Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dream Comes True with Maxis

Dreams do turn into reality, provided one puts in his or her every effort into realizing them. March 28th, 2013 marked another transition of my life. It was the day in which I was informed that Maxis has selected me as one of their scholars. The moment I knew I was awarded the Maxis Scholarship for Excellence (MSEA), one of which I have been eyeing for in a very long time, I sighed with relief. Unlike what most other people might have done, that is scream for joy, I just smiled to myself. It was not because I wasn't contented with what I have been blessed with, rather it was more of like a heavy burden lifted off my shoulders. The financial burden. It wasn't like my parents couldn't afford to pay for my education, it was just me. I am self-driven. I have always strived to achieve greater heights in my life, especially in my education. A year ago, I was offered a place in the Psychology program of 6 universities, 5 from the UK and 1 from HK. Unfortunately, financial constraints have deterred me from pursuing my studies abroad. So, I have settled for IMU. Despite all that, I have never given up on my dream of obtaining a scholarship to ease my parents' burden.  I have always worked hard in academics and also not omitting the ECAs in order gain different experiences outside classroom. Thus, this scholarship definitely serves as a recognition for all the effort I have put into my academics. This scholarship is even more meaningful to me with it being a merit-based scholarship. Here, I would like to share the experiences of my journey towards securing the MSEA with all aspiring Maxis scholars.

First Interview
The first interview is always deemed as a casual get-to-know-you interview. The first stage interview was a 2 to 1 interview which lasted for 30 minutes. Two Maxis staffs were my interviewers. They were quite friendly in a serious way.  For my case, in fact for this year's first interview (according to other candidates I talked to), the questions were quite challenging as they were asked with a purpose of knowing your leadership skills in terms of how you deal with different situations/challenges. The questions were more specific and requires some thinking. Basically, candidates have to be prepared in providing detailed descriptions/explanations for your experience. Being detailed shows that you are speaking from your real experience and you reflect on what you have been through. So, be wary of what you say or write on your CV as you may be asked to explain in detail your experience.

Second Interview
The second interview was a 3 to 1 interview with an interviewer from the external panel. Something I would never have forgotten is the awkward moment before I entered the interview room. The door (unlike any other ordinary doors) was so difficult to be pushed open. I struggled to open the door despite trying to push the door from both sides. It was not until one of the interviewers inside told me to push harder that I managed to enter the room, almost losing my balance as the door was so heavy! This time's interview which lasted for about 25 to 30 minutes (shorter than others who were in the same slot as me) was slightly easier for me. I wonder if it was just me or this applies to others as well.  I guess it was because I was more prepared this time as the questions revolved around my ambition or future career.  But there were some questions which I felt my answers were quite vague but I still managed to convey them in a calm manner. The questions posed will also base on what you present in your introduction. I ended my intro by mentioning about my ambition. Hence, the whole interview was about my ambition. One thing to note is that interviewer from the external panel was particularly nice, I felt at ease when I spoke to her as she was always acknowledging my answers, giving a slight boost to my confidence. Generally, conduct a thorough research on your field of study and express interest in contributing to the nation. I was told by my mom (who is also a scholarship interviewer) that second round interviews are usually meant to confirm whether you are the right candidate for the scholarship, instead of compete with other candidates in terms of who is the best fit for the scholarship.

Overall, both interviews have different levels of difficulties and  this varies according to individuals. My advice is to maintain your calm and be humble by not being too confident in your answers. However, substantial confidence is a key to eliminate nervous feelings.

That's all about MSEA. 

I just came back from Ching Ming and I seriously need some rest to deal with assignments and activities in the next few weeks. Goodnight, world!

