Mr. Ben Foo Ming Sheng
Name: Ben Foo Ming Sheng (age: 25)
- Penang Free School, Malaysia (High School)
- PPKTJ KL, Malaysia and (former) ISI, Tokyo (Japanese language and preparatory course)
- Suzuka National College of Technology, Mie Prefecture (Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department, Diploma Degree)
- Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo (Chemical System Engineering, Bachelor Degree)
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo (Management of Technology, Master's Degree)
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost (1874 -1963)-
Road to the Land of the Rising Sun
I always wanted to study abroad ever since I was in High School, mainly because I wanted to experience a new environment and to get new prospective in life. Australia, America or the UK would be a good destination as I'm used to using English as a language but I was searching for a different route as there are already many Malaysian students there.
The culture shock
The chance came by when I got offer for the scholarship from the Government of Malaysia under the Look East Policy, a program to study in Kosen in Japan. I never thought Japan would be the place I landed on but it is a stepping stone for me to continue on my dream to study abroad. Japan: Land of the Rising Sun, leading-edge technology, fascinating cultures, mangas and animes. It's definitely the place that offers a good platform of education.
At first, I thought I was quite ready after the first year of preparatory course in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but studying in class and using Japanese as spoken language are two different things. I was glad that I had another year of preparatory course in (former) ISI, Tokyo. Indeed, classes from early morning to late evening, the "only Japanese" environment had helped in improving the language. Also getting involved in the school choir and Shinagawa Rover Scouts helps me getting into the new community.
From the Eastern Capital to the Land of Ise
After a year of experience in the big metropolitan Tokyo, I decided to continue my study in Suzuka National College of Technology. I majored in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering because Chemistry is the Mother of Science and Chemical Engineering involved many parts of our life; food, water, environment, plastics etc. Memorizing chemical terms and lectures in Kansai Dialect were not easy. Friends and seniors were helpful in my studies.
"Keizoku wa chikara ni nari"
(direct translation, "continuation leads to power")
That was the proverb taught by Mr Hosono and that was the word I kept on in mind even today. I gained more than just good memories but also a good master and a good circle of friends.
One step after another
I was interested in the leading technology in Environmental Process that Japan has and I continued on to Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology for my Bachelor Degree in Chemical System Engineering. The course offers the accreditation from Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education (JABEE). My study was on catalyst to eliminate Volatile Organic Compound (VOC).
Stay foolish, Stay hungry
However, I realized that management also plays an important role in bringing technology to the competitive global market. Instead of pursuing to a Engineering Course for my Master's Degree, I chose to continue on in Management of Technology, majoring in Technological Risk Management.
-Steve Jobs, CEO Apple Inc.-
Being proactive is important. With the fast changes in environment and globalization, we have to open up our senses and be alert to the changes. Also, we have to be proactive chasing our own goals and dreams as they don't just come to us easily. Last but not least, be proactive and open up to various fields.