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Letter From the President Meet the board UOM ASCS Press Release MITC 2010 board Screw It, Let’s Do It! First Year... What’s Next?
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Big Dreams, Lost Hope ASCS in Pictures Surviving on a Student Budget Living in London but Still A Malteser Are You Ready?
ASCS goes London Have Yourself A Royal Time Is It Just About The Suit?
Letter from the President SIMON MIFSUD
Welcome aboard! Alongside the 10,000 students strolling on campus, this year I invite you to join us and embark on a flight; a flight full of lectures, assignments, tutorials and exam sessions. Fasten your seatbelts and be attentive as ASCS wants you to have a fantastic student life too! Having been in ASCS for 3 years, I have had the opportunity to see our orgainsation evolve from just an idea to a fully fletched faculty based organisation. This Summer has been yet another record breaking season for ASCS. The new 9 exec members have been on their feet working to help, motivate and bridge the gap between our 2,000 students and the faculty. I am constantly looking to better each project that I complete. Thus, with a year’s experinece under our belt, we have decided to organise our London business trip again. There is no other town quite like Britain’s bustling capital. The River Thames, HSBC, Canary Wharf, Regents Park, Ripley’s, cool clubs, fashion, business, food, music, art and more more more. If London isn’t the hippest capital in the world, ASCS wouldn’t have chosen it as a business trip destination for the second time round! Our mission is to broaden the mindset of the students internationally, thus providing opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development paired with their studies at the University of Malta. The main reason why we took students on the London Business Trip and we’re taking them again is because we believe that experiencing the business world abroad helps you to develop skills and gives you experiences a classroom setting will never provide.
ASCS At ASCS, being students ourselves we understand how confusing and overwhelming it might be to any individual on campus. More so due to the fact that FEMA has one of the largest amount of students and lecturers. This is why we are always there to provide an abundant source of information regarding anything concerning FEMA students both through our new website www.ascsmalta.org and our direct helpline 99954445. Kindly visit our stand on campus for more information! Wishing you the best of luck for the forthcoming academic year!
Regards Simon Mifsud
Meet the Board
uom ascs press release MITC 2010
ANDRE FARRUGIA STUDYING AT UNIVERSITY AND BEYOND â€“ why Students should pursue with their studies Careers in the Financial Services Industry have augmented and diversified, however have also become more competitive. In recent years, we have seen specialised companies, particularly foreign entitites, investing in Malta, bringing with them demands for specialist jobs and careers. This required recruits to possess adequate knowledge, skills and competences in a variety of technical areas. Today, more than ever, students/potential employees need to be fully equipped to meet the expectations of the employer and moreover, the expectations of the consumer who has become more versed and demanding for professional quality service and value for money. Alongside a professional qualification undertaken by a student, particularly at University, specialised technical programmes are designed to give the participant the edge into specialising in technical disciplines. This investment, in turn, strengthens oneâ€™s curriculum vitae, job opportunity and career development. For this reason, the Malta International Training Centre (MITC) has been founded and is committed towards supporting students at all levels to ensure a smooth transition in the financial service industry. MITC is continuously enhancing its respective products and services making sure these are up to date with industry wide practices and respective legislation. From its new premises at TG complex Mriehel, the Malta International Training Centre is today better suited to meet the demands of the modern participant, offering a professional training environment equipped with modern facilities and resources. Training products are supported by a variety of media ranging from electronic packages to Intranet sites.
ASCS Through its active membership on the Malta Education Consultative Council and the European body EFICERT, the MITC seeks to collaborate with both local and foreign training partners to fulfil its role as a professional training provider, specifically in areas of Insurance, Risk Management, Finance, Actuarial Studies, Captive Management and Regulation among others. In 2010, the Malta International Training Centre, has obtained level rating recognition from the Malta Qualifications Council and thus its home grown products are now equivalent to specific levels on the Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF) and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) platforms. The Malta International Training Centre has just released its 2010 / 2011 training prospectus which may be found at www.mitcentre.com. Other information or enquiries may be addressed to the Administrator on 21230831 or email@example.com. This article has been written by Mr Andre Farrugia MSc FCII FIRM â€“ Director of Studies - Malta International Training Centre. Mr Farrugia is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta.
