you and give you knowledge on how to trade and invest. Recently, they had a class called FOREX market. I think it's around 7 weeks and there's a class every week. Each class is RM 5. Pretty cheap and you get the knowledge.
[24:51] Danniel: Earlier you mentioned, one of the clubs you joined is STAR Ambassador. Can you share more about your experience from being part of STAR Ambassador?
Stephanie: I joined STAR Ambassador last semester. The first event I joined was Open Day. If I'm not wrong, it was the June/July Open Day and it was my first time reaching out to parents and prospects so I was quite nervous talking to those people. I also got the role of campus tour so I had to bring the parents and prospects to walk around campus and share my experience in the campus, like where's the library, where's the lab and where are the eating place?
[12:41] Danniel: Earlier you mentioned something about orientation. Could you talk a little bit more about that?
Stephanie: Orientation has three days. The first day they would talk about your course and about the campus. The second day is the Clubs and Societies. In the hall, there'll be a lot of clubs and societies with their own booths. You would have to approach and enquire about the club. If you're interested, then you can join them. On the third day, is the campus hunt but I didn't get to join that time. I heard that it's really fun. You get to explore the campus, where the classrooms, the library, and labs around campus.
[13:44] Danniel: At the end of the campus hunt, there's also the orientation party, right?
Stephanie: Yeah. I think it's the same day. I didn't join that as well. I quite regret. You get to meet a lot of people.
[25:38] Danniel: What's the most difficult part about doing the campus tour?
Stephanie: We lack manpower so after finishing one tour, I don't get to sit down or drink water. I'd have to go for another tour but it's very fun! I see new faces on campus. After they sign up for their courses, I see them on campus and they say hi to me. I can recognise their faces and say hi to them too.
[26:37] Danniel: What's so fun about the campus tour? You said even though you had your difficulties, you still found it fun. Why do you say that?
Stephanie: The challenge is fun! There are people from other states, like Penang and Johor. Their accent is sometimes different and I'd have to guess where they're from. Some parents they can't speak English and only speak Mandarin. I'll explain about the campus in Mandarin. Some parents are so cute. They'd say, "Oh! Very nice ah your library. This lake very nice ah." It's a very good environment in Taylor's. Everything's very chill. I can see many greens (plants) in Taylor's. It's good for your eyes.
Getting Around the Area
[07:29] Danniel: During your semester break, do you go back home or do you live on campus?
Stephanie: Nope. My house is in Selangor and isn't far but I don't know how to drive. I take public transport to Taylor's.
[07:45] Danniel: What's the public transport like from Selangor to here?
Stephanie: I take the MRT and change to LRT. Taylor's provides bus to the campus. So these three. I walk 20 minutes using the bridge every day. From campus, I use the Taylor's bus to Sunway Pyramid.
Danniel: Oh yes! Sunway Pyramid is our nearest mall. So using the Taylor's bus is very convenient to go to a megamall, like Sunway Pyramid, instead of taking a Grab car, right?
Stephanie: Because the Taylor's bus is only RM 1.50. That's very cheap. If you take Grab, it's quite expensive and it saves cost.
[08:44] Danniel: (technical difficulties) Since you [take the Taylor's bus, have you made any new friends aside from the people in university?]
Stephanie: (technical difficulties) [I always see a girl] from my course. I know she's from the same course but I never talked to her before. I see her every day in the bus together with me and I approached and befriended her. In the bus, I saw someone holding a foundation book. I approached her asking, "I have second-hand books that I want to sell. Do you want to buy my books?" It's quite hard to find your juniors. You'll question if this person is from Foundation (of Business) or not. So when I saw these people in the bus doing their notes, I thought "Eh! These are my junior!"
Facilities Around Campus
[15:03] Danniel: After your orientation, how did you navigate through the campus since you didn't go through the campus hunt? Did you randomly go everywhere or follow your friends?
Stephanie: At first, I only went to the library and my classes. These are the only 2 places I went. I didn't know where the White room or the other rooms were. A White room is, if I'm not wrong, for the communication people. It's a totally white room, with white boards and white tables. You can just write down your ideas on the tables or on the walls.
Danniel: Is this only for the school of communication?
Stephanie: I think it's also for journalism. I entered it (the White room) when there was no one there.
[16:30] Danniel: You said you can write everywhere? On the tables and the walls?
Stephanie: Yup! Using erasable marker pens. So if you've any ideas, you can write down so you won't lose the ideas.
(Find out more about campus hunt during orientation under 'Student Lifestyle: Getting Orientated' at 12:41)
[27:57] Danniel: Earlier you mentioned about the White room that you can use. Are there also other things like that, that I'm not familiar with? I know for students who don't have their own computers, it'll be helpful for them if there was a computer lab in Taylor's.
Stephanie: There's two types of computer labs. One with MacBooks. Another is mostly Windows. We also have computers in the library. For the library computers, you can go in at any time but for the MacBooks and Windows in our classroom, you can't go in if there's class, of course. If there's no class, you can use it to do your assignments or research. If you don't have a laptop, you can just do your work in school. It's very convenient. In the library, they close at 6pm or 9pm but you can stay the whole day to do your assignment.
29:14 Danniel: Do students "live" in the library? Do they stay there the whole day?
Stephanie: Yeah. I do that. I can enjoy the air-con and it's very quiet so I can focus there. During my study break for final exams, I would come to campus just to study. At home, it's very noisy so I might as well come to school to study because it's more focus.
29:43 Danniel: If you stay in the library, don't you get hungry? Do you go out of the library and then come back in? But you can't bring food in the library. How do you study when you get hungry?
Stephanie: In our library, there's a cafe called Richiamo. They sell coffee, juice, cakes, and bread but you can only stay at the same area. You can't bring it out. You can get some food there from the cafe or you could go to our commercial block. There's a wide variety there like Chinese food, Indian food, Korean food and Thai food.
Good Eats Around Campus
[30:38] Danniel: Is it expensive to eat at any of these places?
Stephanie: For me, it's not that expensive. I can settle a meal at RM10. For example, I ate a bowl of noodles at a restaurant called Face to Face. It was only RM8.90. For me it's quite cheap and there's also mamak there. You can settle a meal for RM5 with a drink and a roti canai.
[31:15] Danniel: Since you've experienced all these places, what's your recommended place to eat in Taylor's? Where would you recommend a new student?
Stephanie: My favourite food is nasi lemak and second is pan mee, a type of chinese noodle. I eat nasi lemak at JC's Pancakes. It's very cheap! It's RM5 for a whole bowl and a big amount of rice and you can add their sambal. It's very nice. The pan mee at Face to Face. The craziest thing I did was to eat the same food for a whole semester.
Danniel: That place has really good peanut butter toast. So if your friends ever say they're tired of the Face to Face noodles, just tell them the peanut butter and the kaya toast there is good.