Not mere luck

New Straits Times - - Higher Ed - ZULITA MUSTAFA zulita@nst.com.my

LIFE does not stop af­ter Si­jil Pe­la­jaran Malaysia (SPM), so said Keethanjeli Palaniyap­pan, 22. “There is al­ways an al­ter­na­tive way to achieve your goals even if you don’t have straight As. All you need is pa­tience and op­ti­mism. Work to­wards your goals al­though it takes time. Success will even­tu­ally be yours,” added Keethanjeli.

Her ini­tial de­sire was to be­come a doc­tor but she did not do well in the SPM ex­am­i­na­tion.

So she opted for the three-year Diploma in Med­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory Tech­nol­ogy pro­gramme at MSU Col­lege in Shah Alam.

“Af­ter I joined the course I re­alised that I wanted to di­ag­nose dis­eases and so I put my heart into be­com­ing a pathol­o­gist,” said Keethanjeli from Sun­gai Bakap, Pe­nang who has just fin­ished her stud­ies, in­clud­ing a six­month in­tern­ship at Pe­nang Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal.

“I am an ac­tive per­son, es­pe­cially dur­ing my col­lege years. I was a team leader for more than five times in var­i­ous games in­clud­ing a lab race and sur­vivor skills race.

“I was also in­volved in events such as the health sci­ence day, cervix cancer cam­paign and Zumba com­pe­ti­tion. I took part in com­mu­nity ser­vices like char­ity events and clean­ing the or­phan­age, Rumah Aman, at Sec­tion 2 in Shah Alam.”

Keethanjeli re­cently re­ceived the Pres­i­dent’s List Award for ex­cel­lent achieve­ment in her stud­ies. The award is given to stu­dents who main­tain a Cu­mu­la­tive Grade Point Av­er­age (CGPA) of 3.75 and above for three con­sec­u­tive semesters. “I had a CGPA of 4.00 for ev­ery se­mes­ter,” she added.

She cred­its her fam­ily, lec­tur­ers and friends for her achieve­ments. “They are my source of in­spi­ra­tion and mo­ti­va­tion. With­out them, I won’t be where I am now. I still have a long way to go in my stud­ies and I hope this award is the start of many more ac­co­lades.”

She in­tends to pur­sue a de­gree in bio­med­i­cine at MSU Univer­sity be­fore en­rolling in ei­ther a Mas­ter’s in Neu­rosc ience or In­fec­tious Dis­eases course.

“Be­ing in the med­i­cal l ab is my pas­sion, and I am ex­cited to see wh ere it takes me in my ca­reer. I want to be a re­searcher in the med­i­cal field and con­tribu te my ser­vices to the na­tion and the world.”

For Keethanjeli , fac­ing c hal­lenges is “part and par­cel of life”. “You le arn lessons when you have gone through hard ships.”

She added that ev­eryon e faces hard­ships and has low points in their l ives, but they need to con­cen­trate on the positi ve.

Un­like some stu­dents, Keethanjeli does not burn the mid­night oil or do last-minute re­vi­sion. For her, fo­cus­ing i n class and ask­ing ques­tions is key.

“It makes learn­ing easie r,” she said, adding that mak­ing notes helps her in her stud­ies.

Look­ing up to her idol, D r A.P.J. Ab­dul Kalam, the former Prime Min is­ter of In­dia who was also a Nasa sci­en­tist, s he be­lieves in fin­ish­ing what she started and to never give up.

“His fa­mous quote, ‘Don ’t take a rest af­ter your first vic­tory, if you fail i the sec­ond, more lips are wait­ing to say that your first vic­tory was just luck’, mo­ti­vates me to do bet­ter.”

Stick to your goals be­cause, one day, your sig­na­ture will

turn into au­to­g­ra­phy.

MSU Pres­i­dent’s List Award

Keethanjeli Palaniyap­pan (sec­ond from right) with her fam­ily. Keethanjeli Palaniyap­pan with her cer­tifi­cate of

achieve­ment.

Keethanjeli Palaniyap­pan (right) and her course­mate dis­sect mice for a histopathol­ogy project.

Keethanjeli Palaniyap­pan (cen­tre) en­joys ac­tiv­i­ties such as per­form­ing a za­pin per­for­mance dur­ing a Hari Raya cel­e­bra­tion.

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