"UTP's wholesomeness made my children independent, confident and mature"
Name of parent: Encik Hisham Albakri
Nur Arinah binti Hisham Albakri, Joined in May 2009, Civil Engineering
Adam Albakri bin Hisham Albakri, Joined in January 2014, Mechanical Engineering
Drum roll please – Encik Hisham Albakri has not one, two, but FOUR children who have studied in UTP! His eldest two children, Nur Arinah and Adam Albakri have graduated and are working, while “number three” (daughter) is a third year Electrical Engineering student and “number four” (son) is pursuing a course in ICT.
The Kuala Lumpur-based civil engineer says that enrolling his children in UTP has worked out even better than he expected. “If I were to sum it up, UTP’s wholesomeness has helped my children to mature and develop significantly over time.”
Despite having almost all his children studying in UTP, Mr. Hisham says that he left the choice entirely to them. “Both my wife and I don’t believe in dictating what they do; we just provide guidance.”
Eldest child Arinah confesses that UTP was not her first choice. “To be honest, I wanted to go overseas but I did not manage to get a scholarship. As I didn't want to burden my parents, I opted for the best local private uni, which was UTP!”
Any minor regrets about not being able to go overseas disappeared when she started her UTP life. “The campus itself is very modern and stunning with a beautiful lake that you can go kayakking in! UTP has the coolest library in Malaysia!”
As time went on, she knew she had made the right choice. “UTP is very industry driven. They invite key players in the industry to give adjunct lectures to keep the students updated with the latest technology/invention in the market. During the first two years of my course, our schedule was packed with field trips every semester. We visited a hydropower dam, water treatment plant, sewerage treatment plant, landfill, concrete batching plant, and even stopped by the road side to look at rocks and limestones for our Geology class! How fun is that?!”
Moreover, UTP’s non-engineering courses prepare the students for the real world and train them to communicate well. “All events organised by the students actually provide a lot of exposure and experience to upskill your knowledge and sharpen your soft skills.”
In other words, UTP actually prepares the graduates for life outside of the academic world. So much so, Arinah’s employer, an engineering consultancy firm, actually looks forward to receiving internship applications from UTP students!
Echoing his sister’s sentiments, Adam credits his career to UTP’s extensive internship programme which has a reputation for producing well-rounded students who are relevant to the industry. “As you may be aware, UTP makes it compulsory for their students to undergo a 7-month internship, one of the longest in the education market. I feel personally, my internship really laid a solid path for my career.” Like Adam, all of his close friends got a job offer within six months of graduation.
People recognise UTP graduates as quality graduates, he says. “Especially in the third and final year, the subjects that were taught were very focused on the industry. Other than that, in UTP we also learned other subjects that translate into worklife benefits. Personally, I feel like these courses really help me with my day to day work now. Subjects like Engineering Economics, Introduction to Management and Professional Communication Skills really helped us shape the people we are today. Non-technical subject that trains your soft skills and people skills.”
Arinah scored the silver and bronze awards for her Engineering Team Project and Final Year Project while Adam achieved the Bronze Vice Chancellor Award and Bronze Final Year Project Award.
Other than excelling at their studies, both led full lives in terms of extra curricular activities. As dad Enck Hisham puts it, “Life in UTP is not just study, study study.” On campus, Arinah played gamelan music and enrolled in acting classes. Encik Hisham had a shock when he stumbled upon a YouTube link of his son performing in a band. Turns out, Adam was a committee member for Euphonious, UTP's annual battle of the bands competition.
Encik Hisham is grateful for the many educational and life lessons UTP has provided his children. “UTP has made my children independent and confident. From my observation, UTP emphasises a lot on presentations and it has obviously honed their skills in this area. I’ve seen them present and talk online and I’m impressed – I think they’re even better than some of my staff! People always have the impression that if you study overseas, your English presentation would be better. I beg to differ, and I think UTP’s internationalised approach has a lot to do with this.”
Published: 5 August 2021