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Success Story: Kiven Kumar a/l Karunanithi

(Article contributed by Kiven Kumar a/l Karunanithi, Master of Science)

Kiven Kumar was ‘head over heels’ with Biology subject since he was in high school and was very much inspired by his science teacher, Mdm. Ismaliza Ishak. He was an average high school student but with strong determination and consistent efforts, he managed to find his way towards achieving his goal.

Throughout his journey to success, he went through many obstacles including financial challenges. Being an orphan without financial support, he was always in need of money to purchase books and to pay the school fee. He had to walk almost 4km every day to his school, SMK Jalan Tasek to save some money.

After STPM, he applied for his first degree at one of the public universities. However due to financial constraint, he was unable to continue his study for almost a year. Kiven had to work at AEON as a Sales Assistant before getting his first degree at UNISEL in Bachelor of Industrial Biotechnology majoring in Microbiology.

Before Kiven took his master’s degree in UPM, he worked at Starbucks coffee shop in Ipoh as a barista to earn some money. He was very interested in studying viruses (virology). However, not many virology courses were offered in Malaysia. The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine only offered veterinary courses. His study was very challenging that he had to collect blood samples from various animals including cattle, buffaloes, pigs, birds, dogs, cats and monkeys. Nevertheless, he enjoyed the moment and was deeply thankful to his Supervisor, Prof. Dr. Siti Suri Arshad for guiding and supporting him throughout his study.

Looking back on his past, he was indeed grateful that he managed to go through many trials and tribulations that have shaped him into who he is today. The quote by his role model A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, “Dream is not the thing you see in sleep but is that thing that doesn't let you sleep” will always inspire him.

Kiven is now pursuing his PhD in Structure Biology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, UPM.

Kiven Kumar won the Thesis Gold Medal in UPM 42nd Convocation Ceremony.



“Let us believe in ourselves so that we may reach our goals and fulfill our dreams.
Let us be the best that we can be so that we may fill our lives and
the lives of those closest to us with happiness and with pride”


Date of Input: 22/11/2018 | Updated: 06/12/2018 | azimin

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