Assistant Lecturer, UTAR Kampar

Chan Wan Ling, 2002, 5Sc1

As an assistant lecturer in the Foundation Studies Centre at UTAR Kampar, I teach foundation students before they proceed to their degree course.

If someone has told you that lecturing is lucrative and ‘cosy’
(flexible work schedule with lots of free time)

THEY ARE either CRAZY or LYING!!!? :mad:

This job is demanding, but I have chosen it for a reason.
As someone who grew up without much guidance,
I know that a moment’s worth of education
can make a lifelong difference. :wink:

Basic pay for fresh graduates like myself (without much experience and qualifications) starts from RM 2,200. Lecturers do not have fixed working hours. Instead, we work under a flexi-hour structure. We can work lesser hours, but we can also work longer hours.

In addition to teaching, I set and mark exam papers and assignments, judge presentations and invigilate. Lecturers ada BANYAK and MACAM-MACAM punya administrative work; we record attendance, generate performance reports and review course structure to ensure teaching materials are up to date.

Often, I have to use my free time at night to prepare for the next day’s classes. Exam periods are worse, in addition to invigilating, I mark papers through the night, until I am filled with more coffee than blood. :shock: But I do what needs to be done… because the sense of joy I get from seeing my students succeed, is worth all the endless hours of work.

