The idea for Project What’s After SPM was hatched back in early 2009 and inspired by the personal experiences of the management team (more than half of which were then vying for admission into American colleges). Being highly aware of the frustrations that beset most Malaysian students facing similar challenges, we started thinking about how we could help our slightly younger peers navigate the choppy seas of post-secondary school life.

At first, we thought about the various ways we thought we could do this: we could coach students on how to apply to university, we could publish educational resources online, etc. But we also realized that i) none of these methods would solve the primary problem of uncertainty faced by young Malaysians, and that ii) these efforts were already widely practiced, but even then could not reach the majority of disadvantage youth communities that were offline and disconnected from their urban, privileged contemporaries.

Thus, we decided that instead of adopting the conventional route of making resources passively available, we would go out and actively distribute resources to young Malaysians, and that we would do this by i) compiling an anthology of anecdotes by Malaysians who have pursued and experienced different opportunities in the most transformative years of our lives, and ii) getting the public to help us distribute the book nationwide.

We would also like to note that the book is titled ‘What’s After SPM’ for marketing reasons – the majority of young Malaysians face the first major moment of indecision of their lives in the context of figuring the next move after SPM (the secondary school graduation rate is about 90% for those in urban areas and 80% for those in rural areas, and over 90% of those who complete secondary school opt to sit for SPM). Still, we hope that this book will appeal to all young Malaysians, SPM graduates or otherwise, and those who did not complete secondary high school altogether. This is not a book-length feature of high achievers. Rather, it features the real life experiences of real Malaysians whom too, were once in your shoes, and the dreams and decisions they made.

There are 101 stories in this book (the prime number 101 being an allusion to the notion of new beginnings).

Some have taken on conventional careers, and some others have followed creative and unconventional vocations.
Some have attended the most prestigious universities in the world, and some others have failed and/or dropped out.
Some have single-mindedly pursued a clear interest since very young, and some others discovered their passions at at later age.
Some have trodden down the well-beaten path, and some others have blazed new trails.

It is not the purpose of the book to impose notions of what constitutes an ideal pathway for a young person. On the contrary, it is our hope that our readers will come to realize and appreciate that every life experience is uniquely rewarding, and presents its own opportunities.

***

The management team comprises of:

Benjamin Ng
Charis Loke
Gabrielle Chong Yong Wei (founder)
Goh Jing Pei
Kimberley Ho
Tara Thean
Yeoh Chen Chow

The editorial team comprises of:
Aaron Paul
Akil Yunus
Jasmin Yow
Kenneth Chaw
Michelle Chun
Michelle Tam (chief editor)
Wong Boon Ken

Contributing Authors:-

1 Adeliyn Lim Li Hu
2 Adila Khairul Anuar
3 Aidan Chan
4 Aik Wei Shen
5 Ainur Fadhillah Ahmad Fuad
6 Aizuddin Arshad
7 Alia Ali
8 Amelia Lee
9 Anand Pillai
10 Andrew Loh
11 Azimi Azmin
12 Azlyn Balqis
13 Azmyl Yunor
14 Benjamin Ng
15 Charis Loke
16 Chen Wei Kiat
17 Cheng Wan Kimm
18 Daniel Chong
19 Derek Tan
20 Didi Jaafar
21 Dina Murad
22 Dominic Lucien Luk
23 Emmet Lee
24 Eng Kian Shen
25 Gabrielle Chong Yong Wei
26 Ganesh Raj 27 Geetha
28 Goh Jing Pei
29 Grace Lim Jia Wei
30 Grace Ong Doen En
31 Ho Mei Kay
32 Hiu Chii Fen
33 Ho Yi Jian
34 Jasmine Yow
35 Jonathan Wong
36 Jonitha Nadarajah
37 Jude Limus
38 Julian Noel Baptist
39 Karuna Ang
40 Khing Ju Li
41 Kimberley Chai
42 Law Tzuo Hann
43 Lee Kang Xian
44 Lee Lian Kong
45 Lek Ken Vin
46 Leona Liman
47 Liang Fu Han
48 Lim Gene Harn
49 Lim Pei Xin
50 Lim Rue Hann
51 Louis Yap Jun Hao
52 Marilyn Ee
53 Melissa Kong
54 Michael Chow
55 Michael Teoh
56 Michelle Chong
57 Michelle Tam
58 Michelle Yoon
59 Mien Lor
60 Mohamad Alif
61 Nani Abdul Rahman
62 Neo Jia Hui
63 Neoh Wen Keat
64 Ng Eng Han
65 Ng Mei Yee
66 Nuruljannah Bte Haji Usop
67 Ong Kian Ming
68 Ong Vin Nie
69 Pang Siew La
70 Pang Sze Fei
71 Philip Loh
72 Phraveen Arikiah
73 R. Sandeep
74 Rachel Au
75 Rachel Chan
76 Rashid Karim
77 Rasmina Ibrahim
78 Raymond Woo Weng Pong
79 Rezal Ahmad
80 Ruth Yeoh
81 Sally Ong Shin Yee
82 Sara Ooi
83 Seet Chean Wee
84 Shanuja Chandran
85 Sharon Lam
86 Sherman Kuek
87 Slyvia Tan Moh Sze
88 Tam Jee Ian
89 Tan Yew Chern
90 Tang Khai Sheng
91 Tang Mei San
92 Tara Thean
93 Teng Hui Li
94 Tham Pei Ting
95 Tineswari Maruthamuthu
96 Wan Nadiah
97 William Chan
98 Yeoh Chen Chow
99 Yeo Jie Ming
100 Zain HD
101 Zan Azlee
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