Screw It, Let’s Do It! The corporations below all share one common trait: they originated from the superb ideas of University students. So, inspire yourselves from them; they are now billionaires! After all, aren’t we tomorrow’s future?
What’s Next? LUKE ZAHRA
You’ve just entered university...This year, FEMA has chosen all your credits for you! However, next year you’ll have the chance to take matters into your own hands. ASCS knows how confusing choosing majors can be; so we’re here to help you out in choosing your two areas of studies!
Marketing Marketing is all around us – in television adverts, on websites, in shops, in the products we choose to buy and it shines through in our favourite brands. Marketing is more than just selling or advertising and studying it will uncover its many dimensions. By the time you graduate in marketing you will have developed the skills to be innovative when it comes to branding, to thoroughly understand what drives customer behaviour and to effectively design promotions and adverts!
Management In a world of scarce resources, passionate managers with the skills to leave their mark and make a difference are indispensable. In very simple terms, management focuses on ‘getting things done’. However, the true importance of management comes in in the way goals are achieved. Research has shown that for a graduate in management to be successful, one must possess strong communication skills. Once such skills are developed, majoring in management will open to door to a vast number of opportunities.
Economics Economics must be one of the least popular subjects amongst students as the many graphs and theories involved make it one of the more challenging subjects; however, it forms a greater part of our everyday life than we probably notice. Economics deals with issues such as housing, energy, the environment and even transportation. It offers a study on how and why people make the decisions they do, and how the scarce resources mentioned earlier are to best be allocated amongst all those demanding them. It’s safe to say that economics is very much about ‘the real world’.
ASCS Accounting Accounting is a language common to most businesses and it underpins most organisations. By gaining a thorough knowledge in accounting, one can earn an in-depth understanding of the financial operations of any and all types of organisations. The importance of accounting comes in in decision making. Accounting graduates will be called upon to evaluate the companyâ€™s statements and offer advice based on the financial situation of the company.
Public Policy Students specializing in public policy will work closely with government regulations. Public policy is the study of how and why specific laws are made up; and when put into practice it also involves the setting of new laws. The subject brings along a degree of responsibility as a career in public policy will put one in a position to make changes that effect all those around him/her.
Insurance and Finance It is said that itâ€™s very difficult to be successful in insurance if one doesnâ€™t understand the basics of finance; and consequently the two subjects are offered as one. A career in insurance is a challenging and fast-paced one. Once insurance and finance is chosen, a whole spectrum of areas in which to work is created; such areas include underwriting, financial advisers and claims adjusters.
Banking and Finance The lending and borrowing of money; which are two of the main components of banking would be far too risky if a strong and secure financial system is not in place. Consequently, banking and finance are another two subjects offered as one. Being good with numbers helps if a student is interested in picking banking and finance as a major; however more importantly, in such a sector one must be willing to work hard and be a team player. If all this is in check, then banking and finance can be yet another option leads the way to plenty of career options.
ASCS goes London
KORA MUSCAT All students; other than freshers are used to organisations inviting them to live together for a weekend of activities. Sometimes this is taken a step further and students are taken to Gozo. However, last year, ASCS decided to up its game and took a group of students to one of the top business centres in the world; London. In the early hours of the 11th of November, the check-in area at the airport was brought to life as around 50 students posed for photos in our ‘ASCS goes London’ t-shirts. The plane ride went by in the blink of an eye and before we knew it we had checked in at our hotel and were being given guidelines about how to use the underground safely. Seeing as not much time was left of our first day and to make sure everyone got into the London spirit, our first stop was at Oxford Street. The first evening was spent at the Theatre, watching the spectacular ‘Lion King’. The second day saw a change of attire; jeans were traded for trousers and skirts, and our t-shirts for smart shirts and blazers. Our business studies came to life as we visited the Ernst & Young offices in More London Place near Tower bridge and participated in a vivid and challenging discussion with on of the company’s employees; Mr Tom Guglielmi about the fundamental values of the company as well as about the nature of the industry in which it operates. At Ernst and Young, relationships are of particular importance. Our visit allowed us to appreciate the importance of such relationships when we were split into groups and assigned mini tasks. By the end of the discussion not only were most of us inspired and motivated to get out there and excel at our studies but we also gained a sense of responsibility and professionalism that goes along with working in such an industry. This trip was followed by free time; which most girls spent shopping, while others took in some of London’s top attractions through a sightseeing tour. In the evening the laughter didn’t stop as we compared our weight and height to the heaviest and tallest men in the world at the renowned ‘Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum’. After a good night’s rest we regrouped and set off to Canary Wharf; a major business district in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Due to security issues we were split into two groups. Each group took turns to visit the HSBC international headquarters.
