Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Maxis Scholarship for Excellence

Today is the day. The day where my parents are dressed up so smartly and so proud of me. I am very happy for them. And I am happy for myself too.

Today is the awarding ceremony for Maxis scholarship. It was a grand occasion with many journalist and the CEO, CMO, CFO and many other tier-1 leaders of Maxis present at the ceremony. It was very fun indeed to see ex-colleagues (as I was previously employed by Maxis). I was also delighted to meet Aziz and Boo, who were the first recipients of the award in 2005.

Back in 2005, I just joined Maxis. And the first task I was assigned to do as MGTP X was to coordinate the interview sessions between the candidates of the scholarship with the panel of interviewer. There was when I first met Aziz and Boo. They left a lasting impression on me. We had a great chat and they suggested to form a club where past recipients of the scholarship can come together and socialise. This is indeed a good idea.

Into its 3rd year, Maxis Scholarship for Excellence (MSFE) already has 12 recipients (3 from 1st year, 5 from 2nd year, and 4 from this year). And Maxis has just announced today that they intend to expand this scholarship. So having a social network with a group of scholars is definitely a good idea. At least, for me, I've enjoyed being MGTP in Maxis and I am so proud to be in it. So I can only look forward to joining another such affiliations within Maxis.

The ceremony was a blast. Never have I been seating in the front-seat surrounded by journalist and be the focus of the ceremony, which was attended by many many prominent people within Maxis (the other time this happened was in 2001 and 2003 International Chinese Debate Competition). Perhaps because I was previously in Maxis that I felt extra nervous being around the likes of Sandip, Azmi, Dr. Nikolai etc (all the big-shots in the company). But the presence of Aziz and Boo definitely makes it much bearable. They were the emcees and they were outstanding, showing again why they are the deserving recipients of the award. I particularly like what Aziz said at the end of his speech, "courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear." Very inspiring indeed. After the ceremony ended, I asked Aziz in private about this quote and to my surprise he told me that he got this from a movie - Princess Diary!!!!!

Recalling my interviewing session with Tan Sri Dr. Khoo Kay Kim, Prof. Bala, Prof. Dato Sharifah, and Mr. Sandip Das, it was actually quite enlightening. It was such a coincidence that Prof. Bala from the Indian Institute of Science has won numerous awards over the decades in his research related to computational electromagnetic - my phD's research area. So I was rather fortunate/unfortunate that Prof. Bala rained me with a string of technical questions to test my passion and understanding of computational electromagnetic. I think I must have scrape through this attack.

There are, however, a few areas where I think MSFE can improve:

1. There is no clear indication of the deadline for the scholarship or the intended date of interview for the the shortlisted candidate. The applicants will find it hard to know when to submit their application or when the outcome of their applications will be known. This adds complexity to studying in overseas because, like in my case, I was waiting for a scholarship before I could confirm my place in Cambridge. Preferably, Maxis will set the date to before September as that is the date which courses for UK and US will start.

2. There is no clear indication of the amount being awarded to the recipient. While I am very thankful to Maxis, I must say I was perhaps a bit naive to have expected Maxis to provide a 'complete' scholarship. When I was told the actual amount of the scholarship, I knew immediately that it was insufficient (for a full 4-year phD) and that my search for funding is not over. I must admit I was a bit disappointed. But the scholarship did covered most of it and having working with Maxis for so many years, I'm confident that they are working on something (just wait and see). Many scholars also revealed to me that scholarship was never meant to cover EVERYTHING, rather it was used to LESSEN THE BURDEN. I accepted this point and conceded that I was rather a bit greedy to expect too much. But I also attributed this disappointment to the management of expectation. Most scholarships would clearly specify the amount of the scholarship, and I hope that if MSFE does that, it would definitely help in expectation management and also such that the recipients can plan further ahead instead of being kept in the dark about their financial situation.

On the whole, I was very happy and proud to be the recipient of MSFE. I've waited for longer than a year. Finally, I've been awarded a scholarship, which will allow me to pursue my dream in Cambridge University, UK. I thank Maxis for this and everyone else who has make this happened for me. However, this is only the beginning. Maxis has given me the perfect jump start but I'll have to work for the remainder, which I'm more than willing to.


KfC~d3LiCiOuS! said...

虽然没和你认识很深 也只聊过几句
但很开心你记得我的名字 而非加减乘除 =p

讲古佬也好 美国亮也好 打压亮也罢
在马大辩论队 陪练+校辩走过了两个月
不知插了半只脚 还是已经弄湿了身体
过去的梦想 靠近了却有点不真实

像你所说 需要抛下以前的包袱
要抱着空罐子的心态 一切从基本学习
很想这么做 难免会犯上老毛病
尝试突破这个框框 又是一门学问了

无论如何 给你深深的祝福
到英国念书不容易 念剑桥更是劲啊
愿旅途+上课+生活+人生愉快 加油

=劲晖 a.k.a. 加减乘除=

kim said...

Congratulations! :)

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