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Muhammad's story

Photo of Muhammad Afiq bin Ismail

"It’s important to remember that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can achieve your goals if you work hard for it"

My full name is Muhammad Afiq bin Ismail. I am 23 years old. I am from a small village in Kuala Krai, Kelantan, Malaysia. We are a family of 4; just my parents, me and my older brother, who is disabled.

My parents both cried when I told them I got a first-class degree. Their tears of joy were the best moment for me, I have never felt so much happiness in my life. My parents both hugged and kissed me and told me how proud they were of me. Moments like that motivate me to work even harder in the future for my little family. 

When I told them that I was going to fly them here for my graduation, my mum was reluctant at first because she didn’t want me to waste my money for the flight tickets, as it was a huge amount of money for us. They also hesitated because they had never boarded a flight throughout their 50 years of life. But I insisted and convinced them that I really wanted them to see me graduate and to give them the best experience for their first time being overseas. After seeing how happy they were being here, I hope I can fly them all over the world in the future. 

I always dreamed of studying overseas since high school because I wanted to help my family. My dad always reminds me of how important education is in order to change my family’s lives. I was so thankful to receive the government scholarship to sponsor my A-levels and this degree in England. The education and environment here are the best.
I was very excited to fly here because that was the first time for me to board an airplane and to leave my home country. I was quite nervous because of the language barrier, as I am not that good at English, but I wanted to challenge and force myself to speak in English. 

I worked a part-time job throughout my degree so that I could save up to pay for my parents to come here for graduation. Time management was always the key for this. I had to make sure my studies and assignments were the priority, so my daily and weekly schedule was very important to me. I allocated a certain number of hours for revision daily and then I also worked 15-20 hours a week; I needed to make sure that I used my free time wisely, for my study, friends and myself. 

Graduation was a memorable time for me and my family. My friends also attended my graduation and celebrated the day with me. I am very thankful to have these people in my life. We celebrated over dinner at the university restaurant “Buffalo Joes”. My dad insisted on paying for the dinner even though I’d told them before they came that I would cover all expenses, but he was so happy that he wanted to give it as a present. I will never forget my graduation day.

My loved ones have always supported me throughout this journey and they are my biggest motivation to do what I do and to work hard to reach my goals. I am so grateful to have them by my side and make them proud with my achievements. My biggest inspiration is my parents. My dad especially, because throughout my childhood I saw directly how hard he worked on the farm to support my family and to provide me with the best education. He wanted me to be successful and to be the best in whatever I do in my life. This is why I wanted to work hard to achieve my ambitions and never give up. 

Your parents’ blessing is everything. I’ve lived by this motto my whole life and will stick to it forever. Without their prayers, I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything in my life. Their happiness is everything. Also, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can achieve your goals if you work hard for it. Studying in another country means you will be a thousand miles away from your family, so make sure you choose the right friends to be with, that is really important. At the end of the day, don’t ever forget your roots and always ask prayers and blessings from your parents.

I am very grateful to have secured a job at one of the Big 4 audit firms in Malaysia and I’m planning to take the professional paper at the same time to become a chartered accountant one day. Please pray for me everyone.



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