Thursday, 27 September 2012

Studying ACCA in Kaplan Financial

Before I go any further on my ramblings, I would like to address the questions by two commentators on undertaking ACCA at Kaplan Financial (refer: Allah works in mysterious ways and Living in Manchester).

First question is on ACCA placement.

First and foremost, during my time in 2009, the requirement for MARA scholarship is to sit for IELTS. Of course, even though at that time, Kaplan Financial did not request for IELTS, but in 2011, if I am not mistaken, there is a much stricter requirement when undertaking any courses in UK, that you have to take IELTS as part of the visa requirement.

For ACCA application, I choose Kaplan Financial because this is the college where students go to further their professional accounting courses. I did ask my aunt, who studied in London before, that her friends furthered their study in Emile Woofe college or Dublin Business School (which both has been acquired by Kaplan Financial).

I applied through a private agency in Pertama Complex, but I would advise to submit your application through Taylor's College because the staff will do the visa application for you (you just have to submit your details and certain certificates).It was kind of hard for me since the private agency do not have much knowledge on the updated UK Visa requirement, and has not advised us accordingly.

Anyhow, the service is free from Taylor's College or any other private agencies since if the student secured a placement, the college / university will pay the agent.

I would advise to secure for the placement first, since this will be the plus point when 'selling' yourself during the scholarship interview.

Now, on the next matter on why I choose to further ACCA in England:

  1. ACCA body is based in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. So it will be an advantage to know the UK requirements.
  2. Most of the text books on ACCA refers to UK cases - Barclays Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, ABN Amro (except for certain major US cases *cough cough* like Enron & Arthur Andersen), and examples of the brands are mostly UK brands, for example: Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, BMI, Ryan Air (you get what I mean), so of course, it will be much easier to understand what the tutors are saying when you know the examples.
  3. The tutors at Kaplan Financial are the markers for ACCA papers, which means, they mark you ACCA answer sheet (but that does not mean that they will know who are their students). So when the tutors teach you how to answer the exam questions, learn from them, since they are the ACCA markers.
  4. And all of my tutors know who is the examiner (the one who formulate the ACCA examination paper) and they always had feedback sessions all the time with the examiner. Even one of the examiner is just a 'shout away' from my college (a professor based in University of Manchester) and another is a tutor in Kaplan Financial, Glasgow.
  5. The tutors keep us up to date with current accounting issues (which is really important when you are answering the ACCA exam papers). They even forced us to read the ACCA student magazine.

So of course, all of the above are the plus points!

Second question is on short term course.

Kaplan Financial Manchester offer short term course, which started in March - June and another in September - December. The reason being is, the ACCA exam session is in June and December. The results will be out only in August (for June's exams) and February (for December's exams).

For me, I would not mind much about the short term course, since I was a full time student, and I studied on daily basis.

But for those who prefer a much longer course, it is offered in Kaplan Financial, London. You will start your course much earlier, and the courses in London is much cheaper (but there is a catch: the living cost in London escalates all the time!).

Anyway, as I previously wrote, Manchester was my preferred choice since I have a family, and my friends (who are self sponsored ACCA students) choose it because of the lower living cost. I was the only one who was on scholarship that choose Manchester, while others were based in London.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Of hacking and repairing

Last week had been quite stressful for us.

I noticed that there must be something wrong with the upstairs toilet when our ground floor ceiling had been leaking non stop.

We asked an Indonesian worker to check for us.

Based on his observation, the 2 upstairs toilets (we had 3 in total) may had some issues with the tiles flooring. When he checked out, it turned out that he was right.

Our previous contractor had negligently lessen the toilet's cement measurement and the floor tiles had not been cemented properly.

Since Fawwaz's toilet was the most damaged, work in progress started last Monday. And since it was basically a toilet renovation, we had to wait for a week for the worker to settle his work.

I was thinking that if it was in UK (where majority of houses had only one toilet, it will be a big problem if there is leaking etc.). There is this one true story, where a set of male students had been using the toilet in their rented house like in Malaysia (UK's toilets use plywood as their flooring and the toilet is not wet like Malaysians) that the floor just crumbled due to non stop water on the floor, and suddenly *poof* the toilet's floor had a big hole.


The toilet renovation went on like this:

Day 1 - Hacking of toilet, and then wait to dry
Day 2 - Cementing, and then wait to dry
Day 3 - Water proofing, and then wait to dry
Day 4 - Cementing, and again, wait to dry
Day 5 - Tiling, and have to wait to dry
Day 6 - Acid proofing (to clean the tiles), and then wait to dry
Day 7 - The tenants can happily use the toilet.

Since we had to choose new tiles, and even though Fawwaz's toilet is much easier to clean, due to dark colours, I opted for black coloured tiles.

Fawwaz said 'It look fabulous!' (but we just changed the toilet floor tiles only *_*).

My husband and I had been busy mopping the boys' bedroom (Fawwaz & Fahri) and cleaning the mess since the toilet can functioned well! Yey for that!

They boys' bedroom after we have done our spring cleaning. Love the bright colours, yatta!