To all aspiring scholars out there, realize dreams by imagination and then execution.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Back to square one


2012 has been a year full of ups and downs for me but I'm glad I pulled through it. With every year being a new beginning for me, I definitely look forward to fulfilling some of the resolutions I've always been tied to but never really accomplished them throughout the previous years. If you're curious, here are some of the resolutions: a) to be physically fit and slimmer b) to meet and make more friends

Why a)? I realized that I need to stay fit if I am really interested to participate in runs and sporting activities. I really enjoy doing sports, but never had much of the opportunities nor the group of friends to engage with in any sport. Another reason is for the sake of self-satisfaction. I like being healthy. I mean, nobody likes being unhealthy. In a nutshell, having the fitness gives me a sense a security.

Then why b)? It's kind of related to a). Wanting to be fit would mean engaging in more sports/activities, thus being able to meet more people. Well, the philosophy is simple this year. Mix around without any preconceived judgment of others and at the end of the day, if the person is really not your type of friend, at least I've tried, at least I've made my move to have arrived at the conclusion of who he or she really is.

Done with resolutions. Now, stories that kick started the new year.
First, the dawn of a new year practically had no significance to me this year due to exams. The anticipation wasn't even there. I know, some people have had the same experience. But it was my first time pulling off the new year with my books and notes. Nevermind though. My hard work paid off this time with a 4.00 to end my first year. Unexpected but totally grateful and on cloud nine. Thank you, God.

It was only after exams that my new year excitement came about. A few of us in the same batch headed to Penang for a short vacation since we've been receiving endless invitations from our Penang friends to visit them. So, we finally made it this time! I have to say that both of my Penang friends are pretty good hosts. They know where to have the best ikan bakar, char kuey teow, roasted pork, assam laksa, you name it! I even thought that they have the potential to be tour guides. And I wondered if those living in Penang realized how lucky they are to be showered with great food, all of reasonable or I'd say really cheap prices. AHHH..the joy of being a Penang-ite.

Also, I had my first parasailing experience in Penang. It was a memorable one accompanied by scratches and minor bruises on my knees and arm aftermath thanks to our shaky take-off and landing. But it was fun, I wouldn't mind doing it again, next time, I'd like to have a solo parasailing. One thing I'm ecstatic about is that I can now proudly announce that I've tried bungee jumping, parasailing and skydiving, all before the age of 21. Wohoo!!!

That's about all for now. Before I end, I'd like to officially welcome 2013, this time with something to shout about; CNY!! Shoppings, visits, angpaos and wonderful delicacies graciously await us!

Cheers to a great year ahead with many many positive returns!


Friday, June 22, 2012

I don't know what to say here :)

So here goes ze updates with mi favorito cancion- Someone Like You, playing in the background :)

For the past weeks since the break started, I've been committed in this so called jogging stint that I deemed to have shaped myself. With the Standard Chartered Run coming up haha, I'm pretty excited since it's my first 10km run, just realized my last one was in 2005; 7km SJ Run which I finished 68th. I've always wanted to challenge myself in 10km but ya know, the excuses parents give when they're too over protective over their kids. The what-if's tend to bombard us when it comes to involving our safety etc.

Since it's the sem break, you might have already assumed that I'd taken my end of semester examinations and the results were released not too long ago. I was QUITE satisfied with the results, of course. I expected worse but yeah, it turned out better than I expected, much I would say. Btw, I have low expectations :P. But the thing is, is it just ME or does it apply to almost everyone? When you receive something better than what you've expected, it kinda leads you to unnecessary thoughts that revolves around comparing what you've got with that of others, thus craving for more! That's something that I want to get rid off. No matter what, I thank God for what I'm blessed with.

Besides exams in escuela, I'd Spanish exams, too. Well, so many had asked why Spanish??!! INTEREST, that's all. I've been to the States and I love how the language involves passion in communication; there's just this good aura that I could feel in people who speak Spanish; if that makes sense. Anyway, I passed the first level and hopefully I would be able to continue to at least the intermediate level.