ASCS Upon arrival each group was escorted into the somewhat lavish reception area while curiously waiting for our tour to begin. Waiting was a treat as we got to gaze at ‘The History Wall’; an impressively big wall in the entrance holding 3,743 images portraying the most crucial events in HSBC history and moreover depicting some of the most historic world events. Glass lifts took us through various areas of the building, including the employees’ gymnasium and a 5-star restaurant which allows HSBC directors to socialise in a less formal manner. The tour reached its peak as we walked onto the 42nd floor and savoured the breathtaking view of Central and North London from the top of the second highest building in the UK. In the mean time the other group was allowed to tour Canary Wharf and gaze in awe at the fast-paced, professional lifestyle of all its inhabitants. The morning of the 14th was the hardest to wake up to as we all knew our journey would soon be over. We packed our bags and were allowed the last few hours of free time. As we waited for the coaches to take us to the airport everyone happily shared their favourite purchases with the rest; while sharing e-mail addresses. The ASCS trip to London was an unforgettable experience; not only did it bring University routine to life, but moreover, it put all the theory we study into a whole new perspective!
Is it just about The Suit?
KARLA CHANELLE ATTARD When one thinks about heading to a business meeting or an interview a suit is definitely what crops up in mind. However is it just about the suit at the end of the day? Several factors underlie it all. I had the possibility to meet Jose Attard who runs Costantino Tailoring and the Fashion Designers Charles and Ron; they gave me their opinions on what one should have and wear relating to business wear and if it is just about the suit.. Jose Attard is a Bespoke tailor for gentlemen and runs the tailor shop which was handed down to him by his father Costantino. Even though the trade is dying out of one having his suit customised, Mr Jose Attard still has the regular business men and executives getting their suit made to measure to the right fit. A dark suit be it black, midnight blue or dark grey is an essential item to be found in a man’s closet.
What complements a suit Mr Attard says is a starched white shirt, polished shoes and clean shaven. A conservative tie is of essence and this complements the suit. At the end of the day Mr Jose Attard does think it is about the suit however it is how you wear it and present yourself. Some advice he gave was when buying a suit one must be comfortable in the suit and it must have a good fit, it should not fit tight! On the other hand for advice on woman’s wear I spoke to the fashion designer Charles from Charles and Ron (CR). He stated that a black suit is of essence in a woman’s wardrobe.
ASCS However both black and grey are colours one could wear in business wear complemented with a white shirt. A woman should not over accessorize in general, especially when it comes to wearing a suit. One can wear a classical scarf round the neck along with a handbag and heels which define and give a statement.
Charles says it is not just about the suit but it is about the type of person you are at the end of the day and what type of job you have.
Personally I believe that a dark coloured suit along with a white shirt is of necessity in our wardrobe. Less is more when it comes to accessories. However it is how you wear it and present yourself out there. The world out there is our oyster and one should conquer it in any way they can to make it to the top. Remember...you wear the suit not the suit wears you!
