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Cardiff Alumni 2015 – Irhana Ramli

29 July 2015

1. Hello, what did you study at Cardiff University?

I did a BEng in Civil Engineering back in the year of 2012, followed by a postgraduate study, an MSc in Civil Engineering a year after.

2.  Why did you decide to study that subject? And why did you go on to postgraduate study?

I chose Civil Engineering. Both my parents have partly influenced my decision by making my heart so close to the engineering world. My father was a practising Civil Engineer while my mother professed in Coastal Engineering (a specialised discipline of Civil Engineering) in a local university.

Since I was little I have been exposed to the engineering world. I had also formed a picture of myself as an engineer, wearing a white helmet on my head, checking at some drawing plans, inspecting construction sites, attending meetings etc. Moreover, with my family background of engineers.      

3. How would you describe your University experience?

I really enjoyed my University life as an undergraduate. In fact, I think I was at my peak of success (as of that time). I had the opportunity to oversee the beautiful UK, experience the culture and I also travelled to about 10 other European countries with my friends.

I have won several awards from the university for my achievement in studies. Namely, BAM Nuttall Prize for the Best Group Work in Year 2 Structural Design; Alan and Cyril Body Prize for a mature student with the best overall Year 2 result; and Demosthenes Protopapadakis Prize for being the most deserving recognition in the area of Geotechnical Engineering. On top of that, I got a First for my BEng degree. Score! 🙂

It was during my MSc program that I guess I reached my lowest point. Not many know this, but I failed two modules during my first semester. In that moment I thought that I had enough. I received enormous support and encouragement especially from both of my parents and my dear supervisor, Dr. Stephen William Rees.

I really want to take this opportunity to thank them. Thank you, Mama, Ayah and Dr. Rees. 🙂

4. Did you get involved with any clubs, societies or student media whilst at Cardiff University?

Yes. Indeed I was a proud (am still proud) member of the Malaysian Student Society of Cardiff University (MSSCF) for the Year 2010-2013!

5. What has been the best moments of your University life?

The best moments were, of course, during the semester break(s)! As someone who came from the other side of the world, semester break was the time when I got to travel with my friends to foreign places in this different part of the world.

We didn’t go shopping, go out for food or party much but instead we spent money on travelling. Different place, different country – every time. Which we normally planned a few months in advance!

Back from the trip, we would always have a pile of photographs that was taken during the trip. What we did was make them into photobooks and of course I have kept them till now. This collection of photobooks are the things that I will always have to look back on. Good memories especially when now I have become a working adult (ouch!).

6. How did you feel when you graduated?

Happy and sad at the same time. Happy as I have no more exams or a dissertation to worry about! Sad because this was where we all get separated to move on to our next chapter of life.

7.  What advice would you give to students that are graduating this year?

Embrace the moment and take loads of photos! Go after the Red Dragon, take picture with him, hug him, and  take a picture! Just live in the moment because you definitely deserve it. Do not forget to also take a moment to appreciate and thank your lecturers and supervisors during the graduation day because they too, deserve it.

In case your stories are like mine, it is alright if you don’t have any plans (for after graduation). You can just go with the flow as long as you set goals. My advice is when you started to feel like you are hitting rock bottom, work up from that point and don’t look back. Aim for one improvement a day and always let today become better than yesterday & let tomorrow be better than today. And you will be on track again. If I can, you can too.

The 'left' Irhana was taken soon after she graduated with a BEng in 2012. The 'right' Irhana was taken soon after she graduated with a MSc in 2014.
The ‘left’ Irhana was taken soon after she graduated with a BEng in 2012. The ‘right’ Irhana was taken soon after she graduated with a MSc in 2014. The ‘left’ Irhana was taken soon after she graduated with a BEng in 2012. The ‘right’ Irhana was taken soon after she graduated with a MSc in 2014.