“Arise and Awake” marks a momentous collaboration between MMU and Vijayaratnam Foundation. On 16 March 2010, 80 students from various faculties of the Multimedia University (MMU) in Cyberjaya had a chance to participate in the inaugural session of the ARUNA seminar series, a youth empowerment programme organised by Vijayaratnam Foundation. This programme, conducted once every two months in institutions of higher learning in Malaysia, is aimed at giving undergraduate students an opportunity to benefit from the wisdom of successful professionals and entrepreneurs who have made a difference in the communities they live in. The guest speaker at the inaugural session of the seminar series was Dato’ Vijay Eswaran, the Executive Chairman of the QI Group, whose success story has inspired many young people from all over the world.

ARUNA’s theme for 2010 is simple yet powerful – ‘ARISE & AWAKE’. A theme that comprises of two key concepts that Dato’ Vijay holds close to his heart, because they signify the beginning of change. ARISE means to shake off the inertia and get into action.  AWAKE, on the other hand signifies an awakening of the mind.

Dato’ Vijay told the participants, “In order for you to succeed, you have to keep changing and adapting to your surroundings. You wake up each morning to a new and different day, so must you plan a new and different endeavour daily.

“The greatest challenge faced by many today is the difficulty of staying true to our beliefs and principles. Many of us choose to follow blindly what others are doing, but the truth is that we must not let ourselves sink into other people’s decisions.

The young audience had many interesting questions for him and as Dato’ took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and took a walk in the aisles, the students connected with him instantly and the seminar evolved into a highly interactive session. Students who asked insightful questions or challenged Dato’ Vijay with a contrasting point of view were rewarded with a copy of ‘In The Sphere of Silence’, the international bestseller written by the man himself.

As the seminar ended on a high note, most students agreed that the session was truly like no other they have ever attended, as it had sparked off many valuable insights that could help them make a change in their life.

“I have been to a lot of motivational talks before, but this one is different. Every word he uttered meant something. He was very inspiring. He reached out to each and everyone, without leaving anybody out. I don’t mind attending more sessions likes this in the future, as long as Dato’ Vijay Eswaran is the speaker,” said Iffah Nabilah binti Ibrahim, one of the participants.

Tang Tong Wei, another student of MMU said, “I have learnt a lot today, especially about finding the right path and how to sustain my passion. What really struck me was the reminder that we should all plan something new every day rather than sticking to a plan that we made yesterday.”

“Dato’ Vijay Eswaran is really great speaker. His communicates very well and I like the way he reached out to the audience in an informal way so that we would feel comfortable. I hope he delivers more of such talks in MMU in the future,” said Muhammad Junaid Saumtally from the Faculty of Management.

All participants received a personal copy of the 18 Step ‘A’ Plan poster, a simple 18 step process to managing life as drawn up by Dato’ Vijay. Students also had the opportunity to get their books and posters signed by him.

Watch this space to get further updates as Vijayaratnam Foundation conducts more such sessions under the Aruna Seminar Series in colleges and universities around Malaysia.