Finishing Strong: Student-Runner Danial Ariff on Reaching his Final Year in University

By EasyUni Staff | Last modified 11 Nov 2017
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Running a marathon is difficult. It starts slow until you pick up the pace in the middle. As you gasp for breath in between, and the deep inhale and exhale throughout, reaching the finish line is all you can think of.

Goes true with the University Life as well. Without determination and perseverance, reaching the end goal can be difficult, but once you are there, the success is just so sweet.

This is what we learned when we talked to student runner, Danial Ariff, a Mechanical Engineering student from UiTM, Shah Alam, In this feature he talked to us about life as an Engineering student, the things he cannot live without to survive, and his goals in the next five years. 


How did you decide on what course to study after your high school? 

The decision was actually very straightforward as I’ve always wanted to pursue engineering after high school. This is due to the influence of my relatives, and personally, I always regard engineering as one of the professional courses which have a good prospect in Malaysia.

During my high school days, I’ve always wanted to become a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer because I’ve been really interested to work in the aviation field. My father is also in the field, working as an air traffic controller in Subang Airport.

My father actually discouraged me to work in the industry as he stated that the aviation field has a very small scope in Malaysia, so he suggested that I try something else. So from there, I knew I wanted to take up Mechanical Engineering as I can venture into many other fields, construction, automotive, oil and gas etc.


What made you decide to go to UiTM?

To be honest, the two main reasons why I chose UiTM is because, among the higher education institutes in Malaysia, they provide students with the cheapest fees. As I live with a single mom, I don’t want to be a burden to her, hence, it was a pretty decision.

I also chose UiTM because I’ve heard a lot of not-so-good feedbacks about UiTM so I believe this is the platform where I can prove people wrong. I strongly believe that UiTM actually produces good quality graduates. And UiTM’s engineering school is also rated quite highly among the other government higher education institutes.


Share with us any memorable experience in your campus's life. What makes it unforgettable?

First ever dean’s list which I achieved in my final year of my degree, last semester. During my diploma days in UiTM Penang, I was struggling with engineering hence I graduated with an average pointer.

During my degree days, redemption time (LOL). So I put an extra effort because I really wanted to graduate with a CGPA higher than 3.0 and I managed to get my very first dean’s list last semester. Hoping to continue with this streak this final semester, currently busy with my Final Year project.

Danial during The North Face Marathon 2016 in Thailand. 

Besides academics, I am really active in sports. I’ve been running a lot throughout my life. I’ve represented my faculty a few times and the most memorable achievement was when I managed to win silver for the Inter UiTM meet for the 4x400m relay, finishing second behind Faculty of Sports and Recreation.

What are the top three tips you will give to students who would like to study Engineering?

  • Maintain a positive mindset. Engineering students tend to experience failures but don’t fret, a failed subject isn’t the end of the world. Keep moving forward because everything is a learning process, that’s what make everything valuable.

  • Mingle around with senior lecturers, technicians. They have a vast scope of experience in the industry so that’s one way to learn more. If you don’t ask, you won’t learn. True?

  • Engineering isn’t a playground. Engineering is tough. Engineering will make you go crazy. Bear that in mind. You will be dealing with lots of numbers, theories and formulas. Never take them lightly because whatever you learn in semester three, you might use them again in semester seven so everything is a never ending process; everything must be stuck in your head. In the lab where everything is hands on, do participate. Because those hands on skills will be applied once you enter the real industry after engineering school.

During his free time, Danial enjoys running. He has competed in major marathons across the region and has represented his University on several events. 

What are the top five items you cannot live without during college?

  1. Smartphone
  2. my Garmin sports watch
  3. suspended meals
  4. laptop
  5. my Faculty jacket

Where do you see yourself in five years time? 

My main target was to venture into the oil and gas field, despite the poor performance in this industry. So, a venture into the field construction field is actually ideal because construction is a vast field; it won’t be much affected by any oil prices. In five years time, hopefully, I am already on my way to be a senior engineer.

As I’ve stated earlier, pursuing Engineering isn’t something anyone would do because it is tough but trust me, with proper determination and perseverance, everything will turn out just how you want it to be. Good luck!

*additional photos from his Instagram account,

Posted on 09 Oct 2017
Courses, Student Life, Useful Tips