Faculties of Sungai Long Campus host e-Convo celebration for 2021 graduates

Four faculties from UTAR Sungai Long Campus organised celebratory activities for graduates of the March 2021 Convocation. The faculties include Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science, Faculty of Creative Industries, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Faculty of Accountancy and Management.  The activities, which were conducted online, were participated by respective faculty dean, deputy deans, heads of departments (HODs), academics, staff and graduates.

Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science

Nine departments from the Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) hosted a homecoming e-gathering for graduates via Microsoft Teams on 20 March 2021. The nine departments were Department of Architecture and Sustainable Design (DASD), Department of Chemical Engineering (DCL), Department of Civil Engineering (DCI), Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (D3E), Department of Internet Engineering and Computer Science (DIECS), Department of Mathematical and Actuarial Sciences (DMAS), Department of Mechanical and Material Engineering (DMME), Department of Mechatronics and Biomedical Engineering (DMBE) and Department of Surveying.

Congratulatory message from LKC FES Dean

Prof Goi congratulating graduates for their achievement

LKC FES Dean Ir Prof Dr Goi Bok Min said, “Dear UTARians, your convocation is a proud occasion for us to celebrate, congratulations! I hope your accomplishment in UTAR will give you the encouragement to excel even further and achieve greater success in the years ahead. On behalf of LKC FES, I wish you all a successful career and peace and happiness in life. Yes, UTAR my choice! Well done!”

Congratulatory messages from LKC FES Deputy Dean

Deputy Deans of LKC FES congratulating graduates for their achievement

LKC FES Deputy Dean for Academic Development and Undergraduate Programmes Assoc Prof Ir Dr Gobi Vetharatnam congratulated the graduates and said, “Congratulations!  We are proud of your achievement today. Continue to achieve more success in the coming year. Well done UTAR graduates!”

LKC FES Deputy Dean for Student Development and Industrial Training Assoc Prof Ts Dr Lee Kim Yee enthused, “Hi all, congratulations on your graduation. Even though this year’s graduation may look different, the achievement is still the same. Hope that this will be a memorable moment in your life.”

LKC FES Deputy Dean for R&D and Postgraduate Programmes Ts Dr Yap Wun She said, “Congratulations students! You have finally made it! We are proud of you. Now you may go out and create your own life and be successful in the future.”

Congratulatory messages from LKC FES Head of Departments

HODs of LKC FES congratulating graduates for their achievements

LKC FES Head of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department Assoc Prof Ir Dr Chang Yoong Choon advised, “First of all, congratulation to all the graduates of Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The past year had been a challenging year for all of us and I am very proud that all of you have continued the learning under the new learning environment and successfully graduated from UTAR.”

LKC FES Head of Surveying Department Dr Felicia Yong Yan Yan said, “Hats off to you graduates! Well done! I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart will ever know. Congratulations!”

LKC FES Head of Laboratory Management and Safety Administration Department Ts Dr King Yeong Jin congratulated the graduates and said, “Congratulations on your graduation. Best wishes for your next adventure. Good luck! ”

LKC FES Head of Mechatronics and Biomedical Engineering Department Dr Kwan Ban Hoe said, “Congratulations on your graduation. We are proud that you have achieved this milestone, well done and all the best to you!”

LKC FES Head of Civil Engineering Department Dr Ling Lloyd said, “Hello Civil Engineering graduates, today is a big day for all of you. It’s not easy to overcome the difficulties to graduate, but all of you did it! Congratulations and welcome to the new chapter of your life.”

LKC FES Head of Internet Engineering and Computer Science Department Ts Dr MadhavanBalan Nair congratulated the graduates and said, “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate every one of you for successfully completing the programme. I hope you have a good journey in your career life, all the best! ”

LKC FES Head of Chemical Engineering Department Dr Mah Shee Keat said, “Dear graduates, this is a great moment to mark your life milestone. I am here to wish you all the best in your future endeavours. UTAR is not just a university; we are a community that connects people. Remember that our door is always open for you.”