Big Dreams, Lost Hope
MARIA PORTELLI France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain and England are some of the destinations which FEMA students applying for Erasmus have to choose from. Too bad that after weeks trying to choose the best University and dreaming about what it would be like to study abroad, our dream is crushed! So what is Erasmus? It is an exchange programme aimed to encourage and support academic mobility for students and higher education teachers within the EU. During their period of study, students follow a number of credits or conduct research. The student chosen for an Erasmus experience will have the facility to go to the hosting university for free! Moreover, some may also be lucky enough to have their expenses reduced. The yearly applications together with the list of universities are usually issued in February for Erasmus exchanges taking place in the following academic year. Obviously, eligibilty depends on the studentâ€™s academic background, time period and University chosen. However, unfortunately, not everyone is eligible to go on such a programme, and this includes us FEMA students. Previous experiences have proved that FEMA students are somehow excluded. Of course, there are business universities listed on the Erasmus section of the UoM website, which include subject areas like Business Studies, Economics, Social Work and Management; but none of them include Accountancy! The worst thing is that applications are allowed to be submitted and then, when you already start dreaming about a new campus life abroad, your hopes are shattered and you will be asked to hand in a letter of resignation unwillingly. This is due to the fact that it is very difficult for Accountancy students to join an Erasmus programme because unfortunately study units do not match with those abroad. Going to spend a semester, a year or so studying abroad would simply be a waste of time and resources, apart from wasting a year at University; even though it would surely be an amazing experience. Other students choosing Management or other majors apart from Accounts arenâ€™t
ASCS prohibited from proceeding with their application and would also receive an acceptance letter. But they still do not end up going for the same reason appilcable to Accountancy students. Apparently we are one of the few universities which do not have a syllabus similar to all the other universities participating in the Erasmus programme. The Accounts Department wanted to change the syllabus so it will be easier for us to study abroad but still nothing has been done about it so far. There is a very high probablity that no one from B.Commerce has ever been given the chance to paticipate in the Erasmus programme due to this problem. Well, for all those B.Com students wishing to continue their studies abroad, this is where the fairytale ends!
Surviving on a Student budget RUTH CARUANA
Yes, sadly, we have all been there many times! Unbelievable! It’s just 10 days into the month and your purse already feels strangely and horribly light and you get a funny sensation at the pit of your stomach. Instantly you turn (or try) into a financial guru desperately trying to discover ways and means to make your meager means stretch till the end of the month and the next stipend! If by now you have strong kindred feelings of empathy, do read on and I will share some tips on how to make it happen, maybe! 1. If you are lucky enough to own a car, ditch it in the garage, leave the key at home and forget it! You simply can’t afford to fill the gas tank. And anyway walking is good for you and will do wonders for your health and stress levels. 2. Leave your cash cards at home and delete the pin numbers from your memory! Just carry enough cash to get by! If you don’t have it you can’t spend it! And don’t try to borrow off your friends. It will dent both your reputation and your friendships. Anyway they are probably in the same boat as you! 3. Sorry, no shopping, not even window shopping! The lure of the latest must have boots glimpsed through the glass will be too much for you! You don’t really need them and anyway they will soon be at half price during the sales! No, don’t cheat by going online to check if they are cheaper if bought from the internet! You still have to pay for them and your bank cards are off limits, remember! 4. Forget all the parties! Instead watch a DVD with friends, go to the beach or for a picnic. Better still bury your nose in your studies or get a start on that long postponed assignment. No booze and early nights will do wonders for your complexion. 5. Do not eat out. Take a packed lunch and snacks .Picnics in the fresh air with your friends are great fun and very relaxing. Catch up on some sunbathing while saving on both money and extra calories. At least until a horrid cloud creeps up and it starts raining! 6. Your phone bill doesn’t have to bankrupt you! Check that you are getting the best deal available on the market. Reduce your mobile phone use by sending SMS or go online and use MSN or FACEBOOK at zero cost.
