Wednesday, May 28, 2014

21 things in 21 years

I figure it is apt that I write a reflection inspired by my very #powah senior Wilson Beh about the 21 things that influenced me in 21 years of my life.

Reflection can be a great way to look back and look forward to greater and happier memories too.
All photos taken from FB with no regards of copyright because I am a badass Malaysian.

Without further ado, here's the list in no particular order:

1. Graduated SPM with straight As (not A+s!) and fail to land an overseas scholarship

Graduated high school with a less than perfect result, but gained so much more from the time I dedicated with the Student Union, the Debate Team, the leadership camp teams and amazing friends from diverse backgrounds. The screenshot above is the epitome of my high school - grand, colourful, and objected by the school authority.

2. Landing a full scholarship in UTAR

Landing a scholarship in UTAR means I can end my high school journey by heading to college, albeit in essence the culture is not so different. This is also where I met fellow students who are pursuing their dreams as hard as they could.

Getting into UTAR also marks my involvement in competitions and contests regardless of fields.

3. Amazing 3 years in Kuching

The years in Kuching totally transformed me into a different person. A city boy, I can never forget the warmth and hospitality of Kuchingites and since built a lifelong relationships with mates from the town of cats, and am keeping lots of them close to heart.

4. Losing HSBC Young Entrepreneur Challenge

Losing the competition even though I thought we had a really strong idea gave me another perspective: the one that judges look for. Since then, I know competitions may not emulate real life, and you can manoeuvre yourself in the system. The defeat also sparked my grit to improve my presentation skills and triggered my determination to excel.

5. Winning National Champion of Schneider Electric GGiTC, Winning ASEAN Champion of Procter&Gamble ABC, Winning Bayer BYEE
From environmental and energy resource competitions,

to business case competitions,

To study tour in Germany...

It is crazy  to think about what I did over the year, with so many great relationships forged and many lands (both literally and metaphorically) trotted. These experiences broaden my world view and exposed me to knowledge I did not know of.

6. 2-year Chairman in IET UTAR Student Chapter + winning Best Student Chapter Award
With the help of amazing committee members and consistent work, we managed to bring IET UTAR to a better level. I am proud of my student chapter and we even got the President of UTAR to send us a congratulatory letter!

7. Getting into The Otak-Otak Program
The most amazing bunch of people I have met. The program intends to attract young talents to come back and serve the country, and through it I got to know crazily talented and smart people that are definitely the future leaders.

I was able to have a sneak peak of their world through their eyes. Most of them come from a background so different from mine, yet with a common goal of hoping the best for our country.

8. Interning for the first time in Malaysia's most promising local startup - MyTeksi

My half technical half business internship with MyTeksi was my chance to gain an insight into the tech startup industry in Malaysia, a field that highly interest me as my future career.
Needless to say, Eu Gene and the MyTeksi team blew me away with their trust of delegating tasks to me. I learned so much, not just technical knowledge but also business analysis skills, from this great team.
Now operating in major South East Asia cities, MyTeksi/GrabTaxi is growing in crazy speed!

9. First trip out of Malaysia - Bangkok
Got my passport, booked my first international flight, and here I was in Bangkok for my first international travel.

Going with my "Hengdais" and enjoyed the trip thoroughly. We shopped at Pratunam, "toured" Soi Cowboy and admired the Royal Palace.
This kickstarted my wanderlust!

10. Landing a US Scholarship to University of Wyoming for 1 year
Saw snow for the first time, lots of it...

Realizing my dream of studying in USA...

The bunch of friends in U of Wyoming...

The land of football, hamburgers and opportunities.

11. Skied, snow sled and made a snow angel for the first time
Tried skiing for the first time at Loveland, CO

Caught in a snowstorm together with Malaysians!

And buried in snow! 

There's just so so much of snow here in the midwest. I still remember the first time I saw snow, I was staring at it for 10 minutes before realizing I was shaking in the cold!

12. Celebrated Thanksgiving, Halloween, New Year and Easter in USA
The huge turkey!

I will definitely remember the Thanksgiving spent with The Ryden Family. Thank you Dylan and his family for the warm hospitality!

Managed to dress up as M&Ms with my shoestring budget Halloween costume!

The amazing ISA team, and numerous other celebrations on campus!

13. New Year's eve in New York City - The Big Apple

They say you have to do it at least once in your lifetime. I did it!
After 5 hours of standing and waiting in the cold, the countdown was somewhat disappointing with fairly average fireworks.
Good thing was some kind souls were giving out free pizzas and we got some of them!

14. Visited Silicon Valley's Apple, Google, eBay, PayPal
Me posing with the full-electric Tesla Model S!

With the help of a fellow Malaysian, I was able to tour around eBay, PayPal, Apple and Google at the epicenter of Silicon Valley.
Hopefully I will be able to work here or in the tech sector in the future!
Apple 1 Infinite Loop!

15. Gambled in Las Vegas
Awesome friends...

in the City of Sins... Nuff said!

16. Met & chat with a Olympic Gold Medallist and a Nobel Peace Prize winner
Nobel Peace Prize winner - Professor Muhammad Yunus

Olympic Gold Medallist - Billy Mills

Though our encounter was brief, I am contend that I made conversations with people who have persisted through hardship and contributed substantially to the world.

17. First step foot on Europe - Cologne, Germany
The city of Cologne!

My third continent - conquered!

At a world-class EUFA stadium, and we got VIP access!

Amazing field trip with Bayer around Leverkusen, with envoys from around 25 countries!

Words cannot describe my excitement stepping foot in Germany under the sponsorship of Bayer. I literally was jumping in joy after I was told I got selected the morning after a midnight interview through Skype.

Touring Cologne with the envoys gave me a brief sense of staying in Europe. The 1-week trip gathered so many environmental enthusiast from so many parts of the world I was flooded with information.
Thank you so much to Bayer for pampering us like VIPs and lead me to my first time in Europe, first time in a UEFA stadium, first time in the locker room, first time trying Bratwurst, first time on a survey boat, first Cologne beer... lost a lot of my "virginities" here. :P

18. Checked out White House & saw Cherry Blossom
Cherry blossom in DC in spring is just charming!

Obama was inside, just a few weeks before he visited Malaysia!

World Learning gave us the chance to explore USA, and this incredible bunch of people around the world showed me their culture and their spirit.

19. Saw the painting Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (and a lot more!)
There's Picasso's Seated Bather

And also Van Gogh's world famous The Starry Night.

My first time getting so close and seeing the real artwork of greatest artists ever lived. Not a big fan, but The Starry Night is pretty I think. ;)

20. Did a crazy 32 days winter break tour in USA crashing and meeting Malaysians!
Starting at Las Vegas heading to San Francisco,

To New York subways,

Time Square,

Wall Street,

Followed by a train of cities like Philadelphia, PA,

And Los Angeles, CA just to count a few,

I have been crashing at so many Malaysian's places I am forever in debt of their favour. I hope some day I can return their kindness!

In total, I think I have travelled more than 10 states in USA and maybe 20 cities in total. Definitely blew my quota, and my wallet! Time to save money when I hit Malaysia.

For the 21st, and the last thing worthy of marking down in my blog, I will keep that as a secret. If you want to guess, feel free to comment down below!

This past 21 years have been really kind and wonderful. I wish for another exciting, action-packed 21 years ahead!


  1. interesting post i have read ever, your life is wonderful!!!
    keep it up!!!!

  2. Get your internship at Taiwan already?


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