Panasonic Scholarship Alumni  Message for the Future Told by People Who Have Experienced the Panasonic Scholarship

The doors of learning opened wide thanks to my encounter with the Panasonic Scholarship.

○Mr. Oscar Ling Fang Jack
Born in Malaysia. Accredited in 2019 -> Mechatronic Engineering major, University of Technology Malaysia -> Worked for “Shopee”, a major provider of cross-border EC platform services

Oscar Ling Fang Jack, who encountered the Panasonic Scholarship when he was an undergraduate student at the University of Technology Malaysia, told me that his university life changed completely. Since 2014, the Panasonic Scholarship has promoted community-based activities to support students at local universities and vocational training schools. Using this system, Oscar was one of the scholarship students who received support at a local university. We asked him for his candid opinion about the way scholarships run by local Panasonic branches overseas.

The Panasonic Scholarship brought peace of mind for learning and confidence

The University of Technology Malaysia is known as the most historic university of science and engineering in the country. Oscar, who was studying mechatronic engineering here, says he learned about the Panasonic Scholarship while he was an undergraduate. The scholarship, run by an international company that produces innovative and high-quality products, also gave the recipient great peace of mind.

“I received my Panasonic Scholarship when I was a sophomore undergraduate. One day, I happened to see a poster on the bulletin board of the student affairs section of the university. When I learned about the existence of the scholarship, I strongly felt ‘I needed this kind of support.’ Because I was the stereotypical struggling student working part-time in delivery to earn a living. This cut down a lot of my available time because the job involved delivering boxed lunches to many students during lunch and dinner. I felt that by receiving the Panasonic Scholarship, I might get me the opportunity to focus on what I really wanted to be passionate about, without worrying about financial constraints. I had known of Panasonic for a long time, of course. Because quality microwaves and rice cookers are widely used in Malaysian households. But before I applied for the scholarship, I did some further research on the company and found out that they are involved with a lot of big businesses besides products for consumers, and I thought, ‘With this company, everything will be fine.’ After I was accredited as a scholarship student, I felt the confidence well up inside me, knowing that ‘I’ve been recognized by an international company like Panasonic’, and it became my inner inspiration.”

Oscar, who did not want to burden his family because of his studying at university, worked part-time to get the money for his living expenses. Since encountering the Panasonic Scholarship, he says his life as a student brought him unexpected experiences beyond his studies.

“I applied for the Perdana Fellowship, a national program, using the time I had previously devoted to part-time work, and was selected as a member. This is a prestigious program where young people can experience work related to national governance. I was able to experience working in close proximity with a minister and provide support in their duties leading national development. I think it has helped me to consider matters from a broader perspective and given me valuable insight into policymaking and leadership.”

New dreams and challenges born from the fruits of learning through the Panasonic Scholarship

What kind of support was provided to students attending the local university?

“Clearly the major aspect was the financial support. They didn't have to worry about money. In addition, in order to receive a Panasonic Scholarship, students must maintain their CGPA, which is the average of all the courses taken in college, above a certain level. However, I didn't have to take the Japanese language test, which lessened the emotional burden. For me, who wanted to study more, it was very helpful that I was able to concentrate on my studies without having to worry about anything. After experiencing the Panasonic Scholarship, I felt that Panasonic is “investing” in the development of talented human resources who can contribute to society on the global stage. By taking a long-term approach to developing human resources, encouraging personal growth, and helping students achieve their goals, I believe we have been able to have a positive influence not only on individual scholarship students but also on the local communities to which our companies belong. ”

Oscar says he wants to expand his knowledge, skills and vision while continuing to improve himself and learn from the people around him. He says his current dream for the future is to be an entrepreneur and start a business that makes the world a better place.

“I haven’t yet decided on a specific challenge that makes me think ‘I want to solve this’, but I hope to achieve something meaningful and impactful for society. I want to build a successful business that is not only personally fulfilling, but also has a positive and lasting influence on society as a whole. In doing so, I believe that I can make a meaningful difference in the world and contribute to making it a better place.”

Panasonic is a Japanese company far from Malaysia, where Oscar lives. What image do you have of Japan, which you have never visited?

“Japan is looked upon favorably by many Malaysians. It has a rich culture, the latest technology, punctuality in public transportation, delicious food, beautiful sightseeing spots, and many other charms. Also, I don't know much about it, but many of my friends are enthusiastic supporters of Japanese anime, manga, J-pop and other cultural phenomena. Other than that, I think Malaysians highly value the Japanese values of self-control, politeness and respect for others. If I have a chance, I would love to visit Japan someday.”

Oscar has participated in many competitions as a representative of Malaysia and has a track record of winning awards. The photograph shows him being crowned the national champion in the 2021 U.S. Microenterprise Pitching Competition.

In 2022, he represented Malaysia at the East Asia Summit (EAS) Hackathon on Combatting Marine Plastic. He came 3rd in the ASEAN region.

He received the Minister of Higher Education’s Award at Anugerah Tokoh Siswa 2022 (the National Student Leader Awards 2022). “Anugerah Tokoh Siswa” is a prestigious award organized by the Ministry of Higher Education to recognize the achievements of students, including organizational growth and advocacy for programs with a significant impact at home and abroad.

Active engagement with the scholarship that he wants to continue

After Oscar himself was accredited as a scholarship student, he recommended the Panasonic Scholarship to his juniors and saw some of them accepted. From his perspective, what do scholars studying in their home countries want from the Panasonic Scholarship in the future?

“Actually, we don't have many opportunities to interact with other scholarship students while receiving the scholarship. I think that if we had had the opportunity to get to know each other and deepen our exchanges, we would have been able to develop more personal relationships, create connections, and have more beneficial relationships for the future. I suspect the Panasonic Scholarship would work more effectively in a society when there are communities that can learn from and encourage each other to grow. Working with peers who share the same values and goals is likely to give you more unique perspectives and opportunities for mutual growth. So this could be equally achieved by some kind of event, developing a platform for networking, a mentor program, or the like. If such an opportunity were offered to me in the future, I would love to participate.”

Former scholarship students working as global leaders around the world. The Panasonic Scholarship not only provides support for scholarships and training while the recipients are students, but also actively supports connections among alumni after the scholarship ends. Finally, we asked him for a message for students who are considering applying for the scholarship in the future.

“I want you to believe in yourself and your abilities and embark on this journey of change. I think the Panasonic Scholarship is not just economic support, but an opportunity to have a lasting influence. Act true to yourselves and show your passion, your deep interest, and your alignment with Panasonic's values. Emphasize what makes you stand out, such as your achievements to this point in time, your leadership qualities, and involvement with the local community. This is your chance to shine and change. I wish you happiness on the road to success!”