Petronas YoungStars Day 2013



As you can see above, I was one of the selected candidates to participate in the Petronas YoungStars Day event (also a slightly less intimidating term for “scholarship interview and assessment”, don’t you think? Good going there, Petronas) and so on the 12th of April, a Friday, my parents and I drove down to Subang as the programme commenced early in the morning the next day.

When we finally reached Subang, we had no idea where to go to Taylor’s Lakeside (because my GPS broke down OF ALL TIMES) but in the end, thanks to some frantic calls and texts to family members and friends, we managed to find the place out of sheer luck. Then, next came the problem of finding a place to stay as San Ku’s place (which we almost always crash at whenever we go south) is in PJ and that would be quite a distance. So we tried asking at the hotel at the building adjacent to the campus but found out it was booked so we had to get back into the car and try to find a nearby motel based on pure instinct (broken GPS, remember?) and we finally checked in at De Uptown Boutique Hotel near Taylor’s College because Dad stayed there once when he was scouting for colleges. After settling down and everything, would you believe it when I found out that Ken (who was going for the interview as well) was staying in the same hotel on the same floor in the room directly opposite ours???? TALK ABOUT COINCIDENCES

The next morning, Ken hitched a ride to the university and when we reached the campus, we bumped into Jing Sheng (who was also joining the interview on that day), Zhe Han (who was joining the interview on a different day) and their other Kolej friends and NOT ONLY THAT because William, a fellow debater, Mea, a schoolmate and Farhanah, a friend I made at MCYDS last year were also there! AND NOT ONLY THAT because Ju Mei appeared too (who, according to her, only managed to find me because I dropped my water bottle in front of approximately 500 other candidates while we were lining up) and the world honestly cannot get any smaller (actually it can but I’ll get to that soon enough).

Yours truly, Ken and Jing Sheng
Yours truly, Ken and Jing Sheng

So we registered and headed for the hall for a briefing where we were also sorted into groups A, B, C and D. I was in group B, sat next to a girl named Amani whom I found out was from SMK Wangsa Maju (right? I’m sorry I can’t remember clearly but if it’s wrong I’m so sorry!!!) and immediately warmed up to. After being briefed about our schedule for the day, our group was sent to a holding room where we waited for an hour plus during which I felt like throwing up multiple times because I just wanted to get the interview over and done with. It was my first interview, so naturally I was scared and didn’t know what to expect. After the wait was over, we were finally brought to Level 8 where we were once again put into a different room and given different case studies (on “corporate social responsibility) each. We were then given half an hour to complete our analysis and reasonings on the studies and then subsequently sent to individual rooms in groups of fours and fives. My group consisted of me, Mimi, Alia and Mai (whom I later found out was friends with Anis, a girl I’ve been following on Twitter for a very long time now [The World is A Small Place #2]). First, we had individual interviews and I was the first to go in. I was, quite surprisingly, calm and perhaps even a little confident, something that was nice to have despite the fact that I knew, subconsciously, I was a giant ball of nerves waiting to be unravelled. Instead of the stereotypical interview questions I’d expected (“Why did you choose this field of study?” “Why do you think you deserve this scholarship?”), the entire session was about presenting the analysis we did during that half hour period in one of the many rooms we were placed in. Basically, to me, it was like being given a caseline in a debate and giving your own reasons and elaborations on why you supported aforementioned caseline (which, in this case, was called “recommendation”). I didn’t speak for 10 minutes, but I thought I did okay. After that, we had a group discussion during which we had to come up with a general consensus from all our recommendations. By the time we were done, we were terribly behind the schedule as it was already 2PM and according to the schedule, the next test was at 2.30PM which meant we only had half an hour of lunch.

Groupmates! Mai, Alia, Mimi and yours truly

But then later, we found out the entire schedule was delayed by an hour so our tests only began at around 4PM. As my first choice for my intended field of study was finance, I, unlike Amani and the other candidates who were opting for engineering courses, only had to take the math test, as opposed to their math and science test. That paper lasted for an hour while the subsequent two papers, critical reasoning test (verbal) and critical reasoning test (diagram) were 30 and 20 minutes respectively. I was glad that I had experience in this field after taking tests like the UNSW Global ICAS English test and the IQ test during last year’s ASEAN scholarship selection test. After that, the YoungStars Day officially came to an end and some of us briefly exchanged contact numbers before separating.

Yours truly and Amani
Yours truly and Amani

After dropping Ken back at the hotel, we started our journey back home but not before I finally got to try Subway for the first time! It was a tuna sandwich and tasted like heaven.

Despite the fact that I walked into the campus filled with dread and fear, I have to say that I did have a good time there. Bravery always feels good no matter the outcome. Whoa Michelle, that was deep. Of course I hope the results of my assessments will be adequate enough to be honoured the sponsorship programme, but even if I fail to get it, it was a fantastic experience and I’d do it all again.