LKC FES Head of Architecture and Sustainable Design Department Ts Tan Kok Hong enthused, “Congratulations to all the Architecture students! You have finally completed the courses. Despite the pandemic, you continued strong and did well. May you be blessed in pursuing your goals in life.”

LKC FES Head of Mathematical and Actuarial Sciences Department Dr Wong Voon Hee said, “Congratulations on your graduation, you have finally made it! Graduation is not the end of your journey but it is the beginning of another new chapter in your life. Good luck and keep in touch!”

LKC FES Head of Mechanical and Material Engineering Department Ts Dr Yeo Wei Hong advised, “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the graduates; you have made it! Well done! Here’s a message to all of you, for whatever you are going to do in the future, never stop learning never stop trying and live your life to the fullest.”

Congratulatory messages from LKC FES Head of Programmes

 HOPs of LKC FES congratulating graduates for their achievement

LKC FES Head of Master of Project Management Programme Assoc Prof Ir Ts Dr Jeffrey Yap Boon Hui said, “Congratulations on your amazing accomplishment and all the best!”

LKC FES Head of PhD (Sc) and MSc Programme Ts Dr Khaw Chwin Chieh said, “Congratulations! Today is a milestone that tells you how far you have come. Keep learning, keep trying, keep accomplishing and keeping venturing onto your journey. Best wishes to you all.”

LKC FES Head of Master of Engineering (Mechanical) Programme Ts Dr Lee Hwang Sheng said, “2020 was a challenging year, but you have gone through it and achieved a great milestone. Well done and all the best!”

LKC FES Head of PhD (Eng) and MEngSc Programmes Dr Ng Yee Sern said, “Congratulations to all the graduates. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours.”

LKC FES Head of Master of Architecture Programme Ar Ts Quake Huay Tin said, “Congratulations everyone and all the best for your next adventure. Continue learning and pursuing your dream in life, but most importantly, be a good and happy architect.”

LKC FES Head of MEng (Electronic Systems) and MEng (Electrical) Programmes Dr Shee Yu Gang enthused, “I am very proud of all of you because of your strong determination and desire in completing the study. I strongly believe that your hard work will grant you a successful career in the future.”

LKC FES Head of Master of Mathematics Programme Dr Wong Wai Kuan said, “Dear all LKC FES graduates, congratulations on your graduation. You have now reached a new milestone in your life. I would like to wish you all the best and good luck in your future undertaking.”

LKC FES Head of Master of Information Systems Programme Dr Wong Whee Yen said, “Congratulations for your well-deserved success. What a wonderful day to know that your time and dedication had paid off in a great way. We couldn’t be happier for you on this meaningful day, we hope that you will be moving on to your dream job and we sincerely believe that you will be extremely successful. ”

Piano performance by Software Engineering student from the IT society

DIECS, D3E and DS also received motivational messages from Industrial Academic Panel (IAP) and industry partners. Present to deliver the motivational messages were Executive Director of Orient Telecoms Sayed Mustafa Ali, Duriane Professionals Sdn Bhd Managing Director Ir Yau Chau Fong and Co-chair of Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM) Young Quantity Surveyor (YQS) 2020/2021 SR Dr Theong May Chuan.

Sayed delivering his motivational message

Sayed congratulated the graduates and said, “Let me share the facts about software engineering. Software engineering is a new era and is a need for today and the future. As we are living in technology edge, the software is a major contributor to the development of technology in the world today.”

He then continued, “Software engineering is a very unique field because you will be creating something which is not present. You need to be able to visualise your product before you create it.” He also advised, “You would usually think that getting a degree is a ticket to a good life or good job. But, let’s think of something bigger; think of the opportunity to change the world, to change lives and change the way the world looks at Malaysia as a developed nation.”

Ir Yau (left) sharing his experience with the graduates

Ir Yau shared his topic titled “Is Engineering still Sexy?” to over 40 participants, where he spoke about life as an engineer, top 10 strategic technology trends, engineering disciplines, the route to be a professional engineer and its opportunities.