For those interested in joining me in this field, the basic requirements are a degree in any field with a CGPA of more than 3.0. As an academician, good results are paramount. For career advancement, besides accumulating teaching experience, we are required to continue our masters and publish journal papers.

~~~

I accidentally put down the wrong course during Uni applications.
The WORST mistake of my life,
turned out to be the GREATEST BLESSING…

Click here to read about my journey.

My Journey

“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”
– James Joyce

I am from 5S1, class of 2002. After SPM, not knowing my options, I continued my studies in F6 Biology as I was weak in Physics. It was during those two years in F6 that I decided to become a teacher.

When I applied for university, all my choices had to do with Education in Science or pure Biology, except for one: Pembangunan Manusia (Human Development) in UPM. I had always been interested in human psychology, physiology, so I included this course simply because I had extra columns. Till this day though, I don’t know why I placed it that high up on the list, the fourth choice. Perhaps it was because I was confident that I would qualify for the preceding choices.

Unfortunately, I did not do well in STPM.

When I received my offer letter, I was so disappointed. Human Development? – the course I put down simply because I had extra space – was the course I was assigned. I thought I had missed my only chance at becoming a teacher

Again, not knowing what other options I had, I went for it. After two weeks in UPM, I was shocked again! I realized that I had gone into the wrong course. :shock: Instead of Pembangunan Manusia (Human Development), I had actually filled in Pembangunan Sumber Manusia (Human Resource Development) during my application. One word made all the difference. Because transferring to a different course would cost me a year, I decided to carry on with the mistake. Thus, I became an arts student. I finished my three-year degree and graduated with rather good results.

My CGPA of 3.9 though, was not the greatest blessing…
In those three years,
I discovered a strong interest in the social sciences.

After graduation, I returned to Ipoh to take care of my parents. With limited job choices in Ipoh, I worked as an electronic purchaser in a manufacturing company. It was not a job I wanted. I found it hard to handle, my manager was not satisfied with me and I was one of the worst performers in my department. For 11 months, I simply could not relate to the job. :cry: That period was one of the darkest times in my life. When I found that I could teach in the private sector, everything changed for the better.

I sent my application to UTAR Kampar for the position of assistant lecturer. After six months of patient waiting, they finally replied. I got the job.

This job is challenging, but after working for more than two years, I find that I derive satisfaction from my students. The encounters with nasty students who confront me in public, who try to cause me trouble, who have an obstinate refusal to study are balanced by wonderful students who surprise me with a secret birthday party, who write me encouraging letters and also (ahem) occasional letters.

Seeing them strive to do better in their studies is the greatest reward. Seeing them achieve more in life gives me a great sense of purpose in what I am doing. I believe in education; I believe that learning is a life-long process.It does not only happen in a classroom. It can happen anywhere, even when you are day dreaming.

Dear friends,

do not be discouraged when you make mistakes
because they can turn into opportunities.

I made a stupid mistake when I chose my degree course but I did not give up, believing that I could still make the best out of this mistake. Today, I am grateful for this mistake :D Three years of studying Human Resource Development built my foundation in basic educational theories and actually prepared me for this lecturing job and my future. I am currently pursuing my masters in Youth Development. I quote Steve Jobs’s Stanford speech:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward;
you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to
trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Looking back, I know that all things happened for a reason. My life and my mistakes were never a waste.


Best Regards,

Wan Ling

14 Comments
  1. I am graduated from UTAR also, last time I have applied academic or office staff, they said min requirement is 1st class student, how i should apply? Currently, I work as partime lec in Ktar, but I didnt teach for this short semester, So may i know the detail of UTAR field? Is it hard to get in?
    Thanks.

  2. hi Kean Wai,

    Good to hear from you. You are now attached with KTAR huh? Great! Are you happy with the job there? Or you are still thinking of joining UTAR? Well, the requirement is memang 1st class, but there are exceptional cases where they accpet CGPA more than 3.0. It is not that hard to get it, just apply through online application, if they are interested with your resume they will contact you to furnish them with more info.

    May I know which field you are in? You can contact me through my email or fb msg =)

    regards,
    Wan Ling

  3. Hi Wan Ling, I’m Jing Ru, just graduated from UTAR Chinese Studies with 1st Class Honor in May 2011. I have been a research assistant since then, and are currently pursuing my Master degree in UTAR too. My contract as research assistant shall end at June 2012, so I’m desperately need a job to cover my living cost. Does the Centre for Foundation Studies in Perak Campus still have any vacancy related to my field? If not, will they be considering me to teach another subject? Thanks!

  4. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

  5. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with useful information to work on. You’ve performed an impressive job and our entire community will probably be grateful to you.

  6. Hi Wan Ling, may I know whether you have any other allowances such as housing etc.?

  7. Hi Wan Ling, may i know is there any contract with the university?
    an is there any other allowances like housing allowance..and others??

  8. Hi Wan Ling,

    Im graduated from SMJK Pei Yuan during my secondary study and was graduated with first class degree honour from UUM. I have been working in IBM Malaysia for a year and the working life is really cannot been imaginable and the most worst is that there is no working life balance and this job cannot gave me self-satisfaction. Im realy suffered in it. But actually I have a high and strong passion in education field. May I know is it high probability I will get to being hired by UTAR?? After I have a look on the application form, Im a bit confused with the referee report…….can you pls kindly advise…waiting for your warm reply….thank you^^

  9. Hi Jeane, Viviane and Josephine,

    Thanks for showing interest in the job. Yes, besides the basic pay, they are some cost of living allowance (COLA), communication allowance, parking allowance, etc. After including the allowances, it does make a difference in the pay.

    The chance of being hired mostly depends on the demand of staff, the company only hire when they are short of staff. With a degree, you can apply for the position of “assistant lecturer” (which is my position now) in Foundation centre or Soft Skills department. With a master, you have more choices in the faculties.

    Do not underestimate the workload here, as it can be very stressful too due to the tight semester schedule. But if you have passion in teaching, satisfaction will be a guarenteed reward. Which is what that kept me staying here for years.

    For the referee report, I can’t recall clearly how it is supposed to be done. So just fill in the online form and you will be contacted if they are interesting in you. In the online application form, I think you just need to fill in basic info about referee, upon confirmation only they will ask you to send the letter. If I’m not mistaken, I sent the letter after I was taken in.

    Hope my info helps you. =)

    Regards,
    Wan Ling

  10. I read about your experiences teaching in utar. Its quite interesting. I’m interested to apply there. Can I know how long it will take for the confirmation of the position? Obviously, those who are hired will be in contract for the few years , right? Hope you can give some info on this. Tq.

    Regards,
    Sangeeth

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  12. hi wan ling, you currently still attach with utar? cause i just submit my resume to utar and i interested with teaching in foundation. i am graduated from bachelor of accounting, my strength is on maths, finance, economic and basic account. Because of my cgpa can’t hit their requirement and they rejected me. my cgpa is 2.92 but all my interested subject i get A or A+,i felt that i can teach with those subject and i passion with teaching, help~!

    016-3601517

  13. Hi
    Would like to know is the workday for the lecturer there Monday to Friday or Monday to Saturday?

  14. Hai, i was an Utar student too. I did my degree in Utar before and my cgpa was 2.6++. Then i persued my master in oum and my cgpa was 3.14. Am I still entitle to apply for lecturer job In Utar? Please advice.tq.

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