M'sian Tops Virginia Tech's Academic List Of 10,000 With Consistent 4.0 CGPA
A Malaysian student has come out the top of her class, ranking first among almost 10,000 graduates at Virginia Tech, a university in the United Sates
The student, Irdina Shahriman, recently received a Phi Kappa Phi medallion from her university's College of Engineering for her outstanding performance in her studies.
The award is conferred only to senior graduates with the highest academic results.
It comes deservingly as the Yayasan Tenaga Nasional scholar achieved a cumulative grade point average of 4.0 throughout all four years of obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, from 2018 to 2021.
The 24-year-old confessed that navigating a foreign education system and a male-dominated field of study in a university half a world away was indeed a challenging feat
However, speaking to StarEdu, Irdina, who graduated in December last year, said that being steadfast and believing in herself saw her through the difficulties.
"I am not a 'genius' by nature, so I worked hard. I did not skip classes, I took notes diligently, and more importantly, I took the initiative to connect with my professors and classmates, which enhanced my understanding of the subject matter," she said.
"Embrace the learning process; that is what matters most. Always set your intention right and translate it into action."
Hailing from Subang Jaya, Selangor, Irdina described familiarising herself with the American education system as a "bumpy journey"
"They put a lot of emphasis on expressing your views, being more creative, and thinking beyond what is being taught," she said, adding that for someone who was so used to structure, she was often pushed out of her comfort zone.
She also shared that the system demanded consistency, and it was common to have exams twice a week throughout the semesters.
"Some days, I had to skip hanging out with friends or watching the latest movies. Those days were when weekends and weekdays were no different to me. My time was spent catching up on assignments and studying for exams," she said.
Nonetheless, the student did not forget the importance of self care and having a balanced lifestyle during her time there.
"Know your boundaries and don't get burnt out," she advised, elaborating that she still always slept eight hours a day, exercised, and ate hearty homecooked meals.
Having returned to Malaysia, Irdina is currently waiting for a placement to start her career at Tenaga Nasional Berhad
The young woman said she is excited to contribute to the country in her pursuits, and advised others who have high ambitions in their studies to also believe in themselves and their own abilities.
"Everyone has their own strengths and pace in life," she said.
Malaysia also recently saw the highest record of students being accepted into the prestigious Harvard College this year: