My name is Ling and I am a Chevening and Mansion House (MH) scholar from Malaysia pursuing my MSc Risk Management at the University of Southampton. As one of over 1800 Chevening Scholars in the UK also one of 11 MH scholar for the 2015/16 term, I feel very blessed to be given the opportunity to further my studies in the UK and prepare myself for the next step of my career.
It was a no brainer to take up my scholarships to pursue my MSc in the UK and take a hiatus from my job as the opportunity was too good to pass. However, it is not as straightforward as it may sound as I was in line to be promoted at work and have a mortgage in my Malaysia to pay for. Careful planning was required to ensure that I could make the most of my time in Southampton and the UK while meeting all my responsibilities back home.
Receiving my Chevening certificate from Vicki Treadell, British High Commissioner to Malaysia
The biggest challenge for me was being a full time student again and concentrating on my studies solely as I had been working for 5.5 years already although I was studying on my own for my various professional exams. The discipline needed to focus on studies when classes are infrequent and spaced out was very challenging as the temptation to slack off was always there. The will to learn and make the most of my MSc ensured that I participated in classes actively and even got myself elected as the MSc Risk Management Course Representative.
Malaysian Chevening Scholars
I made many new friends during my time at the University of Southampton and they come from all over the world, making my network from friends even larger. I can now say that I have friends from most continents in the world. Yes, I made sure to get to know people regardless of the country they come from or the course they are studying and whether they were students or staff members.
I participated in University of Southampton’s version of the University Challenge called University Challenged. Although my team got knocked out in the quarter-finals, we were very competitive and only lost because we pressed the buzzer a split second slower than our rivals. It was all in good fun and I helped out in the other rounds as a volunteer as well. The competition was a good way to meet students and staff members from various faculties which I would have otherwise never met.
The highlight of my studies here is learning from top risk experts in the UK, both academic and professional which will enable me to return to Malaysia and make a bigger impact in the risk management field. The generosity of the staff members in imparting and sharing their knowledge have made my journey very informative and exciting. I look forward to collaborating with them in the future on a professional basis.
Besides knowledge, I have been given opportunities to network at the City of London thanks to my MH scholarship. This included attending the Worshipful Company of International Banker’s (WCIB) Annual Banquet, the Trade and Industry Dinner at Mansion House, lunch with Criminal Court judges at the Old Bailey hosted by Sheriff Charles Bowman and also having my own mentor from WCIB.
MH Scholars with Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Mansion House
Past and Present MH Scholars with Scholarship Scheme Trustees at Old Bailey
Photo credit: ©Clive Totman 2016 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Chevening provided me the platform to be a future leader and to also meet other future leaders from all over the world and expand my horizons. I organised a trip to Southampton for fellow scholars and participated in a Chevening event in Northern Ireland, visiting Stormont, Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Bridge. I even won a bonus prize in the Chevening relay competition.
Chevening Scholars at Stormont
Photo Credit: Chevening Facebook Page
The University of Southampton and the Southampton Business School have provided me with many opportunities to shine. I was even highlighted by the Business School as part of the “What our students think” section.
This past year is one that I will keep in memory for the rest of my life as it has helped me grow and develop further as a person. So, thank you to everyone who has been part of my journey, the University of Southampton, Chevening and Mansion House Scholarship Scheme.
Ling Mien Yeo
Chevening and Mansion House Scholar