ALL GEARED UP: Being an all-rounder finally paid off for Roumen Guha, 18, when he won the American-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM)-Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE) Scholarship Award 2014 recently.
Guha received a scholarship worth US$20,000 (RM64,000) to pursue a degree in electrical engineering at University of Wisconsin-Madison in in the US.
The award was presented by acting deputy chief of mission from the United States Embassy Kent Stiegler and AMCHAM president Sanjeev Nanavati.
Ampang-born Guha, the eldest of two siblings, expressed his gratitude to AMCHAM-MACEE for the scholarship.
“It’s unbelievable. I know that’s cliched but it’s true. I had no idea. I was afraid I came across as a nervous wreck during the interview.
“However, I evidently didn’t, which is a boost to my confidence,” he said.
While he is active in clubs and sports in school, he makes sure that studies are his priority.
Guha attended Years One to Six at Sayfol International School before he moved to Tanarata International Schools for his secondary education. He pursued A levels at Methodist College Kuala Lumpur (MCKL).
“I was a member of the magazine committee at Tanarata for a few years, gradually moving up the ranks with experience.
“I was also a member of the Leo Club of Metro MCKL for a year and a half. They were the best choices I’ve made as I met some great people,” he added.
Asked why he chose engineering as his major, Guha said it was a discipline he could excel in as he likes fiddling with toys and he looks at engineering as advanced toy-making.
“Engineering involves a lot of theory and finding ways to make things practical for the masses. Along the way, enginners invent new things and enhance others. Engineers serve, I’d like to serve.”
With a passion for music, including playing the drums and guitar, Guha intends to continue to learn to play these instruments at university.
“I also play basketball more than any other sport, but I don’t often do so any more. I’m looking forward to trying snowboarding. I’ve never seen snow before.”
Guha will leave for his studies next week.
“It is a four-year course, but since I did A levels, I have a year’s worth of credit. Hopefully, with summer courses, I can add variety to my education than what is the norm. I intend to make full use of my time there.”
He wants to join a music programme and creative writing and literature/theatre classes.
The scholarship offers Malaysian students a chance to study in the US to gain new experience.
Sanjeev said: “However, we cannot do it without the help of our members, who have generously contributed to Malaysian communities through the scholarship fund and fundraising such as the Ambassador’s Charity Golf Tournament on Oct 14, where all proceeds go to the scholarship fund.”
On his plans once he completes his studies, Guha said he would love to work abroad for a few years and then continue his studies.
“Malaysia needs a global mindset, which does not necessarily mean the erosion of our culture.
“I'd like to bring back what I have learnt from other countries in circumstances similar to Malaysia’s.
“I want to better Malaysia and believe that we shouldn’t stop at borders.”