Hye, I am Intan Nur Izzah binti Zainal Abidin, currently completing my A-Levels at Kolej Yayasan UEM, under PETRONAS with a programme called PETRONAS Education Sponsorship Programme (PESP). I will share some of my experiences that I hope will be beneficial for you.
Phase 1: Application Process
First and foremost, of course, we had to apply for the scholarship through their online website. I would say that PESP application was one of the easiest, there was no essay, no resume, you just have to fill in your personal and family details, academic background and co-curricular involvements. Then, they will inform you either you are selected to the next stage or not. All notifications will be posted in their website, so always keep yourself updated.
Phase 2: Selection Process
For the next selection process, our experiences might be different from the previous years, as everything was held online. Usually, all selected candidates from online application would complete all the selection process on the same day called PETRONAS Youngstars Day (PYD). As for us, we were given those tasks one by one, and had to pass each of them to proceed to the interview. The first was a kind of personality test (I think it was Cambridge Personal Style Questionnaire), but just as typically said, just do it honestly (I don’t have any tips to succeed in personality test either).
If you succeed, the next stage would be a test to evaluate your problem solving and critical thinking skills called Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA). The good thing about this is there are a lot of sample papers available online, where you can search for and do your practice! For TSA, we had to use laptop, with installed webcam, since they used an online proctoring platform to conduct the test.
Phase 3: Interview Process
And finally, the last stage would be the interview or Student Potential Assessment (SPA). This interview was held in groups of 4 or 5 candidates. We were asked to introduce ourselves first before the assessment. The first part of the assessment was an individual task, all of us were given a case study and were asked some questions related to that. Don’t worry, because for this part you will be given some time to write down all your points before presenting them. As for my group, we were asked about mental health problems especially among youngsters. For the second part, we were asked to choose the best solution for PETRONAS to overcome mental health issues among workers. So, we were given 30 minutes to discuss, then finally proposed it to the interviewers. Finally, there would be some questions based on our presentation. Here are some tips that I would suggest based on my experience:
- They were not calling our names one by one to speak, so you will have to volunteer
- Since it was a group discussion, I think here is where you have to show that you can work well in a team. Some people will advise you to be the first one to speak and lead the discussion, but for me just be yourself, if you don’t get the chance to lead the group, just be a good participant, and be polite.
- Some examples of topics asked during SPA, which I asked from my fellow scholars include mental health issues, COVID-19 impacts, renewable or non-renewable energy, difference in gap year and more.
I guess that’s all from me, hope it can help you in some ways :) I feel grateful to be a PETRONAS scholar and very excited for my future journey with them. Who knows, maybe you will be the next one! Whatever the result you got later, don’t get discouraged, as this is also a way for us to learn, to improve for the better. All in all, do give your best every time okayy~ Goodluck guys!