Who Will Win The Maybank MGAC 2016 Battle?

Fresh graduates and undergraduates from universities around the world vie for apprenticeship and prize monies.

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  • Wednesday, 17 August 2016
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Who Will Win The Maybank MGAC 2016 Battle?
Maybank MGAC 2016. (Image Credit :
News of the 2016 edition of The International or Dota 2’s biggest tournament of the year taking place last weekend in Seattle made flash headlines for its massive USD20 million prize money. For gamers and the millennial generation, eSports is definitely a passion that can get lucrative for its devotees in the brave new 21st century. For the less or non-game-inclined wondering if traditional education still has a place in the world of today , the answer is a resolute yes, so read on.
A leading example to showcase that education is still the route to building a great career particularly for the young generation is the award-winning MGAC or the Maybank GO Ahead Challenge, now back for the 5th year running. This student competition is Maybank’s annual version of The Apprentice reality TV series, and it is designed to uncover and recruit high-performing talents from around the world for Malaysia’s largest bank. 

9 Impressive Facts About MGAC

  1. MGAC challenges competitors not only in financial disciplines but non-financial ones, putting them on an obstacle course that requires them to use the best of their business acumen, problem-solving skills, emotional and cultural intelligence to win a series of tests in high-pressure settings.
  2. Participants are in for an experiential Maybank journey with MGAC as they get a sneak peek of the bank’s culture and operational ins and outs and also, its humanizing mission.
  3. The hashtag #UnexpectTheExpected defines MGAC 2016, which takes on a brand new vantage point from the last four years. What’s new for 2016 is the case design of thought-provoking and adrenaline-inducing activities created by Maybank in-house talents, a departure from the usual financial case studies format of yesteryear MGAC.
  4. MGAC 2016 has included all ten ASEAN countries for the first time, while applications received from nations like Japan, Finland, Russia, Kazakhstan and Taiwan prove how popular and universally appealing the competition is.
  5. This year in April 2016, starting from the Campus level focusing on humanity and ethical issues to unveil the participants’ authentic personality and true selves, MGAC moved on to the National level involving 25 Malaysian and overseas university campuses on 6 June 2016. On 15 August 2016, MGAC kick-started its Global Finals where 10 days of intense competition will see the 60 Global Finalists battle it out. Click here to see and vote for your favourite MGAC 2016 Global Finalist(s).
  6. This year, MGAC spent 362 hours in 11 countries to whittle down to 60 Global Finalists funneled through 37,000 applications from over 100 countries. These Global Finalists stand to compete for a spot in Maybank’s award-winning Management Trainee Program — the Global Maybank Apprentice Programme (GMAP).
  7. On top of that, cash prizes of USD40K for the winning team; USD20K for the second place winner; and USD10K for the third place winner await. The Global Champion (individual category) will win USD1K and a 2-week internship experience at any Maybank office in the world. 
  8. For the first time in 2016, universities are being challenged to compete against each other in terms of their level of engagement, quality of candidates and number of applications.
  9. MGAC is an award-winning student competition, bagging the top prize at Malaysia’s 100 Leading Graduate Employer 2015 Awards for ‘Best Innovation On Campus’, ‘Best Recruitment Innovation’ in Singapore and ‘Excellence in Graduate Development’ in Hong Kong at Asia Recruitment Awards 2016.

Testimonials From Past MGAC Champs

Richard Ocampo (Philippines)
MGAC 2014 Champion, Ultimate GO Ahead Challenger Award 2014 and head of Business Case Design and Communications on MGAC 2016 Organising Committee.

Richard Ocampo. (Image Credit : Maybank)
On MGAC Eligibility
We‘re encouraging second-year collegiate level and above, and we are also open to MBA students and graduate students with two years and below of work experience. We’re open to all courses and especially for this year, we’re not business-centric so a lot of candidates from business will have the same struggles as non-business ones.
Like any competition, it’s difficult. It’s a 360-degree assessment, looking at your business prowess, technical analysis and overall how well you present. It also looks at your disposition, teamwork abilities, emotional intelligence, competence, character and things we base leadership on. Over the course of nine months at the campus and national levels, and Global Finals, it’s very hard to pretend and hide anything. Your character and competence will really show when working with teams and being under pressure.
On Winning At MGAC
Do your homework, due diligence, and understand the business world, private sector and different industries that play a part. The second part is understanding your strengths, what you’re good at and what are you the go-to person for. Thirdly, you have to be adaptable, and at MGAC, how flexible you are is key. Fourth is character, and the moment you are interested, it makes it all different. Be the best you can be at that time.
On MGAC 2016 New Case Design
First, the subject matter of the case is not just any industry. Second, the case format is difficult and different from the last 4 years. It’s an unexplored industry with a degree of intensity and difficulty, coming up with an in-depth solution and insight into specific industries. It’s more of bringing your character and competence together.
On Working At Maybank
Maybank in Malaysia where I spent most of my program is very big so you get a taste of different flavours in different departments. It’s like working in a huge institution with multi-cultural layers. It has taught me to adapt to different leadership styles, and to be agile and flexible especially as a business student where you’re used to process or linear thinking. Here you need to be very dynamic with people management skills to navigate the politics, good and bad.