Enough of espanol (es-pa-nyol), now birthdays! First, it was Sze's and Jez's, then Elaine's, followed by mine. June baby, yeah! For their birthdays, I'd taken initiatives to surprise them but according to them, my surprises weren't surprises, hence, declared me as a failure in surprises. For mine, I'd told them not to surprise me, you know, surprising others makes you a more experienced one that you become constantly aware of surprises when your birthday is around the corner. So, they'd brought me to Kissaten in Jaya One. I've been there once with kor and the food is pretty good. When I was asked on what to eat for dinner that day, I'd actually mentioned Kissaten so Jez (without the others) brought me there and how amazing to see them already there! Amazing telepathy between Sze (who suggested Kissaten) and me! I wondered what'd happened if I'd choose another restaurant. The tradition has always been this. We celebrate birthdays for each other, that's what good friends do for each other. I'm blessed to have them in my life :).

I guess I'd better sign off now. Hope this minor cold of mine does not affect my SC run on Sunday. Semester 2 is starting in about 2 days so it's again time to get back on track; hopefully this is a better sem for a better GPA. Kelly Clarkson- Stronger, playing now.
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"
 "Lo que no mata te hace más fuerte"  #justcurioustoknowsoigoogledit


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Where have I been?

So....haven't been posting since CNY. Imma start from A-Levels results. I was contented with my results, not the best, but within my expectation, so no regrets or disappointment! And then, a week later, I found myself enrolled in the psychology program in IMU. You know, parents' pressure and all to start my degree quick so I don't laze around at home. Time passed by so fast that now, I find myself juggling between assignments and preparation for exam which is in almost a month time. Oh, and I have got the HKU offer which I did not accept or reject. Well, I did not reply to their offer because the deadline to reply was so soon that I didn't have time to contemplate. HKU didn't give me a scholarship so I had to decline it anyways. Parents' regulation; no scholarship, no studying abroad. So I am going to try my hands on several scholarships (for the UK offers) while doing my first semester in IMU. Local or overseas, I don't care, as long as it is a scholarship and I can reduce my parents' burden. As for life in IMU, meeting new friends was part of stepping into uni but having lecturers who are just awesome is just what I need in uni. Probably because it's psychology, its lecturers are more of the friendly and approachable type. Of course, there are some lecturers who do not belong to this league. Haha. Oh, and my batch consists of only 16 students. Pathetic or what? I kinda enjoy the small group because I could get closer to everyone; like a family. Being a batch rep wasn't easy. It's not all about responsibility but it's also about being assertive in certain matters. I guess I just have to learn from the experience and improve from there. That's all for now, it'll probably take ages before I sign in again. But bear with me!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Waking up to CNY excitement was never this good. In addition to the holiday mood, CNY celebration would be perfect this year.It's invigorating to know that the whole family is getting geared up for CNY. What a blessing that this year has gone as far as one month, and I've deliberately prepared to welcome the new year. A batchmate of mine had recently posted on FB, stating that 23rd Jan would be a codominant date. How original that is! Indeed, what she'd stated holds an enormous amount of truth. 23rd Jan is also results day for A Levels students. Gah, the thought of it scares me but it's time for us to find out if our efforts paid off. No matter what, I thank god for giving me the courage and determination to pull through a course which I'd thought I couldn't survive in, almost dropping out of it.

Meanwhile, have a great CNY celebration to all peeps out there and stay safe!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


It's a brand new year again! Yes, again! Can you imagine that time passed by just so quickly that I barely have time to reflect on what I've done in 2011? 2011, wasn't really a year worthy to reminisce, considering the fact that we had two major exams to sit for. But at least, it's all over. Nevermind the exams and stress, just make sure we enjoy as much as we work. That's kinda my new year's resolution! 2012 will be a better year.As everyone's excited for the new year, many could also be wondering if the "2012 myth" or whatever people perceive it as is real. I never really cared, though it's fun to share the eagerness. Oh, why would we be eager to find out if it's really not erroneous that our lives are coming to a full stop? Nevermind the stress :)