He advised, “In today’s industries, the requirement has changed. What was once an individual task has now become a team activity. Engineers must develop the skill to be resourceful to stay ahead in the marketplace. Also, integrity is the key to success.”

Ir Yau, who has more than 18 years of working experience, said, “Scientists study the world as it is, engineers, create the world that never has been. Thus, we are the creator and that’s the importance of engineering in the world. Electrical and electronic engineering continue to be buoyant industries and we can venture into the electrical and electronic design, construction industry, manufacturing, power plants, devices and systems design and development, management, education and so forth.”

Sr Dr Theong encouraging students to step out of their comfort zone

Contracts Manager of Giant Leap Construction Sdn Bhd SR Dr Theong, who is also co-chair of RISMYQS of 2020/2021, shared her topic titled “Quantity Surveyor To-Be”. Sharing her personal working experiences, she said, “Say yes as much as you can to anything that can help you to explore your new location and new life, and all of these will make you step out from your comfort zone.”

She also gave a brief introduction about RISM and RISM YQS and encouraged DS graduates to join RISM YQS by sharing interesting activities during the session.

The celebration was followed by a sharing session by guests from the industries and alumni representatives. Another sharing session was carried out on postgraduate opportunity and research by DS and experience sharing on choosing the right path by DMME. Besides, the celebration also saw final year project presentation by DASD graduates.

Chong sharing tips on how to survive at the workplace

Master of Project Management alumni Chong Ka Foo graduated from UTAR in 2019. He now works as an Administrative and Diplomatic Officer at the International Division of the Ministry of Finance. He shared his experience as well as tips of being an industry practitioner in his congratulatory speech. He said, “I am so happy and proud to be here today to speak a few words to my juniors. I found that communication management and networking are important when you are in your working life.” He also encouraged graduates to apply for jobs in the government sector.

Jack Wah encouraging graduates to keep learning and keep trying

Jack Wah Shi Jie, who graduated from UTAR in 2014, now works as a Contract Executive in Pembinaan Bintang Baru Sdn Bhd. He said, “The point of focus will be different when you are in a different firm or agency. No matter what type of firm you join, you will need the knowledge you have learnt in the classroom.”

He added, “You can learn anything no matter where you go. The most important thing is you should know what suits you the best and go for the best option. Don’t feel shy to join and grab any opportunity that is offered to you; you might get more than what you imagined. Only after that, you should decide which career pathway to choose, e.g. a professional QS, a contractor or pursue further study. Also, don’t stop learning. The industry continues to evolve itself where a lot of new technology emerge every day; do keep in mind that you must always be prepared.”

Dr Jeffrey advising students to continue lifelong learning

UTAR Department of Surveying lecturer Ir Ts Dr Jeffrey Yap Boon Hui shared, “If knowledge is power, then learning is a superpower. Therefore, we must keep educating ourself and this is called lifelong learning.”

Dr Jeffrey has 19 years of working experience in the building construction industry. Before joining academia, he was in the industry as an engineering consultant and property developer.

Prof Andy Chit chose the academic path as he favoured research and university environment

Before the graduates set sail to the world of career, it is only right for the experienced lecturers to share their words of wisdom. “Be prepared to work hard. Put 100 per cent effort and always maintain your ethics in the job. We have provided you with the fundamental knowledge and now your real learning experience will start. The process of learning never stops, even for me,” advised LKC FES Centre for Railway Infrastructure and Engineering Chairperson Prof Dr Andy Chit Tan during a Q&A session held at the DMME Homecoming Night 2021.

Answering an inquiry on the dilemma of choosing the right path, Prof Andy reminded the graduates that there is no right or wrong answer, “Every individual is different. You should try out different things before deciding which path to stay on. If the academic path is your choice, make sure you aim to be a professor.”

