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Home  > Media Hub > Press Releases 2015
UCSI scholars meet AirAsia Berhad CEO and executive director
24 Feb 2015

INSPIRATIONAL: AirAsia Berhad CEO and executive director Aireen Omar (third from left) with organising chairperson Bernard Chin Kai Yang (third from right), UCSI University Trust head Shannen Choi (second from right) and.UCSI students after receiving the Malaysia’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Young Leaders and Personalities Award.

ALL SMILES: AirAsia Berhad CEO and executive director Aireen Omar (seventh from right) posing for a group shot with U-SchoS president Suzanne Ling Sook Shian (fourth from right), UCSI University Trust head Shannen Choi (second from right) and other UCSI students after receiving the Malaysia’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Young Leaders and Personalities Award.

AirAsia Berhad CEO and executive director Aireen Omar was interviewed by UCSI scholars Fadzilah Binti Najumudeen (right) and Angeline Chong (left), sharing her views on leadership.

 
KUALA LUMPUR: UCSI Scholars’ Club (U-SchoS) – formed by scholarship recipients of UCSI University Trust – recently engaged AirAsia Berhad CEO and executive director Aireen Omar on Feb 6, 2015 in a candid one-hour interview, which saw her speak on her career journey in AirAsia and her views on leadership. The Trust is UCSI’s scholarship arm.

Themed, “Rise and Fly with Aireen”, the session aimed to inspire young Malaysian leaders to achieve their dreams by providing them with the platform to interact with top leaders and personalities across Malaysia. “Rise and Fly” is part of an ongoing series – namely, “U-SchoS’ Rise Up with the Leaders”.

Sharing her story with the young audience, Aireen explained that she found the trading and investment banking industry exciting at first because it was ‘thrilling to play with huge sums of money and make millions’ for her team.

But later, she said, I wanted to be part of something real (that would give me the opportunity) to help people, the community or (even boost) the country’s economy.

AirAsia gave her that opportunity.

“(Back then), travelling by air was only for the rich but now, everyone can fly because we found a way to make it affordable,” she said, adding that her biggest challenge as the CEO was in managing people.

“Communication is key but apart from that, you need to trust your staff or colleagues to do their job well. You need to empower them, and what comes with empowerment is accountability and ownership.”

In addition to the interview, Aireen also received the Malaysia’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Young Leaders and Personalities Award from UCSI.

“I feel very honoured (to receive the award) because these young people are the future of the country. I always enjoy talking to the younger generation,” she said. “In a way, they bring more energy and new ideas to what we already have.”

Notably, the award honours exemplary individuals who have inspired young Malaysians through leadership, business, sport, and community service, to name a few. In total, 31 candidates were nominated for the award by Malaysian students – between 16 and 25 years old – from local public and private institutions of higher learning. Malaysia’s Top 10 Most Inspiring Young Leaders and Personalities were selected based on votes by the students.

Having presented the award personally to Aireen, organising chairperson Bernard Chin Kai Yang enthused that the CEO was a really inspiring person.

“She was very humble and willing to share her experience with us. It’s not easy to move from one industry to another – it’s a tremendous shift, and to be able to cope (and come out on top) with all that just proves she’s a very capable leader,” said Bernard.

“Our “U-SchoS’ Rise Up with the Leaders” series provides a great platform for students to get up close and personal with leaders like Aireen. It’s hard for students to approach such distinguished people otherwise so in this, I feel it’s really meaningful.”

Earlier this year, UCSI presented world number one squash player Datuk Nicol David, Chatime Malaysia CEO Bryan Loo and Groupon Asia Pacific International vice-president Joel Neoh with the award.

Other winners of the award are singer and songwriter Shila Amzah, actress and pop singer Lee Sin Jie, YouTube sensation Jin Lim (Jinny Boy), and pop singer Fish Leong, among others.

"Without prejudice to the rights of UCSI the information herein is correct at the time of printing and UCSI reserves the right to make amendments without prior notice."
 
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