Wilson Beh (Malaysia)
MGAC 2012 Global Champion and currently Assistant Manager at Maybank Regional Coverage (Global Banking division.

Wilson Beh. (Image Credit : Maybank)
I would like to encourage undergraduates to participate in a competition like this as it is a win-win scenario. First of all, it’s a proven and award-winning competition and MGAC is recognized by the industry. Secondly, for undergraduates interested to work in the banking sector, this program gives a very good glimpse of what banking is like, exposure to Maybank culture and networking opportunities with top undergraduates around the world, like last year, we had participants from Cambridge, Oxford, Columbia Business School and Imperial College.
On What MGAC Taught Me
MGAC has taught me a lot of things, but three things to take away. One, teamwork is key. If five persons in a competition cannot agree on a vision and align on the steps to move forward, things will fall apart as in a real organization. Two, ability to work with people from different cultures, backgrounds and personalities. It’s important to learn how to be a follower and how to be a leader and most importantly how to communicate and get the message across. Today, in Maybank, being able to compromise, show understanding and appreciation to each other’s strengths is very crucial with people from different backgrounds. Third is to have gratitude, something not many corporate people talk about. It’s always about professional and product skills, a given, but if we lack gratitude, we are not able to give 100% of what we are able to do. If take a step back and say I am responsible, grateful of being put in the position of command to make a change or steer and committed to do something impactful, the outcome will be different.
On Where MGAC Can Lead To
After winning, I didn’t really join the Global Maybank Apprentice Program but was absorbed immediately by the bank as staff. The idea of MGAC is for the bank to tap onto talents, either to join the program (rotation in different departments) or join identified bosses who want to take them which is also a feasible route.

Syeda Fariha Preanka (Bangladesh)
MGAC 2013 participant, Ultimate GO Ahead Challenger Award 2013 and currently employed at Maybank International Operations division.

Syeda Fariha Preanka. (Image Credit : Maybank)
On How MGAC Is Organised
How it works is that the competition is actually developed by the Maybank apprentices themselves. It’s amazing with a bunch of graduates of 20 to 24 years old developing a case that spans ASEAN and even London and New York, with such big prize money at stake and the brand of Maybank with it. It’s very empowering and speaks volumes of Maybank’s trust in the youth to empower them. Seeing the success of MGAC over the years, it’s proven investment.
Not only do you improve as a person with all your strengths and weaknesses, but you get to meet a pool of like-minded people and the energy they come with is contagious. The positivity you derive from other people goes a long way, plus building long-lasting relationships that are valuable to your career and life in the future.
On Thriving At MGAC
Working well under pressure is key in this competiton especially when you reach the Global Finals. In 2013, it was a series of over 6 days and in 2014, it was 10 or 12 days so the stress is incredible where you have little sleep with case materials thrown at you overnight for a presentation you need to make the next morning. It’s very important you don’t crack under pressure and you keep calm and composed, and this skill goes a long way especially in the corporate world.  Also being flexible and adaptable in global organisations with diverse nationalities and academic disciplines, so we learn how to work with each other and trust each other’s judgements.
On Women Empowerment At Maybank
Maybank is very diverse in terms of gender, nationality and ethnicity. There is a women counsel program in Maybank where successful woman leaders take responsibility to mentor younger women at work. This is a platform where we can express ourselves and find the perfect match for coaching and guidance in the organization to move forward. Now we’re trying to regionalize that agenda into the international offices as well, so women in all our international markets can count on that support. Today at Maybank we have a gender diversity of 51% women but of course, we see the ratio shrinking as we go higher. The bank supports working mothers with daycare and flexible working hours, and is a step forward in spearheading a women-friendly workplace.
On Working At Maybank
There are a lot of opportunities right here at the bank and it’s about finding the best fit with your personality and the job role that is on offer.

For more info on MGAC or Maybank's GO Ahead Challenge, check out: 

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