I am still waiting for our main toilet to be finished. I have choose a much darker colour for the toilet's floor tiles, since it will be much easier for me to clean it later. Darker colours tend to not be so dull after countless of tiles scrubbing.

The main bedroom's toilet.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Congratulations darling!

Fahri won 2nd place in the colouring contest at his kindergarten.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Western style dinner

This week had been about preparing simple dishes.

Made a western style dinner last Sunday for the family.

Left to right:

Chicken fingers (obviously bought from the store, but lovingly cooked by me.. hihih)
Oven grilled fishes (ikan tenggiri). I can't remember the seasoning, but trust me, it were as simple as soy sauce and chilli powder. I like to vary the taste of it.
And lastly, chicken salad - was inspired by Mynie's salad when we visited her. Love the texture.


P/S: I think I really need to shop for my vegetables and fruits at Chow Kit market. Went there to buy some things for the office. I bought salads and tomatoes for a mere RM 2.50 (even though I am a KL-ian, I am really so 'kampung' when it comes to search for the best bargain. I was really surprised went the uncle who manned the vegetable stall told me that I need to only pay RM 2.50).

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Katalog IKEA

Semalam Fahri menelek katalog IKEA 2013 yang sudah lama sampai di rumah kami.

Fahri: Ibu, Fahri nak toilet macam ni
Ibu: Hmmm (sambil melihat katalog). Lawa Fahri.
Fahri: Mahal tak, ibu?

Budak-budak sekarang, ada taste dalam interior designing. Yang tak tahan, terus berkenan barang dari IKEA. Cubalah berkenan perabot di kedai lain... oh anakku.

2 bilik air kami sedang dipecahkan sekarang, jadi permintaan IKEAmu masih lagi tidak dapat dilayan buat masa ini.

Sila cuba minta bulan hadapan.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Bekerja sempena cuti am

Sesuatu yang mengikat saya dengan komitmen kerja, adalah kami perlu bekerja semalam sempena cuti hari Malaysia.

Minggu lepas, sebenarnya nama saya tidak termasuk di dalam senarai mereka yang perlu bekerja semalam. Walau bagaimanapun, disebabkan kekurangan staf untuk membuat lawatan dari rumah ke rumah pelanggan di sebuah kawasan perumahan menyebabkan kami 'dipaksa rela' untuk melakukan kerja tersebut.

Rasa kemalasan melanda, kerana satu Malaysia bercuti. Masih lagi tidak pasti hendak turun padang atau tidak, kerana pada hari terakhir bekerja, di kala jam 5 petang, syarikat sudah habis masa kerja, kumpulan kami masih lagi menerima taklimat dan arahan terakhir. Nama saya pula tercicir dari senarai sedia ada.

Walau bagaimanapun, saya akhirnya tiba juga semalam. Walaupun dilabel sebagai 'bidan terjun', kerana rakan-rakan lain, rata-rata sudah menghadiri latihan mengenai produk dan cara berkomunikasi dengan pelanggan pada Rabu lepas, saya pula yang terkebil-kebil kerana tidak diberi informasi yang cukup. Lantas, seseorang dari pejabat mengajak saya untuk menemani beliau, kerana kami perlu menghabiskan senarai 40 rumah untuk mendapatkan maklumbalas mengenai servis, produk serta kepuasan pelanggan.

Sebagai 'bidan terjun', dan seseorang yang merupakan pengguna UniFi, alhamdulillah, saya dapat menerangkan dengan lebih jelas mengenai produk-produk yang ada. Saya yakin, kita sebagai staf, tidak akan arif mengenai sesuatu produk sekiranya kita tidak mempunyai produk itu ataupun kita tidak pernah menghadiri latihan pengenalan produk. Agak mudah saya kira, kerana saya mudah berinteraksi dengan pelanggan. Ini mungkin suatu kelebihan bagi saya, kerana rata-rata pelanggan mempunyai anak-anak kecil atau remaja, yang menyebabkan saya dapat memberikan pengalaman saya sendiri menggunakan UniFi.

Dalam beberapa rumah pertama, saya dapat 'engage' dengan pelanggan, dan itulah pengalaman paling berharga apabila dilayan dengan baik, walaupun kami hanya bercakap di depan pagar rumah dan di bawah panas terik mentari. Malahan, walaupun ada beberapa pelanggan menjemput untuk menjamu kami, bagi saya tidak perlu kerana mungkin menyusahkan mereka sebagai tuan rumah.

Saya juga hanya sedar, selepas program ini, bahawa saya sebenarnya mempunyai skil komunikasi untuk berinteraksi dengan pelanggan secara peribadi.Walaupun tidak banyak pelanggan yang dijumpai, tetapi kepuasan itu tetap terbit kerana kita berjumpa mereka secara peribadi untuk memahami kehendak mereka.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Jamuan raya

I am actually sometimes very amazed at the competitiveness of our division. We had our Jamuan Raya last Tuesday, and you guys would be impressed at the preparations done by each unit.

We had to select one dish to serve to the guests. Since we were quite late in picking up the list of dishes, we settled for 'Mee Kari / Mee Mamak / Mee Nyonya'.