Chairperson of IChemE Student Chapter Allan Chong Han Lin congratulating graduates for completing their studies

To celebrate the milestone achieved by the graduates, the DSAD brought in graduates to share their excellent final year projects and inspire fellow graduates and students. The session saw Architecture graduates Wong Junming and Chong Wai Xuan sharing their beautiful and creative projects that were not only a feast to the eyes but ones that also catered to the contemporary issues faced by the community.

Wong Junming’s project titled “The Intervene” tackles the accommodation availability problem faced by fresh graduates in the Klang area with an affordable cost unit, strategic location and self-sustainability feature

Chong Wai Xuan “New Port Mixed-Use” project complements the beautiful Klang scenery with a well-equipped complex that includes residence units, library, amphitheatre, roof garden and spatial experience gallery

Also, Architecture graduate Wong Jia Wen shared tips to produce an attractive, professional and promising portfolio. She advised, “Seeking job opportunity can be proven challenging especially during the difficult time of the pandemic. For Architecture graduates, a portfolio is crucial to create a good impression to potential employers.”

Aside from colour choice and design arrangement, Wong Jia Wen also reminded her juniors to secure their previous assignments and projects as they can be used in the portfolio to impress potential employers

The session with the three Architecture graduates drew its closure with a Q&A session related to their experiences in the early days of diving into the world after graduating. “Landing a job is not easy, especially these days. Firms are not hiring due to the pandemic and financial limitation. Therefore, while you are seeking it, you should utilise your skills doing something related such as freelancing and commission-based work to keep your skills fresh and ready when you get your call,” Chong advised.

Faculty of Accountancy and Management (FAM)

FAM Dean Dr Sia Bee Chuan said, “I would like to thank the organising committee from all FAM departments for this memorable event. Congratulations to all the graduates and I hope you learn to enjoy every minute of your life and be happy. Be appreciative to all those who have helped you. Treasure the time you have shared with your family and friends and the new friends you will meet in the future. Never doubt that you are precious, deserving, and powerful to pursue your dreams. Be amazing and remember success is not about how much money you make but is the difference you make in peoples’ lives. Do visit your alma mater and continue to serve with kindness and integrity to the society.”

Department of Accountancy’s group photography session

FAM Department of Accountancy had its alumni sharing session, themed ‘Paving your path after graduation’ on 13 March 2021 to inspire the graduates to pursue their dreams. Present at the sharing session was Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Malaysian Institute of Accounting (MIA) member Cheong Hoong Chin who shared his education journey towards obtaining professional qualifications. He also spoke about his memorable work experience in the accounting firm and the importance of upskilling oneself in order to stay competent. He added, “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence.”

Cheong, who is also a UTAR alumnus, has more than 10 years of experience with KPMG, including 18 months of overseas placement in Australia. He specialises in Audit and Assurance with vast involvement in industries such as utilities and power; manufacturing and trading; oil and gas; industrial products and many others.

The session was continued with a Q&A session between Cheong and the graduates. Cheong provided tips for future interviews, ideas to craft resume and highlighted the selling point of fresh graduates. He also shared his work life in KPMG as an auditor, the working environment both in Malaysia and overseas, the impact and challenges of Artificial Intelligence on auditing and the benefits of data analytics in the audit environment.

Dr Sia (bottom row, far left), Datuk Paul Khong (middle row, far right), Kenneth Wong (bottom row, far right) during the virtual meet-up

The Department of Building and Property Management organised “Pre-convo e-mamak session with alumni and industry experts: Planning your life after graduation” on 19 March 2020. Invited to speak were Savills (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd Managing Director and Head of Central Management Datuk Sr Paul Khong, Laurelcap Asset Management Sdn Bhd Kenneth Wong and Vivahomes Realty and Viva Cheras Group Branch Head Elvyn Lim.

Datuk Sr Paul Khong shared his vast working experience and his journey as a valuer, “Congratulations to all graduates and welcome to the real estate world. The real estate sector is a good and lucrative industry. The most important things are— be qualified; have valuable working experience; be socially proficient with good public relation skills; build strong networks with friends and form an interesting personality. You need to work hard and do not give up, that with a little bit of luck will get you far in your career.”

