Stories from our international boarding schools

Advice from alumni: Emeir Sulaiman

Emeir Sulaiman from Malaysia is in his second year of university at SUNY Brockport and is studying Health Science. He was enrolled in the IB program at EF Academy New York and graduated in 2015. Today, Emeir has taken on several roles such as Resident Assistant and VP of the gymnastics team, and in involved in activities like environmental projects around campus. Read his Q&A to find out what he loved about EF Academy and what his big goals are for his future (hint: they involve Nestle and the UN):   

 

Age: 19

Home country: Malaysia

Languages: Malay, English, basic Spanish

EF Academy campus: New York

Program: IB diploma

Grad year: 2015

Favorite clubs: Drama Club and Basketball

Favorite subjects: Environmental Science, Math and Theatre

University: Studying Health Science with a minor in Business Administration at SUNY Brockport

 

What was your first impression of EF Academy?

I was speechless… I remember doing a guided tour around the campus and I saw all these kids from all over the world. It was just amazing to me that I was in a school with people from everywhere. Honestly, who would have thought that there could be so many different nationalities in one school? My mind was blown.

What did you enjoy about living in the residence?

Living in the residence with people from different countries really made my stay enjoyable. I lived in a hallway where many of my friends lived literally a door away or even next to my dorm. It was fun but it also made my classes easier because I had friends who had the same class as me and I could always just walk over to their room and study with them. (Shout out to my roomies, Anthony Cowal from Mexico and Azmine Murshed from Bangladesh. I couldn’t have picked better roommates.)

What was your favorite part and least favorite part of the IB program?

My favorite part is how the IB makes you a very well-rounded student by preparing you for college because it has the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, CAS, 3 higher level and 3 standard level classes. It’s a very prestige program and difficult for a high school student but it mentally prepares you for college. When I got my IB diploma and continued my studies in college, I was laughing in my head when people told me how hard classes were in college because if they were to experience the IB, it’s like no other experiences out there. It is a program that really prepares you for college, even for your junior and senior years because that’s when you have all the tough courses related to your major. Personally, the only bad part I could recall in the IB is procrastination. However, if you balance everything and stay on top of your work then the IB isn’t all too bad.

What activities were you involved in at EF Academy?

I was involved in Drama Club because Ms. Borton, my IB theater teacher, recommended that I participate in this club. At first, I didn’t expect to stick with it properly but my friends: Jose Luis Pueyo, Anthony Yan, Azmine Murshed, Ace Capacio, Damir Dautov, Jimmy Pham and many more really made it enjoyable. They somehow convinced me to be one of the Theatre Kids. My lead role in Little Shop of Horrors as Audrey II was the start of me just loving Drama Club. In my last year, I also got involved in basketball. (Shout out to my teammates who did what was necessary for it to be fun and competitive.) Mr. Dunn was the best basketball coach I’ve ever had.

How did you choose your current university and your program?

My university was recommended by a teacher at EF Academy. He told me about it and its financial aid system, and the tuition fee is lower than at other universities in New York. I wanted to major in Exercise Science, but I also wanted to do something with food and agriculture. I know that in the world we live in now, food is not so sustainable and we use more chemicals in our food. Therefore, I am now majoring in Health Science because I hear a voice in my heart saying, “I feel like I want to do my part to make the world a better place.” That was pretty much our mindset when we were younger and that’s why I chose something in this particular field.

Did you do any internships that have benefited your studies or your career plan?

I did a short internship at Nestle back in 2014. I sat with my managing director and the managing directors who were from different companies like Kraft, Dutch Lady, Kellogg’s, Mars, Coca-Cola and many more. That internship really gave me insight on how these companies come together to discuss the food policies and regulations for the general population. In 2016, I worked for IDS Med, a private company in Southeast Asia that provides hospital equipment like cosmetics, hospital beds, ultrasound products and many more. This internship really helped me see how products are distributed as a supplier and how I could use the skills I’ve learned to possibly work as a Supply Chain Manager in the future. 

What is your favorite part about university?

The first thing that really made me love SUNY Brockport is the inclusiveness within the community. Everyone was super friendly right off the bat and it made me felt like this was home. A home that was similar to the home that I had at EF Academy. The friends that I have here are really supportive of what I do and believe in. My Residence Staff are also another reason why the school supports different beliefs, religions, sexual preferences and so on.

Describe a regular day…

A regular day for me would to have coffee in morning. I love coffee, especially cappuccino, then I would usually attend my one-on-one session with my Resident Director. I am a Resident Assistant, which is very similar to a house parent at EF Academy. Classes for me start in the afternoon and I tend to get done before 4 or 5. Then I would go get dinner and do my homework for the day. Lastly, I finish the day with going to gymnastics practice from 9-11 pm everyday. That’s a regular day for me.

What other activities are you involved in?

I am involved in the Leadership Development program, which has 4 stages to it: Green, Gold, Presidential and Capstone. This program offers the opportunity for students to engage in a variety of experiences. I was previously also on the Residence Council as a Vice President of Programming and the duties that I had were to basically provide the needs of what activities the residents wanted. I’m also involved in the environmental projects around campus. I recently did a UNICEF fundraiser, a program that I did as a Resident Assistant. I am the Vice President of the gymnastics team and we are set to go to Ohio in April for the NAIGC. Honestly, I thought I was doing quite a lot but it doesn’t seem like I am doing as much as I wanted.

What is your dream for your future?

Are you ready? Alright this sounds like too much but I am dedicated and determined to make this dream of mine come true! I am a sophomore right now. Every year, I plan to get an internship with a international food company. This summer I have an internship with Nestlé in Malaysia. When I graduate from Brockport with my Health Science and Business Administration degree, I will be going to Switzerland to attend ETH Zürich for my Master’s Degrees in Food Science and Health Science & Technology. Soon after I want to be working as a Supply Chain Manager in Neslté or any big cooperate international food company and hopefully get to be a representative at the United Nations in the environment field. Sounds big right but hey, nothing is impossible.

Anything you’d like to add?

Shout out to:

  • Fetzer – Thank you for really inspiring me to get into this whole controversy of the environment being exposed to chemicals like GMOs, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, carrageenan and many more. This really made me the person I am today and I’m passionate about the field that I want to go into.
  • Marsh – Otherwise known as Ms. Hayes to me. Thanks for making math class really fun. I enjoyed every moment of it.
  • Dunn – Best Basketball Coach. Thanks for the support and for believing in me.
  • G – Best “Side” Basketball Coach. Thanks for all the fun that we had. I guess you won’t be seeing a “tree” from me on court soon.
  • Villari – My fencing master. I guess you could say Mr.Villari is a man full of surprise when it comes to theater.

Share this article

Latest articles from Alumni