Aqilah Diyanti binti Hasan graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Monash University in 2016. Since then, she has worked in various roles in different fields such as finance, human resource, marketing, and customer service.
Wanting a career transition, Aqilah applied for a copywriting position at Biji-Biji Initiative. She has always loved to write and hoped to pivot her career to the creative field. To her surprise, she received an invitation to the Mereka Digital Entrepreneurship Programme. After applying for a scholarship and successfully graduating from the programme, this is what she experienced.
Before joining the programme, Aqilah was often rejected from positions due to a lack of experience and skills. She eventually resorted to working in a call centre. But the decreasing pay and increasing work hours made her realise the unhealthiness of such a work environment.
Gig work that offered flexibility, work-life balance and the possibility of earning in other currencies was an attractive alternative. Aqilah was already familiar with platforms such as Upwork and Freelancer.com, intimidating but tempting playgrounds to explore, as she dipped her toes in freelance transcription jobs and data management. The Mereka Digital Entrepreneurship Programme helped expose Aqilah to a multitude of opportunities she had never explored before.
“The programme helped me a lot in meeting new people with the same mindset. I think all modules are informative and beneficial.”
Aqilah enjoyed meeting new people from different backgrounds through the programme. She was impressed by the number of successful participants who had joined the programme to learn alongside her. She especially loved how supportive the Mereka team was as trainers and peers alike all contributed to helping her recognise her niche and skills, and boost her overall confidence with gig platforms.
Two trainers that especially inspired her were Suzanne Ling and Mathura. Aqilah was impressed by the amazing story behind Suzanne’s brand, PichaEats, an impact-driven food business that enables change for marginalised communities. She also found Mathura’s lecture on finance management to be very insightful. The fact that both trainers created success at a young age gave her hope and motivation.
Aqilah plans to continue to work hard to earn a steady income and support her parents. After being exposed to SEO content-writing during the programme’s mock assignment, she is empowered to strengthen her portfolio as a content writer. She is actively sending job proposals to Upwork, LinkedIn, as well as offering pro-bono services to companies for content writer gigs. And the friends she met through the programme continue to be a great support network as they are currently working on a project together while simultaneously learning new skills and upskilling online.