Kenneth Wong spoke about an interesting yet challenging career in property management. He said, “It is important to understand the Malaysian property management standards. It is interesting because it involves relationship with relevant parties, data and reports, various trades and other related knowledge as well as various procedures to ensure the building it managed properly. The challenges are getting the right candidate for the position; having the right attitude; training; knowledge and having a good team.”

Elvyn Lim, also a UTAR alumnus, said, “Congratulations to all the juniors, you have graduated. As a real estate negotiator, you will need to put in a lot of effort, adapt to the current environment and act upon it before reaping the benefits of unlimited income. Where there is a will, there is a way to achieving your dream.” Aside from that, he also shared the commission percentage of sealing a deal, sub-sale, project sales and other related topics on real estate.

Elvyn Lim (middle row, far right) with the graduates, lecturers and guests

The Department of International Business and Department of Economics also organised an online meet-up on 27 March 2021. With their theme ‘The journey after graduation: An everlasting moment’, several alumni from both departments shared their working experience, tips and advice to the graduates.

Group photograph session among lecturers and alumni

Lawrence Loh advised, “Plan your career ahead, find out what you like to do, set your goals before making the strategic plan to achieve your goal.” Lim Jia Jun added, “You have to accept nothing comes easy, thus, work hard to achieve your goal. It is important to know the direction to the career you would like to pursue, otherwise getting an internship would not help you to acquire the skills and knowledge you need.”

Great Eastern Agency Manager Kay Tan shared her seven years of work experience in the field of financial planning. She said, “I started as insurance agent as I was interested in financial planning and I saw a great opportunity to grow even further. Along the road in my career, I have learnt a lot and it is good to know that my job is helping the society as well. Part of my job is to determine clients’ need and see what is the most favourable plan for the clients as well as grooming young talents. The sky is the limit, thus push yourself forward to achieve what you want in life.”

Malaysia Aviation Commission Consumer (MAVCOM) Affairs Manager Thomson Emmanuel Wong said, “MAVCOM is economic and commercial regulator related to civil aviation in Malaysia. We promote a commercially viable, consumer-oriented and resilient civil aviation industry which supports the nation’s economic growth. There is a wide spectrum in the industry from these two programmes. It is alright if you do not have a direction upon graduation, allow yourself some time to explore as you learn from the jobs you are in. It is important to have an open mind to explore and dare to take risk and challenges as well as being adaptable to the situations of the economy.”

Marcus Sia who is currently working with Sense Media Sdn Bhd as Operation Manager said, “There are various jobs out there for your passion in life. Seek out what you would like to do or achieve. Your first job is not forever, as later on in life, you will be exposed to different areas which is possible for your to venture in.”

Faculty of Creative Industries

While all the graduates celebrated their commencement virtually this year, students who graduated from the Faculty of Creative Industries (FCI) were also given the opportunity to celebrate their achievements online with their beloved lecturers and peers. The faculty conducted a separate, live and online graduation ceremony for each department, which included the Department of Mass Communication, the Department of Game Studies, and the Department of Multimedia Design and Animation.

Dr David Tneh sharing his inspiring message with graduates 

FCI Dean Dr David Tneh Cheng Eng was invited by the Department of Multimedia Design and Animation to share his word of encouragement and congratulations with the graduates. In his remarks, he said, “Congratulation on completing the academic journey. As you complete your academic journey, you are starting a new journey. To complement your new journey, there are three things that I would like to share with everyone. The first is, as you embark on the new journey, you need to upgrade your skillset. Having a skillset is very important. For example, communication skills, making decision skills, and problem-solving skills. The second is capacity building. As you build capacity, you also build confidence. It is okay if you suffer setbacks. It is part of life. It is okay to be not okay. It is okay to fail along the way. Most importantly, you build capacity for bigger things to come. Last but not least, be strong in every sense of the word. Not only physically, but be strong mentally as well. You need to keep maintaining your health especially during this pandemic.” He also advised the graduates to stay connected and wished them all the best in their endeavours.