“Goody bag” from Petronas plus tag with my name on it because it will make me feel important. Also, great photography skills, Michelle! You managed to cover the Petronas logo on the bag with your tag, of all places. But because I am too lazy to retake another photo, just imagine the Petronas logo on the bag somewhere. So you don’t think I just bought this random bag somewhere else and claimed that it was given by Petronas. Okay this caption is going nowhere.

Published by

Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

22 thoughts on “Petronas YoungStars Day 2013”

  1. omg congratulations on losing your subway virginity. I was beyond excited (a little giddy even) when I tried it for the first time last year. IT WAS LIKE ORGASM IN MY MOUTH

    1. I KNOW RIGHT. Like the first question that popped up in my mind was WHY DO PEOPLE EAT ANYTHING ELSE WHEN THEY CAN EAT SUBWAY EVERY DAY?

      Also, nice wordplay. Makes me feel experienced…if you know what I mean. 😉

  2. Hi! If I didn’t bring the admission application form for UTP, can I still involve or will I be kicked out of the interview?

    1. i dont think i brought that either (nor did i know what it was) so i think you should be fine but take this with a pinch of salt bcs the one i went to was 2 years ago haha

      1. Because my first choice is chemical engineering in UK while second is the same course in UTP. The instruction said we have to bring the form but I didn’t want to go actually.(sorry to say, I am going to the interview for some experience only), so I am afraid if I didn’t bring it, I will be kicked home(cuz I stay far from KL). But anyway thanks!

      2. nah, i dont think theyll do anything so extreme as to kick you out. after all, youve already turned up even if its without a form. anyway, good luck! 🙂

  3. Hi there! I applied for Actuarial Science, so does that mean I’ll only be doing the Math test as well? I’ll brush up on SPM level Add Math, wonder if that’s sufficient?
    Also how formal were the other people wearing? Because my foot is injured so I’ll probably be wearing comfortable sandals… O.O and like an office blouse and slacks.
    Regarding the interview, as you said, it wasn’t more of an interview than a presentation. So does that mean I can do away with preparation for general Qs like my interests and strengths?
    And oh gosh I noticed that I put a wrong course for my second choice, am I still able to change that?
    I know you won’t be obligated to answer all of these, but I am kind of in a state of helplessness so I’ll be eternally grateful if you’ll shine some light my way.
    Thank you!!!

    1. hi, im not sure about actuarial science because when i applied, only engineering and finance courses were offered. but in the case of actuarial science, perhaps you need to take science tests as well? and yup, spm level should be alright.

      formal wear was the usual like shirts and slacks/long skirts.

      im not too sure if they have changed the interview format as mine was 2 years ago, but in my case, no they didnt ask general interview questions at all.

      concerning your last question; im not all too sure, im sorry, maybe you could ring them up to ask them?

      good luck!

  4. Hey, did petronas informed you earlier that u will be required to take that science and maths test during invitation?

    1. hi, yes they did. i honestly cant remember specifically the details (what they said, how they informed me) but i remember preparing beforehand for the tests so yes

      1. Haha thanks for your reply! 😀 For me, they have included an attachment saying that i have to sit for Cambridge Personal Styles Questionnaire(CPSQ) and Thinking Skills Assessment(TSA) during the invitation. Haha. So i guess there’s no need for me to revise back. Haha. But still worried. Lol. Anyway, thank you for replying! 😉 and have u managed to get that scholarship?

      2. oohh wow i guess maybe they changed the format quite a bit since 2013, but the TSA should remain the same. i didnt get the scholarship, so i went with the bursary instead. 🙂 good luck to you!

  5. Hi, did you get any email shortly after applying for the scholarship? Or did you only receive an email from Petronas right after you got shortlisted to join the assessment?
    Thanks in advance

  6. Hi, did you get any email shortly after applying for the scholarship? Or did you only receive an email from Petronas right after you got shortlisted to join the assessment?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Syakir,

      Unfortunately I do not remember this, but I expect after applying you will receive some form of confirmation of your application? But it’s been too long so don’t quote me on this

  7. Hey, i’m going to PYD this Thursday and i want to ask….
    About all those math & science tests. Is it hard ? or is it just like SPM ?
    Because in my invitation letter, there’s nothing mentioned about math & science test ….
    Instead, i’ve been informed about CPSQ & TSA test ..
    1 more, did you took these CPSQ & TSA tests during your PYD ? (lol 5 years ago)

    1. I did mine in 2015. I think the math wasn’t exactly SPM it was a bit more of application of general math knowledge (so like, if one guy has twice tha stride length of another guy, and he starts three steps earlier, how much further would he be other guy has taken 50 steps, or smth KBAT like that). Idk if they are still doing it tho.
      Good luck!

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