Other than Shell, I’ve applied for scholarships at Petronas, Telekom Malaysia (TM), Sime Darby, Perbadanan Nasional Berhad, Bank Negara and Yayasan Sarawak. I didn’t even get an interview invitation. My only last chance to get a scholarship was through the government and as I mentioned before, I have a 0% success rate because my Malay was B. I still hope that somehow, somewhere or somewhat I will be successful in my application and get invited for an interview. All other scholarship bodies rejected me, and the only interview I went was unsuccessful. I needed a miracle and it was my only chance, although it’s 0%.
Before the application results day, I prayed hard – and my prayers were not answered as I didn’t get selected for the interview process. I was devastated, but I actually expected the outcome.
I didn’t give up. The government body usually gives another chance for its unsuccessful applications to plea – which I did and again I hoped. I hoped that I will be successful in getting into the interview process, at least.
Results were the same even after plea application.
I was unsuccessful.
I got desperate and a desperate man will do desperate things. I went to MARA’s office in Kuching and talked to the front desk helper. I told her that I wanted to inquire about the education scholarship and she told me to talk to one of her officers. I explained my situation to the officer in charge, and she told me to write a formal letter to one of the education directors of MARA in KL and fax it straight away. The officer told me not to get my hopes high and continue searching for other scholarships or continue my studies elsewhere.
At that time I was preparing myself to enter UiTM’s engineering foundation program at Shah Alam. Just 2 weeks before my induction, I got a called from MARA’s Kuching office inviting me for a scholarship interview. I was jubilant. I prepped myself well and I knew it’s a make it or break it situation. The questions asked were pretty generic as far as I remember – like what courses do you want to take, which universities do you want to go to, what made you choose the course or university, what contributions you could give back to society and so much more. The interviewer was actually the officer which I’ve talked initially about my situation, and again she told me not to get my hopes high and continue with my studies at Shah Alam.
I enjoyed studying at Shah Alam.
I’ve met a lot of friends there and the lectures were fun. Tutorial was a breeze but the walk to the halls and classes are tiring. I actually told myself that I won’t be getting the scholarship after all, because a month now has passed and some of my friends have already got their scholarship confirmation. I’ve set myself that probably I’ll settle for a scholarship later on.
Almost two months at Shah Alam, I’ve got an unknown number calling me out of nowhere. At first, I didn’t want to answer as it might be some insurance or telco company offering me promotions but I answered it anyway.
“Is this Encik Mohammad Bazil?”
“Congratulations, I would like to inform you that you have been awarded a scholarship by MARA. If you’d like, you may wish to collect your scholarship offer letter at Kuching or in KL,”.
I did not expect that at all. 2 months after the interview and I got it. I got the scholarship offer!
I told my friends, lecturers and tutors about it and they were supportive. A friend of mine, Saufi offered his help to fetch the offer letter together with me at MARA’s office in Kampung Baru. It was nice of him, as I wasn’t familiar with KL’s busy street. I was only 18.
I’ve said my goodbyes and welcomed a new chapter in my life. I was preparing myself to study overseas. A dream which I always dreamed about. A dream that I shall make it a reality.
Patience and persistence, is a virtue after all.