I come from a small family of three in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, living with my father and younger brother. During my childhood days, I spent a lot of time with my family and enjoyed various hobbies. Those memorable days were short-lived, as my mother was no longer around when I was still in primary school. Since then, my father has single-handedly raised me and my younger brother. It was also during this period when I first started exploring the world of computer games, which turned out to be the perfect coping mechanism for me during difficult times. Eventually, I also developed a strong curiosity for the inner workings of a computer. This curiosity has led me to delve further into computer hardware and software, where I often attempted to tweak my system or take apart components.
As I grew older and wiser, I started to appreciate my father’s hard work which goes into supporting our education and wanting the best for us. Being the elder son, I took on the responsibility of becoming the next pillar of our family to change things for the better. All I knew back then was to study hard in high school and obtain good grades to secure a better future. However, it was not as easy as I thought it would be, as for most of my secondary education, I was always an average student with average grades, and I just could not find any passion or interest in most of my subjects. In my final year of high school, feeling desperate and tired, I finally decided to ask myself, “What am I really passionate about? Is there anything else that I can do and be good at?”. It was then when I realised that computing which has always been an interest of mine might be a viable option. With that, I decided to pursue the field of computing as my career goal, believing that it shall ultimately lead me to the path of success.
The day finally came when SPM results were released. I was quite disappointed in myself as I did not obtain the grades that I desired and fell behind most of my peers, despite my father’s positive response to the outcome. Nevertheless, I told myself that this chapter of my life has now come to an end, and it was time to start fresh with a new chapter in college. During the SEG Open Day, I stumbled upon the Diploma in IT programme offered by Sunway College. As I already knew what I wanted to pursue, the diploma pathway seemed like a great choice to me. However, I was still hesitant to enrol as I realised that it presented a financial burden for my father. A glimmer of hope appeared when I was introduced to the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation Scholarship, a need-based full scholarship that can potentially help us out. With that, I finally enrolled for the programme and tried my very best to apply for the scholarship. I was extremely happy to find out later that I was offered the scholarship, as I was then able to pursue my passion in a prestigious institution without burdening my father.
Since then, my journey in Sunway has been nothing short of extraordinary. I genuinely enjoyed my time in diploma as I was able to dive deep into a wide range of computing disciplines throughout the 2-year programme. I also met many amazing friends and supportive lecturers along the way, which definitely made it an unforgettable experience. In the end, I even managed to obtain outstanding grades for all of my subjects. I have also actively participated in several clubs and societies, as I strongly believe that academic excellence is only one part of the recipe for success, and there are other important areas that one should improve to become a better individual. Clubs and societies have really defined who I am today, as I have met and learned from many brilliant and like-minded people. Together, we have organised events and supported each other to achieve our goals. Today, I continue to pursue computer science in Sunway University and contribute to student tech communities.
Looking back at my high school days, I was never really able to perform well as a student or do something that I am truly passionate about. Joining Sunway to pursue my passion and being offered the scholarship has been the greatest game-changer for me in recent years. The scholarship and the programme have enabled me to do what I love and strive for the best in what I do. There is always a lot of support and encouragement from the institution to help you grow as a student and as a person. I am forever grateful to the scholarship unit, the institution and the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation for choosing to believe in me.
Marcus Wong Ke Lun
BSc (Hons) in Computer Science
Jeffrey Cheah Foundation Scholarship