Saturday, November 08, 2014

MBA Induction at Olympia College Penang: My Thoughts

UPDATED as at 3 April 2015: I have written to the Olympia College Penang to withdraw and seek refund for these reasons. It is my hope that Olympia College will honor my request for refund. It is my hard-earned money. You can read about all the related posts about my MBA journey here.

UPDATED as at 10 April 2015: Olympia College Penang has completely ignored my email to them requesting for refund. One would think that they should at least have the courtesy to reply on the process of refund and/or the refund policy, but instead they chose to ignore me. So much for student services.

Actually, how difficult would it be for Olympia to reply and explain on the refund policy and that there is a form to be filled and how long the refund process would take? So, today, a week after my email of 3 April to them, I followed up by call and was not surprised yet again that the principal and coordinator are both not in, so I spoke directly with the Cashier. See? It's actually very easy for Olympia to just reply and tell me the process. Why ignore me? I might as well attach the lawyer letter along with the form requesting for refund.


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Today is the day! I arrived at 8:45 AM today at the Olympia College Penang eager to begin my induction. I'm enrolled for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) by IPE Management School, Paris. I knew I was early and was happy to wait until the start time at 9 AM, so I whipped out my book and started reading immediately. (Yep, I always carry a book with me.)

Here's the bummer: It wasn't how I expected it to be. Maybe I took the whole process too seriously, but then, who doesn't when it comes to something this serious. Right? 

Student registration was scheduled to start at 9 AM and as a person who takes time management and punctuality very seriously, I was happy to arrive 15 minutes earlier than the scheduled time, and considering that I took the bus to get there, I was utterly proud of myself to be able to also factor in breakfast nearby the College. (I'm a big supporter of public transportation.) On hindsight, it was absolutely unnecessary—in today's induction—to be punctual.

By 9:08 I got a bit anxious because no coordinator came to direct me to the Conference Room (as what I was told when I was ushered to the reception to wait 20 minutes ago). The conference room was where the induction (or student registration) was supposed to happen.

"Hi Rina, where is the induction held? There is still no one at the reception or cashier," I WhatsApp the person I've been communicating with since Day 1. No harm double checking, you know. I referred again to the schedule sent to me earlier to ensure I didn't miss out stuff (it's a habit I still embrace from my past life as an executive assistant many years ago). It's completely understandable things could change at the last minute. No problem.

"The induction is in the conference room." I received my confirmation. Without hesitation, I made my own way to the conference room. I wasn't kiasu, don't get me wrong. Nobody was there. That's OK, I like being alone.

The induction didn't start until 9:45 AM. There was no sign of the Principal, Mr Sundar although the coordinator, Mr Sri, was telling me he'll come for the "Welcome to the Olympia College Penang" session. Maybe I heard him wrongly when he said something about Mr Sundar's coming and went in and out of the room a few times. There was no sign of Dr. Prabakaran for the "Introduction to the course" session, but that's OK because Sri did an awesome job with it. That's the only saving grace of today's induction.

In summary, the schedule I've received was useless. And so...

The 3 lessons I learned today from a Graduate Business School:
  1. How NOT to conduct a meeting (or an induction).
  2. How NOT to provide inaccurate contents (for example, if the Principal isn't going to meet the student, please do not include that as part of the program). 
  3. How NOT to disrespect other people's time (if it's going to start at 9 AM, do ensure that somebody will be there to do the job, or to provide distraction until the show starts).
To think that I actually took the whole thing so seriously, I should have known this is Malaysia and this is the way things are done (disclaimer: not everything or everyone in Malaysia is tardy). However, I've got my standard to maintain and while it's reasonable to expect a college or university to share that same—or if I may dream,  exceed the—standard with you, I will just do MY best and forget the rest. You can't change a leopard's spots, so no point trying. I could only hope that someday the College will take itself more seriously.

I'm looking forward to my classes!

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