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Secondary school students learn about using social media for business

Miri – 20 June 2019 – Business academics of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently highlighted the tremendous benefits of using social media as a powerful business tool to secondary school students attending its first-ever Curtin Virtual Business Workshop.  

Organised by the Faculty of Business at the university, the workshop was attended by about 50 students from five Miri schools - SMK St. Columba, SMK Dato Permaisuri, Pei Min Middle School, SMK Lutong and SMK St. Joseph.

They learned how businesses from small and medium-sized enterprises to big corporations are increasingly using social media and other digital media to brand themselves and market their products and services. With more than three billion people on the planet using social media every day, it is easily the most powerful marketing media today.

Foundation in Commerce lecturer Siti Kasmah Haji Mohamad Kassim, who coordinated the workshop, said the Faculty of Business recognises the fact that students nowadays are actively engaged in social media and will continue to do so into adulthood and in their future careers. Therefore, the idea came about to organise a workshop to raise awareness among young people that social media can be used for more than just social engagement but also to conduct business.

“Social media is becoming an essential tool to reach out to customers, increase brand awareness, boost sales, gauge market trends, and a lot more. We want to impart the importance of this significant trend to students, to develop their marketing knowledge and skills, and prepare them at an early stage for possible careers in related fields in the future,” said Siti Kasmah.

Acting Dean of the Faculty of Business, Associate Professor Pauline Ho, meanwhile, said that the workshop was in line with the Faculty’s ongoing initiatives to reach out to secondary school students and the community at large, and leveraging its expertise in marketing, entrepreneurship, management and other disciplines to promote future careers in business.

She said that exposing them to related concepts at a young age will give them a better idea of the real world when they pursue higher education and start considering their future career pathways.

Associate Professor Ho added that, as Curtin University’s largest international campus and global hub in Asia, it is Curtin Malaysia’s challenge and opportunity to not only help create a well-educated and well-trained workforce that can rise to competition from around the world, but also ensure that young people can flourish and have opportunities to unleash their potential.

Among the topics covered in the workshop were the basics of entrepreneurship, using Instagram for business, photography skills, creating designs with Canva (an online graphic design application) and search engine optimisation.

They also learned the importance of working in virtual teams in a session conducted by Acting Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Business and senior lecturer in marketing, Dr. Shamsul Kamariah Abdullah.  

According to Dr. Shamsul Kamariah, in the digital era, teamwork can go further than face-to-face collaboration. Teams can collaborate using virtual platforms such as social networking sites, allowing individuals to connect and build networks with their team members.

The workshop was only the beginning of the students’ learning. Having formed teams to work on related projects, they will continue to be coached and mentored by academics and student mentors of the Faculty of Business until 30 August 2019, after they which will be judged on the merits of their projects.

The top three teams will showcase their projects and be presented cash prizes during the Curtin Malaysia Carnival in September.

For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit its website (www.curtin.edu.my), its Facebook page (CurtinMalaysia), Twitter profile (curtinmalaysia), Instagram (curtinmalaysia), YouTube channel (Curtin Malaysia) or LinkedIn page (Curtin Malaysia).


The participating students with their Curtin workshop facilitators.