FCI graduates and their lecturers gathered online to celebrate the achievement together and to create warm memories

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

The Sunday on 21 March 2021 started early as Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences’ (FMHS) graduates, students, staff and alumni gathered via Microsoft Teams to celebrate the graduating batch of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) courses.

The three-hour event saw performances, warm wishes and a walk down the memory lane for the graduates.

A heart-warming compilation of memories of graduates throughout their study

“I do not have any regrets studying at UTAR because the course provided is high standard. It was not an easy course and I had to study very hard. I just want to advise you to be confident in what you do; that is what I did and now I am graduating, of course, it was with the help and guidance from everyone as well. My university life was also memorable and enjoyable with fun and supportive friends,” said Nursing graduate Chong Pay Wei.

Physiotherapy graduate Chong Kum Weng added, “It has been long as well as short four years of journey. The work and assignments made it feel long but all the memories that we created throughout our studies made it feel very short. Completing our studies is not merely an achievement, but also a tool to open up doors to many opportunities. Thank you to our lecturers for making this happen.”

Chong Pay Wei (left) and Chong Kum Weng

Dean, deputy deans and Heads of Departments taking the opportunity to congratulate and offering words of wisdom before the graduates embark on their future

The COVID-19 pandemic had a big impact on the graduates and their studies. Some of the graduates shared their thoughts on the challenges they faced during their studies.

“It was a rough ride with sleepless nights and endless postings but above all, the greatest challenge was the pandemic. I am proud to say that we have overcome all the challenges and we only managed to do it with the support from lecturers, family and friends. Thank you for your dedication and patience in shaping us to become who we are today,” said Nursing graduate Rashini Vijayakumar.

As for TCM graduate Koh Suh Wei, she found that the pandemic opened up a new perspective for her, “When my clinical posting was suspended due to the pandemic, I realised that life is full of ups and downs. I learnt to be grateful for everything, including the fact that I have had the opportunity to learn with the lecturers and friends. Above all, I am also grateful for the unforgettable experience of doing clinical training in China. For all these, I must thank my parents, who were my source of confidence.” Koh also reminded others that graduation is not the end and that everyone must continue to grow and learn.

“Looking back, there were many challenges and self-doubt that I faced throughout the four years of study. Despite all that, I am truly happy and proud that I am now graduating. UTAR got me one step closer to my dream,” added Physiotherapy graduate Krinissah Ragu.

From left: Rashini Vijayakumar, Koh Suh Wei and Krinissah Ragu

Lecturers and juniors bidding farewell to the graduating batch with warm wishes

In the midst of the fun and joy of the celebration, FMHS also invited industry advisors to share their beneficial thoughts on current issues. Industry Advisor for Bachelor of Nursing Tan Soak Buay from Woodland Health Campus & Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore shared some insights about her experience working as a frontliner in Singapore. During the peak period of the pandemic, with her speciality being in trauma and orthopaedics, she was tasked to treat patients with respiratory problems. She also had a duty as a ground nurse, working in rotating shift to adapt to the situations. “We are always prepared for outbreaks such as this, as this is not the first time,” said Tan Soak Buay, referring to SARS and H1N1 outbreaks back in 2003 and 2009 respectively.

Tan Soak Buay sharing her experience as a frontliner during the COVID-19 pandemic

TCM Industry Advisor Sunway TCM Centre Medical Director-cum-TCM Consultant Assoc Prof Dr Lim Ren Jye reminding graduates to stay hungry for knowledge and always be humble as there is always new things to learn from others

TCM alumna Kong Ho Leh sharing the challenges faced by young TCM practitioners

Physiotherapy graduate Chiew Yian Nee explaining how physiotherapy service adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic

“Telerehabilitation” provided online physiotherapy treatment as an alternative to physical meet-up as physiotherapy was deemed as non-essential service during the pandemic

Duet singing performance by TCM students Tan Chin Wei (left) and Leow Hui Xin

FMHS alumni congratulating and welcoming graduates to join the workforce in the near future

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