Juggling assignments and projects alone is tough enough as any student would readily nod their head to that. However, imagine doing that alongside running a business at the same time. Most students would feel that the brunt of higher education would be too much to shoulder already, but these 9 Malaysians somehow found extra pockets of time to manage their studies and work at the same time.
They have after all leveraged on their youth to start up something of their own, all whilst still having a student name card in their back pocket. They are inadvertently proving that entrepreneurship has no age limit and if anything, being young means being courageous to chase after one’s dreams and ultimately make it a reality.
1. Ting Shi Jin
Shi Jin is currently pursuing his degree in Software Engineering, and besides juggling university, he is also the founder of Traquer. Traquer is a social empowered road safety app and is essentially a speedometer app which alerts the user if the vehicle they are traveling in is increasing in speed.
Shi Jin told Vulcan Post, “My (university) dean was once a venture capitalist so he taught us a lot of things that were never taught in a classroom, and he gave us a lot of valuable advice based from his experiences. What I can say is, running a startup while still in university allows me to fully optimise the resources and network around me and keep experimenting with the things that are unknown to me.”
2. Austin Wong
Austin is currently pursuing his second year in Information Technology at INTI International College Subang and he has a tertiary track record of also being the INTI Leadership Xcellence Scholarship Award recipient. Besides that, Austin is also the founder of UniSTAY.co, which is essentially a portal which assists students who are on the lookout for dorms and accommodations to stay at.
Austin shared, “I don’t take in entrepreneurship as a career, but an adventure. The keywords will be passion and excuses. It’s the same question to “How did you juggle Dota and studies?” The remaining will be the excuses we give to ourselves”.
3. Faez Murshidi Adnan
Faez is currently in his final year studying in the Bachelor of Computer Science, majoring in Computer System and networking at University of Malaya. He is also the founder of SmartCare, which is a secure mobile personal health record solution accessible via app and web. With SmartCare, the team wanted to empower users and patients with mobility and accessibility to their health record so that they can access to it whenever and wherever they are.
For Faez, managing his startup and being an entrepreneur meant that he had to personally give up a thing or two that he always did before. “So for me less gaming, less gym time, less lepak and probably less sleep, but it’s not that much and I can cope with that,” he shared.
4. Jeson Lee Junzhen
Jeson Lee is currently pursuing computer science at INTI College Subang Jaya and at the same time is the co-founder of GrabGas, which is an online cooking gas delivery platform.
Jeson told Vulcan Post that the way he manages both studies and the startup at the same time is by trying to finish tasks as fast as possible. “I try to do as much things as possible in a day, wake up early and sleep late. However, startups are my passion. I just love building companies and witness the growth of it,” he said.
5. Athirah Rosik
Athirah Rosik is one half of Thrift-On-Wheels, which is a platform that connects those who are lacking with those who wish to donate pre-loved items, and they are essentially a mobile boutique. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Wawasan Open University, while running Thrift-On-Wheels alongside her sister Syakirin.
Athirah told Vulcan Post, “Learning and working at the same time gives you this crazy dynamic where in uni, you re-learn the things you do at work and at work, you practice the theories that you’ve learnt in uni. You can see the practicalities of the theory right away, which always sparks an effective debate in classrooms, I love it when this happens!”
6. Yong Wei Shian
Wei Shian is the founder and CEO of FoodNinja and he is currently studying Pharmaceutical Sciences at Universiti Sains Malaysia. FoodNinja is an online portal which connects the extra food from business units, to bodies of charities which feed the poor. The startup also runs social campaigns which unites Malaysian youths to raise awareness and ultimately eradicate food waste.
He told Vulcan Post that in terms of juggling work and study, time management is the key, while passion and determination plays a big role in keeping both aspects on track. “Everyday I will spend a few hours working on my startup and I set different themes for each day, for example Monday is product, Tuesday is marketing, Wednesday is operation etc. This helps me to focus on specific issues while still being able to juggle with my studies. It is much more difficult that I thought to keep both academic and entrepreneurship in shape, but it’s something fun and worthwhile to try out,” he shared about his journey thus far.
7. Samson Cheong
Samson is the other half of the startup GrabGas, and he juggles entrepreneurship alongside being a student of Business Information Systems at the Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation. Samson told Vulcan Post that the way he juggles both ends is by believing that there are some interesting problems that people are faced with today and this gives him inspiration on how he and his team can solve it through creativity.
“During my times of study, it is the best time for me to learn the uncomfortable journey which gives me true lessons about life before I graduate,” Samson said.
8. Andrew Chee
Andrew is the founder of startup Running Man Food Delivery, which is a service that provides an instant food delivery service to your doorstep within an hour. At the same time, he is also pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in TAR University College.
Andrew told Vulcan Post that, “I will always prioritise my startup first before studies, but at the same time I make sure my CGPA maintained around 3.5. Of course, it ain’t easy, what I have been doing is to sacrifice the time to hangout with friends, sacrifice the time to sleep until very late during weekend, and plan about my timetable for the next day everyday before going to bed.”
9. Imran Sheik
Imran is the founder and CEO of Ombré, which is an upcoming app that helps to point out clothes which are suited to an individual, and this is all done based on the complex algorithms of the app. Imran has just completed his semester of studies this month, whereby he pursued his Bachelor of Legal Studies (Hons) at Universiti Teknologi MARA. However, as Ombre was founded 4 months back, Imran was essentially juggling his startup alongside studies at the same time.
This experience was one which he noted was difficult, seeing since at the same time, his mother was at the hospital because of schizophrenia.
“Reading helps a lot. Books like David and Goliath by Malcom Gladwell teaches me how people who suffered hard times are usually successful individuals. Instances like how most philanthropists are self-made, signifies how inherited wealth and self-made wealth causes different effects on merits. This, however, cannot make us think that by suffering hard times, it guarantees success. But rather, it makes success more probable and achievable,” Imran shared wisely about his motivation behind juggling his startup and studies.
There are, of course, more startup founders out there who are still pursuing their studies and this is a remarkable feat indeed. If you know anyone else who deserves to be recognised for their hard work, go on and tag them in the comments section of this article or on Facebook!