ASCS 7. Concert and party tickets cost the earth so you simply cannot afford to go to each single one that comes up. Anyway, many of them are not worth it and you end up asking yourself why the hell you let yourself be talked into it when all that will be left the next day is a hangover and a blurry memory. Instead choose wisely and go to a select few, the mind blowing ones which you will remember forever. 8. Be pro-active! Donâ€™t just pray for the end of the month and therefore your stipend to arrive! Or those life saving handouts from loved ones (thank God for parents, grandparents, birthdays, Christmas, etc!)Get yourself a part time job, even if only during the summer holidays. It will give you a surprising boost to both your finances and your self-esteem. And it will look great on your CV too! Hopefully these strategies may help you make it safely to the end of the month and lead you to spend your cash wisely. That is until your eyes spy that nifty little number in the shop window and you head straight inside like a propelled missile! Get out of my way quick! Ooops!!!
Living in London But still a Malteser! ROBERT ZAMMIT
I was going to write a couple of paragraphs about how I went about doing my undergrad in economics in Malta, my MA in international relations at Warwick university, and then getting a job in London. Then I thought that if I were reading this (way) back in my university days, I’d have probably bored myself to within an inch of my life. The truth is there’s not that big a difference between studying and working in Malta, and doing the same thing abroad. You’re living abroad, for starters. But that’s where the differences tend to blur out. So I figured I’d give some advice, instead, drawing from personal experience. I studied economics in my undergrad, and then did what most people had advised me not to do: I changed tack, and decided on doing my MA in a field I’d barely touched in my undergrad. I was interested primarily in development studies. But I figured it wasn’t likely to land me a job were I to return immediately to Malta - and I wasn’t sure I wanted to settle down in Yemen, anyway. So I chose international relations, and worked on my development studies skills by going to Ethiopia as part of a Chaplaincy team the summer before Warwick. Advice: pursue those options you think you’re interested in. But be realistic. I wanted to do my masters at a good university. But it wasn’t clear to me before I finished university in Malta that I’d make the necessary grades to get into the best UK universities. So I applied to Oxford, the London School of Economics, and Warwick, knowing I was likely to be refused in that same order. I got Warwick. Advice: do apply to a broad range of universities, rather than just the top one. A degree from a lesser-known university is certainly worth more than a rejection from the top-ranked one. When the time came to start applying for a job during my time in Warwick, I thought it wasn’t likely I’d get a job doing exactly what I wanted (working with a humanitarian organization for a few years, to be precise).
ASCS For starters, I had little experience. It also didn’t help that the UK – and the rest of the world, whilst we’re at it – was on the brink of the biggest recession since the Great Depression. So I started filling out an application form a week, for twenty weeks. I got rejected by the first eighteen, and accepted by the last two. (I still want to work in a humanitarian context). Advice: you will get there someday. It does take time, though. If you think it’s tough, hang in there. Robert Zammit graduated with a first class bachelor’s degree with honours in Economics from the University of Malta and an MA in International Relations (with distinction) from the University of Warwick. He currently works as an economist at a policy institution in London. He likes thin pan pizza, the sun, and the sea – the three things you’re least likely to find in London. He blogs on www.thingsthatrun.blogspot.com.
Are you ready ? KIRSTIE SALIBA
Freshers! There are over 10,000 students at the University of Malta, and
you; FEMA students, are part of one of the biggest faculties on campus. This means humongous classes, loads of different lecturers and a kaleidoscope of different people everywhere you go. There will be time table clashes, stressful assignments and never-ending exam sessions. It all sounds confusing and scary, no? As a second year student myself I can tell you that you will get through anything with a smile on your face if you have good friends around you. This is where ASCS comes in! We’re here to help you make new friends and broaden your social horizons. To end freshers’ week with a boom and kick off
the year, we invite you to join us for ‘Are You Ready?’; a day of teambuilding activities which will not only help you meet new people but moreover to work together with your fellow students in the race towards the prizes at the end.We are working in collaboration with the Scouts of St. Venera to throw this event! Test your stamina with ‘As Cold As Ice’ and put your minds to work for ‘Balloon Pop’. These are only a few of the many activities we have planned to introduce you to the fun side of student life. Fresh fruit, bread, fancy cakes and drinks will all be available on the day and included in the price! You’ve read about ASCS all throughout the magazine; so join us on the
9th October and see for yourself what all the ASCS hype is about.
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University Magazine for freshers week.