BEING the eldest of two siblings, Wan Nur Shazira Mohmad Shriff always believes that she should set an example for her younger brother.
Even more so when she lost her father in 2013 due to kidney failure and other complications. Her mother, a former banker, had to work as an account assistant to support the family.
The 22-year-old, who didn’t want to place the burden of her education on her mother, fought hard to do well in her studies so that she would be able to pursue her education at the tertiary level.
After getting her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia results, Nur Shazira was delighted to be accepted by Unirazak’s Yayasan Cemerlang under the Tun Rahah Scholarship Fund.
It covered her school fees and a living allowance for accommodation, food and course materials — meaning she could fully focus on her studies.
Had it not been for the foundation, she would have struggled to further her education.
“My late father knew about the scholarship just before his death and was very happy for me.”
Born and bred in Klang, Nur Shazira has greatly benefited from the extracurricular programmes offered by the foundation.
She has also maintained her diligent and conscientious nature.
Nur Shazira pursued her degree in Taxation for four years, including a one-year foundation.
“I had wanted to do Accounting, but it would take longer. Taxation was somehow related to accounting and I thought why not.
“Furthermore, when Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented in 2014, it was something relatively new for everyone and I had to learn from scratch to nail it. It was definitely a challenging time for me,” she said.
As an “accounting” student, it has always been a dream for Nur Shazira to work in any one of the Big Four companies.
She found herself a challenging internship at KPMG Malaysia and the foundation also assisted her in the next steps of her career in the taxation industry.
Not only does Nur Shazira want to repay her mother for her unwavering support, she also hopes to give back to the community as encouraged by the foundation.
She developed her leadership skills while making lifelong friends through the foundation’s community service and professional development events.
“I met new people and learned leadership skills in these programmes that I will carry with me for years to come.”
Yayasan Cemerlang is more than just a foundation offering scholarships. It also nurtures the personal and professional development of its scholars through a multitude of programmes.
Nur Shazira, who is a tax assistant at Deloitte Malaysia, aims to become a lecturer one day due to her love and passion for teaching and sharing her knowledge with others.
“But for now, I need to work and gain experience before I take the next step.”
She is also sitting her last paper under the Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia examination and plans to do her Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification to become a certified accountant.
She targets at least five to 10 years down the road to do her masters and become a lecturer.
Nur Shazira had always been active when she was in school and her eagerness to try new things continued during her university years.
“My life as a student was typically the same as any other students. I enjoyed most of my time mingling and sharing knowledge.
“The most challenging part was to juggle between classes and assignments alongside attending clubs and social activities.
“Once I had to do a documentary as part of my assignments. Who would have thought a taxation student would be able to do video editing. It was a good experience,” she added.
“I was shy at first but being among the other students, I was able to build my confidence level and learned leadership skills,” she said.
Looking up to her mother as an idol, Nur Shazira said not every parent supported his or her children, but she was lucky to have parents who were supportive.
“My mother would do anything for me and I am forever grateful for having her in my life. Her advice was ‘in order to do a good plan, you have to plan the things you need to do’.”
Nur Shazira said everything happened for a reason, therefore one should not give up but strive harder to realise one’s dreams.
“Regardless of results, work hard, learn as much as you can and don’t give up.”