Yeah, this is the second part (read KUOK Foundation Undergraduate Awards Part I) and it will be about my experience since I stepped out from STPM. After my STPM examination, I was having fun all the time. Yeah, fun as in I enjoyed the life while working part-time and doing research for my future. I know it was kind of late to do research that time but at least I did it. And it was a long story before I ended up with KUOK’s financial assistance to enable my studies in Singapore.
I applied a lot of scholarship applications, and looking through almost every possibilities that I can further with my STPM certificate that I would get later in March 2006. To make dreams wonderful, I even stepped out from my box to look beyond to overseas studies though it was not possible in the sense of financial status. I remember I had no intention to study in Singapore before that. I just wanted to apply to every university that was possible as one option for my future path. So I sent my application to Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) in Singapore. I will describe more on the Singapore studies in my next post concentrating on these topics.
Then it was the “gan zheong” time (nervous as in cantonese) when the results released. After celebration (for other people… lol) life returned back to normal and I continued with my research on scholarships and etc. Then it was my aunt that passed me the advertisement from the newspaper (SIN CHEW JIT POH if not mistaken and I believe KUOK Foundation will publish in English and Chinese major newspaper) and it was KUOK Foundation. So I sent my results slip to request for the application form. At this stage they will filter the applications as you need to achieve some expectation before you can even get the form!!
I got the application form a few days later and I started to fill in the details. The closing date will be very soon as it would be 2-4 weeks after the release of STPM results. At that moment I still skeptical of filling in my first choice of university but somehow I ended with NTU but I did attach another list of courses of NUS and local IPTA that I had registered, just as a back-up. After getting all those documents done I sent it back and pray.
So while waiting for the annoucement of the second round, I had my SAT II and tried to involve in some activities to stronger my portfolio. One more thing, KUOK is very strict in the process as they would call any family members or the referees you’ve provided to confirm thedata you’ve filled in the application form. My mother even scolded me because she was so afraid that anything she answered would affect the outcome. It was around early of June that I received a letter from KUOK asking me to attend for the interview. I was so touched! Why? It has been a long story. Since my ‘perfect’ results in my SPM, I was heart-broken after being turned down by EVERY scholarship application (JPA, Petronas etc..) and I did not even get the chance for interview. Somehow KUOK asked me for this interview and I really appreciated that. I knew I need to do the best to earn this. This was the first chance I got and maybe the only and so I would not give up so easily. Honestly I was a little bit relieved because I believed what I did during this long holiday would somehow made my application appearred stronger to the interviewers.
The interview was held at Kuala Lumpur city centre’s golden traingle area, near Bukit Bintang to be exactly. When I reached Wisma Jerneh at almost 1050H, my father said that he would like to accompany me into the office. Aha! Couldn’t deny that it would certainly add some pressure to me. My heart was pumping in acceleration. After showing my ID and original certificates. I sat down with my father and wait for the call. There were only two older man sitting there and I believed that they were accompanying other candidate. While waiting for the interview, I was so afraid as this was my first interview. I was so fresh in this kind of function. I did not know what they would ask. Whatever… You wouldn’t want to put your feet into my shoes at that moment. I knew it was useless to sweat and I still managed to get the names of the interviewers from the receptionist. She smiled at me as to comfort me (or really smiling caused I was so freaked out). Then it was then the moment I heard my name being called.
“DO NOT PANIC! DO NOT PANIC!!” I kept on repeating to myself. I saw an old gentleman and a lovely lady and I greeted them with the names I got before. This is the game of impressing. It depends on how much you could impress them. I tried to figure which style to answer to their questions. Serious? Or with some humor? I realised that I did not have the time hence I just stick being myself. I forgot what have they asked my for the first few questions but I remembered that I was freaked out that I stucked in the mid way. The interviewers were very nice as they realised my nerves and so asked me to relax. I explained that this was my first interview and taking opportunity to thank them and KUOK for giving a chance. So I apologized, took a deep breathe, adjusted my seat, cleared my throat and asked permission to speak again. It was smooth afterwards.
The whole interview, they asked more on WHY YOU CHOOSE THIS COURSE? WHAT IS YOUR FUTURE PROSPECT AFTER PURSUING IN THIS COURSE? WHAT IS THE FIELD OF THE COURSE ABOUT? They would ask about your family financial status. WHY PURSUING IN SINGAPORE? WHAT WOULD YOU DO SINCE THE MONEY FROM KUOK IS NOT ENOUGH TO COVER EVERYTHING?? etc… I almost forgot all the scientific terms but I still managed to threw some simple examples to show impression. I even grabbed the chance to show them what had I done during the holiday to update myself. Talking about my experience working in legal firm, being an internet DJ and showed my article that got published in The Star as a young journalist member in The Star family.
After around 30 minutes, it was all over. I knew I had done a good job though it could be better. However I was so happy when the interviewers asked the clerk to photostat my published article as their reference. Then it was another wait for 1 month plus… when I decided to come to NTU for my bachelor. Studying in Singapore is not that difficult. I brought SGD1,600 as my starting fees and others were all loan. The second day during my orientation camp I received an sms from my family that I got the half-grant half-loan award I was so happy that I jumped around in the crowd. Getting KUOK’s fund means lessen your burden as you won’t need to take large loan to study in Singapore.
After all the legal stuff and finally I received the first instalment. I am glad and grateful that I got this award. (my mom too! She was so worried that I would die of hunger in Singapore if KUOK has not approved the fund) .
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