5th# GreatHeights Series – An Interview With Haziq Ramli, Class of 2006 – Part 1
By Norfarah Mohamad,
Head of KYSER Content, Cemerlang
The Cemerlang Editorial Team had a chance to interview Haziq Ramli, Commercial Manager at Battersea Power Station, UK.
Haziq did International Baccalaureate (IB) in Kolej MARA Banting under MARA scholarship. He later pursued his studies at the prestigious Imperial College London for 5 years with MEng Civil Engineering. He later continued his studies part time at University of Westminster in MSc Construction Project Management while working full time as a Project Manager at Battersea Power Station Project (BPS). He received the charter ship from Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in August this year.
According to Haziq, working at BPS provided him with invaluable experience. This is the most exciting & innovative mixed-use neighborhoods in the world, with unique homes set amidst the best shops, restaurants, & offices. BPS is a prime central London development that was acquired by Darby Property, SP Setia and the Employees Provident Fund (“EPF”) through a competitive tender process in September 2012. The Malaysian shareholders are doing something great and nothing is ordinary, even by UK standard. As Malaysians, we can be proud of BSP which occupies one of the most accessible locations in London from its vantage point on the River Thames.
It’s all about competition. We got no chill!
Remembering his days in KYS, Haziq has a lot to say. “What I loved the most about KYS was perhaps the feelings of comradery and comptitiveness in just about everything you do. Union nights, sports day, swimming championship, exams, you name it. We just had to make them all about competition. We got no chill! We were definitely in it to win it. Go hard or go home. Us or you. And I guess, to an extent, that shaped how I approach things for the rest of my life. Be the best that you can be”
He was the College Committee since he was in Form 2 and became the president of Persatuan Bahasa Melayu (PERBAYU), captain of the rugby team from U-14 through to U-17, played the clarinet, participated in various union nights, ran during Sports Day and participated in Swimming Champ.
In KYS he was primarily inspired by his friends. “I think we had genuine care to see each other succeed and tried to push everyone to get the results we wanted. There was a little bit of competition (of course) amongst ourselves, but after spending years in college, university and at work, I can say that what we did at the time was far from competing. We were inspiring each other.”
Successful seniors and KYSERs kept motivating Haziq. “The legendary stuffs, it was a simple case of I-want-to-be-like-them. And the fact that I got to meet most of them after graduating as part of KYSER family made it sweeter as I had the chance to learn from many of them.”
Haziq always remember the amazing support system in KYS; the teachers, staff, friends and parents. This is the kind of memories he cherisehd for the rest of your life.
“The journey after KYS was often filled with self-discovery moments. For example, after halfway through university, I realised that Environmental Engineering was not really what I wanted to do. So I decided to specialise in Geotechnical Engineering because that subject interested me the most. However after graduating I challenged myself, “do I want to do engineering for the rest of my life” and ended up being a Project Manager. So I guess, it’s good to challenge your beliefs and career goals along the way. I definitely would regret it if I didn’t.”
“I wanted to get a good scholarship from one of the big GLCs to study engineering in USA to become an Environmental Engineer. I ended up getting a scholarship from MARA to do civil engineering in UK”
Haziq remember everyone was frantically applying for scholarship after SPM from all scholarship providers. He ended up going to the later stages for only a handful; Sime Darby, PNB, Khazanah and MARA.
Haziq had always wanted to get a good scholarship from one of the big GLCs to study engineering in USA to become an Environmental Engineer but he ended up getting a scholarship from MARA to do civil engineering in UK and became a Construction Project Manager.
“Some of us received scholarship earlier than most. I did not, so the pressure was on. But, alhamdulillah, I got the MARA scholarship in the end. It was not really my first choice as it was not one of those big-named companies. But in hindsight, I could not ask for a better scholarship as I was not tied to work for any company after I graduated. And I think that’s key as I would not have been where I am today if I had a different scholarship. So that’s a key point to be mindful when applying for scholarships.”
He did International Baccalaureate (IB) at Kolej MARA Banting under MARA scholarship. “As to Kolej MARA Banting, ermm, let’s just say it wasn’t KYS… Nothing is like KYS. But I met my lovely wife there! So silver lining and all that…. ”
“So while things did not go exactly to plan, I ended up in more or less the same career ‘genre’ and most importantly, where I want to be. I love being a Project Manager, especially when the project is complex and challenging. I have always been fascinated by buildings and great civil engineering projects. I remember I had a book which listed Top 100 engineering projects of the world when I was 15. It fascinated me so much and I never turned back since.”
“I failed my first year at university. And Imperial being Imperial, there was no appeal process, no re-sit and no re-examination….”
Haziq attended the prestigious Imperial College for six years and at the beginning, coping with the new life was challenging. “I had never been to Europe before I went to Imperial College so naturally I struggled at first. There was no other MARA scholarship holders that went to Imperial at the time and I was one of only two Malaysians in my class. I also think I struggled with English and communication at first. ”
Studying in Imperial College was VERY difficult according to Haziq and he failed the first year with no appeal process, no re-sit and no re-examination.
“My only option was to re-do the first year for another year. At the time, it was really devastating for me as I don’t think I had ever failed that seriously. I spent a couple of months struggling to come to terms with what happened. It was only after being miserable for two months, I realised that I had to bounce back. I had to accept the fact that I failed and the first thing I did was to tell everyone so that it was out there. I then became determined and focused properly on my studies. I did the extras like going to the libraries, reading suggested materials (and beyond) and scheduling appointments with my lecturers for things that I struggled. I passed the second time. After that, I changed the way I study and did well in my second, third and fourth year. I was so lucky to have great support from my family, friends and MARA at the time”
However, this experience had taught Haziq to be able to accept failures and the more important thing is to how he took the courage to bounce back. “There’s no one that can make you bounce back other than yourself.”
Stay Tuned For Part 2