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University of Southampton Malaysia

Southampton top graduate shares inspiring messages during university Open Day

Published: 29 August 2016
Jeremy Fong, USMC graduate
Jeremy giving an inspirational talk to parents and students during Open Day last 20 August.

Three times Lloyd’s Register Foundation scholar, Jeremy Fong delivered an inspiring presentation at the University of Southampton Malaysia Campus’ Open Day, helping students to pursue their dreams.


Just a few months before graduation, Jeremy secured a place on a graduate scheme with Rolls-Royce, a leading aero-engine manufacturing company. Securing his dream job was not an easy feat, he had to make an online application, complete a series of online tests and attend an assessment centre. However, Jeremy performed extremely well, coming first out of 12 shortlisted candidates and being offered a job as a control engineer at Rolls-Royce’s Birmingham office in the UK.

In a conversation with Jeremy, who graduated from the University of Southampton with a MEng in Mechanical Engineering (Engineering Aerospace), he shared his thoughts on securing his prestigious job.

“Southampton University has actually played an important role with my application. I found out about Rolls-Royce through the Engineering Fair held by the University’s Career and Employability Services”.

As he reflected on his academic experiences at Southampton, some themes became apparent – taking responsibility for your own learning and development, building good relationships with teaching staff and friends, and learning to manage time and setting priorities.

‘’My first year at university was an adjustment period. I realised that university is not school. There would be no more spoon feeding of knowledge.’’

From then on, Jeremy started taking responsibility for his own learning – learning materials beyond the formal curriculum as well as becoming an independent critic of the material and content.

‘’Academics cannot make students do these things. At best, they can provide the knowledge base to stimulate students’ critical thinking, they can inspire intellectual risk taking, and encourage independent research. However ultimately the effort, motivation and interest comes from students themselves.’’

After his first year with USMC, his hard work paid off when he became a consistent recipient of the prestigious Lloyd’s Register Foundation scholarship which pays for 100 per cent of tuition fees. Jeremy, being a high achiever, then went onto receive a scholarship for the next 2 years of his studies.

In his third year, Jeremy and his classmates transitioned to the UK Campus. ‘’I was pretty scared of making new friends and how to actually fit in but my time in abroad was the best experience of my life. I enjoyed group assignments because I got to work with talented people from diverse cultures. We respected each other’s ideas, we knew when one of us should take charge and when one should listen to others.’’

He likened his final year to a marathon, full of deadlines and including his thesis. Luckily, his supervisors were always there to help him. ‘’I couldn’t think of any better supervisors to have – Prof. Phil Joseph and Dr Michael Kingan – were always there to help me even when that meant having Skype calls after office hours,’’ he recalls.

Asked how he feels sharing some insights to young students, he said ‘’nothing is as rewarding as coming home and giving back to an institution and especially all the lecturers and friends that helped shaped who I am,’’ said Jeremy. ‘’To be given the opportunity to influence, inspire and guide future generations of Southampton students is humbling.’’



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