Meet the Maxis Stars of What’s Next Award Winners 2018

maxis stars of what's next 2018 award winners and leadership team

Maxis Stars of What’s Next celebrates Malaysian undergraduates who have pushed their limits and excelled not only in their studies, but also with incredible achievements through projects and initiatives they are passionate about outside the lecture theatre.

This year, Maxis received hundreds of applications and after multiple rounds of interviews and assessments, Maxis shortlisted 10 remarkable individuals to be the top 10 finalists for this award. All 10 finalists have proven themselves to be Malaysia’s finest, each with their own unique personal story to tell. During the award ceremony, Maxis had the pleasure of announcing the top 3 winners.

Meet the top 3 winners of Maxis Stars of What’s Next Award 2018:

1. Amiruddin Ismail

 amiruddin ismail portrait




“The key is to not stay comfortable. I always look out for opportunities to grow and improve, and I do not confine yourself to an ideal as this might actually limit my own potential.”

 Age: 26 years old

Education: English Studies student at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Notable Achievement: Founder of Permata Interact, a 100% student-run education NGO that aims to empower urban youths from underprivileged backgrounds through learning English.

Amiruddin has a strong passion for empowering the underprivileged youths in Malaysia. He believes that strong English communication skills would enable high school graduates to access a greater range of opportunities when entering the working world. However, not all students have the privilege of being brought up in an English-speaking environment. Thus, Amiruddin founded Permata Interact, an education NGO that teaches English as a second language to urban youths from underprivileged backgrounds in a fun learning environment. He hopes to help close this linguistic divide and empower these youths to be more competitive upon graduation.

Through this project, Amiruddin has developed his own set of management skills. His advice to undergraduates who wish to stand out in the job market? “Learn how to prioritise tasks and collaborate with your team to get things done”.

Grateful for being recognised for his work, he aims to continue pursuing his passion in empowering disadvantaged youths, and hopes to expand the program and create a greater impact on the wider community.


2. Rachel Loh

 rachel loh portrait



“University life is a precious period of time as you would have the perfect balance between freedom and responsibility in order to be experimental and more importantly, fail without many strings attached.”

 Age: 21 years old

Education: Psychology student at HELP University

Notable Achievement: Founding team member of Rice Inc, a social enterprise that tackles food insecurity and addresses farmers’ poverty.

Rachel is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at Rice Inc. Her team recently won the Hult Prize 2018, receiving $1,000,000 in seed funding to help raise rice production in Southeast Asia and raise the incomes of rice farmers through the use of energy efficient rice-drying and storage technology.

She has learned that striking the balance between work and social life is essential to taking on heavy responsibilities: “Learning how to prioritise and improving your stress-tolerance level are some things that definitely come in handy when coping with a huge amount of workload”. In her opinion, challenging times are also great opportunities to learn, and being proactive and seeking out different ways to improve ourselves are key to remaining competitive in the market.

Rachel is currently completing her undergraduate thesis on “Women in the Workplace”. Winning the award has motivated her to continue her efforts in building sustainable and empathetic communities for the betterment of society.


3. Alethea Wong

 alethea wong portrait



“Focus on changing purpose into impact. Clarifying your goal as a leader is essential, but defining a mission statement alone is not enough. You must also inspire a shared sense of purpose among all team members in order to realise your vision.”

 Age: 21 years old

Education: Psychology student at HELP University

Notable Achievement: Current Head of Community Outreach & Collaborations at the United Nations Association of Malaysia (UNAM) Youth.

Alethea has a passion for projects revolving around youth, empowerment, community and sustainable development, such as professional networking platforms and advocacy works. Recalling the difficulties faced while working on these initiatives, she said: “For the most part, the most challenging aspect of the job is to manage all stakeholders’ expectations. One of the best ways is to ensure effective communication, so that everyone is clear of what to expect from one another – make no assumptions!” She believes every team member has a role to play when it comes to teamwork, therefore it is crucial to maximize the capabilities and potentials of one another in contributing to success.

Upon graduation, she is planning to venture into public policy consulting. Ultimately, her aspiration in life is to run her own social business championing a cause that is close to her heart and deliver sustainable impacts.

Related: Thinking of Getting an MBA? Fulfill Your Postgraduate Dreams with this Maxis Scholarship


Note: This article was developed in partnership with Maxis, the leading communications provider in Malaysia for mobile, home and business needs on 4G and fibre.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.