High achievers share success stories

James Kon

Several graduates who received academic excellence awards during the 6th Politeknik Brunei (PB) Convocation ceremony at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s (UBD) Chancellor Hall yesterday, shared their recipes for success during an interview with the Bulletin.

Business Studies graduate Abdul Hakim bin Mohammad Ridzuan, 19, received the Best Student Award for Level 5 Diploma in the ceremony.

He said, “I feel relieved after all the hard work of completing assignments and preparing for exams. I also feel excited for what the future may hold. Now that I know what I can achieve, I will strive for more success in the future.

“There is no secret to success. I work smart and find passion in developing interest in every module.”

He conveyed his gratitude for Allah the Almighty’s blessing, his parents, family and friends who were with him throughout the journey.

He also thanked his lecturers and his colleagues during work attachment at DST.

He is currently pursuing his degree. Expressing concerns over limited employment opportunities in the future, Abdul Hakim is also considering taking on entrepreneurship in the digital or technology field and creating employment opportunities for others.

His advice to students is: work smart, persevere during tough times and move on from rough patches.

ABOVE & BELOW: Ameer Arsyad bin Haji Kamri, Olivian Sundai anak Maykal, and Nabil Ridhwan bin Suhaili @ Suhili. PHOTOS: JAMES KON

Abdul Hakim bin Mohammad Ridzuan
Awayna Suzette binti Shamsul

He said, “Find your passion in everything you do. It is a spark that might fan your flame to keep burning.”

He said the courses offered at Politeknik Brunei are quite interesting; there is a comprehensive blend of theory and practice. Some modules, he found, to invoke ones’ creative thinking.

Meanwhile, graduate Olivian Sundai anak Maykal, 23, received the Academic Excellence Award for her achievement in the Level 5 Diploma course in Petroleum Engineering under the School of Science and Engineering.

“I was shocked; I didn’t expect to achieve this. I feel happy and accomplished because despite all the challenges throughout my three years of studies, I obtained this award,” she said, believing that it’s important to “always set your goal, be persistent and stay motivated. Be disciplined enough to achieve your goal”.

Her interest in petroleum engineering stems from her grandfather’s dream, who is “a plant operator at Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP). He showed me how interesting this field is.

“He makes me want to contribute to my country through the field”.

She expressed hope of finding employment in Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd or the oil and gas industry in generation, following the completion of her studies at Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB).

She thanked her parents and colleagues for their endless support and her PB lecturers for their guidance. Her advice is to stay persistent and motivated.

“To stay motivated, one must have the discipline and desire to achieve,” she said.

She added, “I thought it would be just another common experience, but it’s probably the best institution in the country. I never thought the institution would change my way of looking at the world.”

Nabil Ridhwan bin Suhaili @ Suhili also received an academic excellence award, to which he said, “I feel grateful and happy to have achieved academic excellence in Level 5 Diploma of Business Accounting and Finance.

“My parents are so proud of me. I have realised it is rewarding enough for me to see my parents excited and happy.”

He added, “Not everyone has the same journey in life. Different people have different challenges. Try to achieve minor goals first and it will lead to bigger success.”

He also shared, “It was my interest since ‘O’ Level to study business and accounting. I believe they are my specialties.”

Nabil Ridhwan expressed gratitude to his parents and family, as well as his group coordinators, lecturers, staff, colleagues and group mates, for being his sources of motivation.

“Without them, I wouldn’t be able to achieve the success,” he added.

Nabil Ridhwan is currently studying at UTB to increase his chances of being employed in the future.

He advised other students to be strong physically, mentally and spiritually. “When there is a challenge ahead, see it as a stepping stone towards great success,” he said. Meanwhile, graduate Ameer Arsyad Bin Haji Kamri who received the academic excellence award for his Level 4 Diploma in Health Sciences (Paramedic), said, “I usually don’t get this kind of achievement. I feel proud and blessed to receive this award.

“Nothing beats the feeling of exceeding my own and my parents’ expectations.”

He advised others to study in advance and understand what is being taught to help reduce the gap between theory and practice.

“Be persistent and do not give up. Start revision early,” he added.

Ameer Arsyad was recently employed by the Ministry of Health as a paramedic under the Emergency Medical Ambulance Services.

He thanked his lecturers and friends for motivating him during hard times, as well as his parents who supported him throughout his journey.

Another recipient of the academic excellence award was Awayna Suzette binti Shamsul, who graduated with Level 5 Diploma in Web Development.

She said, “I was never interested in IT. I finished my ‘A’ Level at Maktab Duli and I didn’t like what I was doing, so I decided to opt for what makes me happy. I researched on what courses offered by Politeknik Brunei. Web development really caught my attention and thankfully I got in.”

She believed that “there will be rough times, mentally and physically. Learning is not an easy process. But my friends in Politeknik Brunei made it easier”.

On receiving the award, she said, “I feel honoured, because I put a lot of hard work into my studies. I never expected it because there were others who are also very deserving of this honour.

“At night, I would stay up looking for codes, and if there was something I didn’t understand, I would always ask the lecturers. I would also research it myself.

“I had also gone for three days without sleep in order to complete my assignment comprehensively,” said Awayna Suzette.