1. Full name / Age / Nationality.
Syafiq Asnawi Zainal Abidin / 25 years old / Malaysian
2. Where are you working / studying presently, and describe your general work scope.
I'm currently a postgraduate student (second year of PhD) in the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia.
3. Why did you choose to study at Monash University Malaysia?
Choosing Monash Malaysia was easy. Four years as an undergraduate student in Monash University Clayton Campus taught me the quality of Monash University as a whole. Apart from being one of the ‘Group of Eight’ universities in Australia and consistently ranked among top 100 universities in the world, the quality of research produced by Monash University is the major factor. I chose to return to Malaysia (Monash Malaysia) because I want to experience the same Monash University excellence but with a more ‘closer to home’ feeling.
4. Describe your study experience at Monash University Malaysia.
As a PhD student, I’m automatically a member of the Monash University Postgraduate Association (MUPA) where I got involved in social gatherings/activities organised by the association aimed to strengthen the relationship between postgraduate students as well as for networking purposes.
5. What qualities did you acquire during your studies at the university that were beneficial to you in the working world?
Monash University has taught me the importance of being consistently inquisitive and having the desire to learn more. This is important especially in research, and as a PhD student, it makes me strive to produce quality results in my research.
6. What do you love about your student life at Monash?
What I loved most at Monash was the easy access to various facilities on campus as well as world class research equipment available in the university, such as the facilities at Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences. As a Malay Muslim student, I found it very easy to fit in on campus with the available halal food and praying facilities. Even Clayton campus has a religious centre and several halal food sections in the cafeteria. Making new friends is easy too since the majority of the students are Malaysians (in the Malaysian campus).
7. What is your goal in the future?
I dream to contribute significantly and to further improve Malaysia’s research sector, especially in medical research. I hope that one day I’ll be able to produce groundbreaking results from my research that will elevate Malaysia and Monash University in the world’s research community.
8. What is your advice to current students?
Don’t stop and never give up, hold your head up and reach for your goals. Always be inquisitive, it will help your learning process. However, don’t always lock yourself in your room to study! Enjoy some relaxing time with your friends or participate in extracurricular activities which are widely available in Monash. Or perhaps, reward yourself with a movie (or two) or play some games after a productive study session.