Lee Yong Xian

Nilai U student encourages school leavers to be active in extracurricular activities.

“I strongly urge secondary school students to be active in extracurricular activities. It will help them gain important soft skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication skills, and it may even help them improve their levels of concentration,” counsels Lee Yong Xian (Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons)), who was extremely active in the martial art of Wu Shu in his secondary school - SMK Yu Hua, Kajang. He has another more compelling reason for secondary students to be active in clubs and sporting activities - it may land them a scholarship from Nilai University (Nilai U).

Lee is a proud recipient of Nilai U’s Extra-Curriculum Excellence Award which rewards individuals who have exemplary achievements at state, national or regional level events. This can be sporting, as with Lee’s participation in state-level Wu Shu competitions and exhibitions, or with clubs and societies such as debating team, uniformed societies (eg Red Crescent Society) or board game clubs (eg Scrabble). The Extra-Curriculum Excellence scholarship awarded to Lee takes care of tuition and accommodation fees which are a great burden off his retired parents.

The 22-year-old resident of Cheras is also keen to espouse the benefits of being active in sports. “In the case of Wu Shu, I have learned a lot from my master. He has shared many philosophical lessons with me, explaining how Wu Shu can make me a better person. It has also made me improve my stamina, work ethic, concentration levels and communication skills. These are traits that I apply to my university life as well and my Wu Shu training helps me relieve stress as well,” states Lee.

Lee first joined Nilai U’s Foundation in Science programme saying that it was the fastest route to the degree of his choice. “I wanted to do mechanical engineering as I am quite good with my hands. Physics was also one of my strong subjects in school, so I knew this was the right programme for me. There is a wide array of career options for mechanical engineering graduates,” he explains. His future plans are to get work experience before attempting to secure a lucrative job on an oil rig. “The work may be dangerous and life on an oil rig may be tough but I am prepared for it. Wu Shu has taught me to not fear such obstacles. The high salary is well worth the effort,” he smiles.

When asked if he had any advice for school leavers looking to apply for engineering programmes, Lee stressed that it was crucial for students to be strong in both mathematics and physics. “Students must be willing to work extra hard if they want to get good results. They must be willing to do constant revision and not just cram prior to exams. Most importantly, do not be afraid to ask questions in class!” counsels Lee.

Nilai U was established in 1997 and received full ‘university’ status in 2012. It is also rated Setara 5/Excellent by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency. For more information, please call 06-8502308 / 07-2262336.