We even had a weekly meeting to update on our progress for the Raya. Everything inside the room is top secret, BTW, since we competed with other units in the division.

I feel like we are a top secret agent or something, hahaha. We even had to rip off the meeting papers after we discussed everything.

This guy did the apron ironing for the whole team. Seriously, we even had matching aprons, in the spirit to win!

And I was like, "Oh my, he even ironed his own shirt every day!". He is married BTW. Tskk tskk, I think the wife knows how hard it is to iron a man's shirt, right? 

The preparation of our stall. I did mention yesterday that we won 'Best Stall'. The concept is 'kampung' style, with the overall theme as 'East Meet West'.

Just look at the 'bricks' done by the people in my team. I got to know that other divisions use our props later after we left it in the multi purpose hall. Quite a few people already asked our team to borrow it.

We even had atap nipah and chasing lights.

One of the props for the stall. We had this small stand for the menu, just like in the restaurant.

The main dishes that were provided; kambing golek, nasi & lauk kampung, satay and burgers.
Other units had to come up with a stall, and each stall serve different dishes.

The dessert stall.

Buah potong and popcorn stall.They even had asam, garam, cili kicap to serve with the fruits.

Our stall! Finally, phew.. after weeks of preparation. We served mee kari, mee mamak and mee nyonya.

And the amazing part was, it was cooked by our own team, Kak Ton. She cooked for 100+ people. We did not even need to book outside caterers.

Lemang and ketupat stall.

The famous kebab Jalan TAR stall. This stall won 2nd place with their Arabian concept.

The ice cream stall. They even rented the ice cream machine. We can choose many types of ice creams and toppings. The girls who served the stall did not even had a break since people were queuing non stop.

Chcolate fountain stall. Unfortunately, the fountain could not be operated.

Our lucky draw prizes. Only mine was not on top of the table. Even the MC, who is from our team, won a hamper himself. It was kind of funny to see him announcing his own name and he took the hamper from the VIP.

Our team had been really lucky that day. We won 3 hampers and 2 gifts from the lucky draw. One of the guys won 'Best Dressed', and the best part was, we won for 'Best Stall'!

Cam whoring. Seriously, all of us always had time for the cameras.You guys should see the amount of pictures from the team. Haha! There are tonnes of it.

Another group picture.

And lastly, the famous 'Burger Bakar Kaw-kaw' come to our Raya open house. They opened a little bit late, but we were finally able to taste the delicious budget. They had 3 outlets, but the most prominent one is located in Wangsa Maju.

We need to order a few days before, for 'take aways'. The burger is really yummy-licious!

I did overeat that day after a few days of fasting. But I look slim right? ^_^

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


After so many unlucky-ness during lucky draw, I won a rice cooker as 2nd place winner. Should be asking my mom whether she wants it or not.

I did bring my rice cooker for heating the curry mee. And it was kind of funny to get another one, when I have to bring back home two rice cookers.

We had our Jamuan Raya yesterday, and our stall won the best stall. Will be updating the pictures soon. .

Monday, 10 September 2012

I am OK

I know there is this thing called diary, but I don't keep one for years.

I think I am OK.
I just feel overwhelmed right now.

I am not a super woman.

And hey, the power of retail shopping. It can be done at the comfort of your own laptop..

Ngeee :)

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Interesting Sunday chats

"Auntie kat Lubnan berapa lama?"
"4 years."

"Tak bahaya ke?"
"We were there through 2 wars."
"Anak-anak Auntie masa tu tidur atas korridor. Rumah auntie tingkap kaca. Malam tu, missile tak berhenti bedil."
"When the next morning came, we appreciate the peace. Orang Malaysia tak pernah rasa macam ni."

I kind of appreciate Malaysia's peacefulness after having that insight from the aunt.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Reconnecting with friends

Went to Mynie's house last Friday for some sort of Raya lunch (during Merdeka holidays).

Met a new friend, Kak Faiza (is it?) and reconnect with old ones, Mynie and kak Huda. Talking about six degrees of separation, then we realised it is not six degrees anymore, but by a mere of 1 or 2 degrees only. Found out that Kak Faiza's cousin is working in TM and married to one of my dearest course mate. What a small world :)

I was impressed with Mynie's spread of lunch. Consist of roasted chicken, chicken mushroom soup, chicken salad, mashed potatoes - all made by herself. We even had time for her yummylicious apple truffle, and made a tour around her house. Hahaha!

Even kak Huda showed us a plan of her father's future house (which she self draw herself). And I was thinking the cost of making a house is really much lower than buying in KL/Selangor (with exorbitant property price). Hmmmm, thinking of building a bungalow in Melaka later :P. Was quite surprised when kak Huda told us about the total cost of building one. As for KL/Selangor, just waiting for the property bubble to explode (there are certain rumors already, even the newspapers covered about this).

Anyhow, it was nice meeting the ladies after such a long time :)

I really need to start reading recipes and trying out after getting impressed with Mynie's cooking skills. And I did think my husband's expectation went up a notch after tasting the dishes (& eating 'nasi hujan panas' at my cousin's kenduri last 2 weeks).