"UTP helped secure my child's future"
Parent: Madam Mei Yoke
Student: Ng Weng Jie, Joined UTP in July 2015. Started with Foundation for Engineering Programme. Subsequently advanced to a Civil and Environmental Engineering Degree Programme.
As a working parent in the insurance line, the future of her children’s education is constantly in Madam Mei Yoke’s mind.
Madam Mei Yoke was delighted when her son enrolled in the Foundation for Engineering programme at UTP and subsequently advanced to a Civil and Environmental Engineering degree programme upon graduation.
When asked why she encouraged her son to apply for UTP, Madam Mei Yoke noted that the university is located near their home in Ipoh. She said, “UTP has produced many successful graduates, many of whom are her friends’ children as well.” As a mother, she was concerned about her son’s job prospects post-graduation, but after endorsements by her friends and the fact that their children managed to secure jobs within a short duration after graduating from UTP, she felt more comfortable in her recommendation.
Moreover, she pointed out, “It was his preferred university course, and he chose it himself. Growing up, he was very active in both curricular activities and academics.
Echoing her sentiment, Weng Jie confessed that at a younger age, he focused more on narrowing down the subjects that would be interesting to him which led to shortlisting the universities that offer said programmes. By sheer luck and coincidence, UTP, a prestigious name that is recognised worldwide, offered the programmes that he was passionate about, all while being close to home.
Upon visiting the campus in Tronoh, Madam Mei Yoke was delighted by the conducive environment. Crucially, UTP’s affordable fee structure also addressed another issue they faced – financial budget. Like any prudent parent, she did her research and after a cost comparison, she was convinced UTP would be the best option for her son. As a plus point, the campus was very near to home, so her son could come back every weekend.
Weng Jie went on to graduate with First Class honours, entered a career path that suited his field of studies, and got the job he was interested in.” For young graduates, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, this is a monumental achievement. In fact, after observing her son’s success in his studies, she decided to send her youngest daughter to UTP as well. She is currently in her third year studying Computer Engineering in UTP.
It was not all studies and no play at UTP, Madam Mei Yoke observed. She shared that her son had the opportunity to be a part of a string ensemble during the Tapestry of Colours event, which is a major UTP fundraising event under Yayasan UTP (YUTP), a foundation that promotes and further the cause of education in the country and support the future development of UTP as an academic institution of excellence. This in turn gave him the opportunity to perform in an orchestra at the prestigious Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS in front of high-class representatives from leading companies such as CIMB Investment Bank Berhad, Wu Music House, and Dialog Plant Services Sdn Bhd.
Five years of tertiary education (including the foundation programme) is no small feat. After a long and hard battle, Ng Weng Jie managed to secure a 7-month long internship programme with a local consultant firm where he provided building designs to aid the architects’ intended aesthetics.
“Every engineering student from any university has to undergo at least three months of internship during their studies as required by the Board of Engineers Malaysia in order to be qualified to be registered as a Graduate Engineer and practice engineering within Malaysia. But I’m not sure if you know this. UTP is rather special in this as its internship spans a period of 7 months and every UTP engineering student has to complete this in order to graduate. This longer period allows time to adapt and learn about the working environment.”
“I didn’t know what I didn’t know,” was how Weng Jie humbly described his initial days at the internship. Thankfully, the senior engineers around him were always accommodating in helping him understand the ins and outs of the industry. In this real-life immersion, “everything started to make more sense, connecting one dot after the other.” And even though it wasn’t always smooth sailing, “the frustration also acted as a driver to keep pushing forward,” Weng Jie puts it. That’s the spirit - always think positive!
Unfortunately, the company that hired him as an intern could not continue his employment as a permanent employee due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has robbed many fresh graduates like Weng Jie from career opportunities. But no bad news comes without a silver lining, for when Weng Jie applied for another job, he was immediately hired, much to Madam Mei Yoke’s relief.
In this current situation, it is important for one to have high hopes even though the world seems bleak and dark at times. One would regard oneself lucky to have a mother half as supportive as Madam Mei Yoke is for her children. For in these dark times, a mother’s blessing is the guiding light at the end of the tunnel. As Honore de Balzac once said, "A mother's happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories." Thus a young engineer Ng Weng Jie’s future is lit up because of his mother’s happiness and love.
Published: 9 August 2021