As a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints realizing his need for a better education, Rizal A. Takin said his family motivated him to attend BYU–Hawaii in hopes it would transform his and their lives for the better. His professors and friends say he is determined to succeed as a leader in all he does.
Takin, a senior from Malaysia majoring in finance and business education, said, “Getting a higher quality education and a decent job in order to improve my life individually and my family gave me the motivation to come to BYUH.”
Takin shared he is from a lower-class family and hopes his decision to further his education at BYUH will change their lives for the better.
“I am hoping to start my own business after I leave BYUH and make money using the knowledge I gained,” Takin shared. “I wish to enhance my learning skills by furthering my studies to do a master’s degree and a Ph.D.”
He said his experience at the Polynesian Cultural Center had inspired business ideas he hopes to pursue in his home country.
“[My business idea] is similar to the luau at PCC but focuses on the culture of the Borneo people. It is a traditional party where there are many presentations from many different cultures,” Takin added.
“My decision to come to BYUH has helped me become a better leader and a better learner. I had the opportunity to build connections with a lot of people, such as friends from all backgrounds and great professors,” he said.
Perry Christensen, an associate professor in the Faculty of Religious Education and the Faculty of Education & Social Work, said, “Takin was an outstanding student.”
Christensen said when he became the bishop of the Laie YSA 4th Ward two years ago, Takin was the Elder’s Quorum president and helped him adjust to the new calling.
“[He] offered valuable insight to keep the ward moving,” said Christensen.
Sylvester Embap, a junior from Malaysia majoring in operation and supply chain, said, “Since we were converted to the gospel, Takin had changed and progressed, especially in education. One thing that is obvious [is] his determination to succeed in all his endeavors.
“Takin is a competitive person. When someone thinks he cannot do something, he will prove them wrong. Because of his determination, he has progressed over many challenges. He worked really hard to excel in his studies, and he did a great job,” Embap said adding he is grateful and happy to see Takin graduating this semester.
“He challenged himself to do hard things,” Embap continued. “He is a responsible person throughout his college years. He is a great leader who performed his duties with character and integrity.”
Through Takin’s determination and strong spirit, Embap said he learned to be consistent, persistent and reasonable when it comes to decision making.
Christensen said, “I knew Rizal when he was a shy new student starting his studies at the University, but he was never [really] shy. He has always been very kind and quick to introduce himself and put people at ease.
“Since I’ve come to know him, mostly outside of academics, I have seen him grow not only in his love for people but also in his knowledge of how to work with others in accomplishing worthwhile tasks.”
Takin’s advice to freshmen was, “Study smart and get out of your comfort zones. Learn to take advantage of opportunities and appreciate and learn to love people around you.”
Study smart and get out of your comfort zones. Learn to take advantage of opportunities and appreciate and learn to love people around you.
Embap added, “Life will be challenging, but Takin will be alright. He has proven himself to succeed.
“He helps others in every possible way he can because that is who he is. He loves making people laugh and smile.”