So, the first week of January was pretty exciting as I picked up a long lost hobby; baking. Baking has always been my interest since the stay in the US. I have baked oatmeal cookies, three layers brownies, scones etc all of which I have been guided by my host dad, who's a good cook. I started off by trying my hands on banana muffins. They turned out ok. The colour and texture were to my expectation. But the taste wasn't very convincing to me as I've added a lil bit more of vanilla extract.The next time I baked, the end products which were raisin scones turned out rather desirable. The colour was a lil pale although I wished to see the nice golden brown. Taste wise was quite good. I liked it myself. Everyone enjoyed the scones. As for baked honey chicken, not too favorable as the flavors didn't combine that well.
Tomorrow, I am baking Spritz cookies, also known as butter cookies.

Enough of bakes. Now, HKU interview. Ahhh, this is one of the best, yet intimidating interview I have been to. To be honest, I wasn't at all confident about this one and it was a group interview. You know the enormous pressure when you witness a battle of wits, and you're supposed to be the one participating as well. My batch was a mediocre one, with one or two who were very promising. I think I belonged in the mediocre class. Anyway, our interviewers were a professor from Faculty of Law and another Chinese lady, probably the admission tutor. Funny as it might sound, we did not have an intro segment which really surprised me. All we did was to offer firm hand shakes before and after interview. They did not even introduce themselves. But I later found out that the professor's name is Michael Wilkinson. His name really does his justice. He was a very pleasant looking man, regularly cracking jokes to induce laughter in the interview room. We all had to engage in a discussion on what is causing destruction to the world. I wasn't the first to speak. The girl beside me kickstarted the discussion by pointing out inequality. Then, bla bla bla, it went on till morality came in. I hopped in to point out about greed. There were actually many issues I was able to relate to this. But I only managed to highlight global warming. I know, very cliched. But guess what, I was like the second last to speak and that was also after prof asked me to speak. The girl on my right was the last. We were both so quiet at the beginning. I thought we were shaken by the wits of the rest. For a moment during the discussion, my mind ALMOST wandered somewhere else as there were some points which I don't really understand. Thank god! When it was my turn, I gave a speech of decent length on what I wanted to say. The minute I ended my speech, prof intefered "You were so quiet just now and now you gave a brilliant speech" All I could afford was a grin and some chuckles. I don't know if this means good or bad but at least I caught the interviewer's attention. Oh and did I not mention that the chances of getting into HKU are really low that I think only 1/10 of international applicants would get the offer. Prof reminded us on that. Nevermind the stress again. Then, we had to voice out our conclusions which I literally crapped because out of no where, panic got the better of me. Shucks. It took about 30 minutes before we were dismissed. Prof shook our hands and when it came to my turn, he told me "You're a funny person. You wouldn't speak until I told you to. But when you speak, you make very much sense" Again, the usual me with the chuckles. I replied "I think that's my nature." A boy in the group interupted by saying "Maybe she's shy". Yeah, maybe. Anyhow, there's always one thing about interviews that scares me despite the fact that I've been to quite a number of interviews in the past. The one thing is always speaking up in a group discussion, that's why I never enjoyed group discussion. But this time, I sailed through it quite smoothly and I've won some valuable experience from it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Workforce

Working life has been decent. I would say it's a pretty good experience since it's my first part time job. But I can't deny that this job sure demands a lot of physical strength and substantial mental strength. Constant loading and unloading of boxes filled with brochures, mineral water, shirts and banners; all needed for roadshows and edu fairs, sums up the job scope of a part timer in IMU marketing department. Well, of course, it helps build some muscles and gives an idea of what's behind the scenes, the goodie bags that we get in edu fairs are products of the hard work of the men behind the scene : US PART TIMERS or marketing assistants. Then comes the mental strength. Working with educators actually prepares you well for your future career in terms of adequate exposure to stressful working life and also having the tendency to perform your best. People there look for perfection in work. Certain people. Generally, working has been a great experience and meeting new people adds to the excitement of going to work. There're nice people and also the not-so-pleasant people but sometimes we just have to ignore the not-so-nice ones. :)