M'sian Foodpanda delivery rider completes PhD after 4 years


Faris Alfiq | September 29, 2021, 06:07 PM

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A Malaysian Foodpanda delivery rider won praises from netizens for completing his PhD thesis while juggling his job as a rider.

Mohd Akmal Azhar took to the "Foodpanda Rider Malaysia" Facebook group on Sep. 27 to post a photo of himself holding his thesis while donning the iconic pink Foodpanda delivery rider uniform.

Image via Foodpanda Rider Malaysia/Facebook

According to Malaysian news portal Kosmo!, the 36-year-old was pursuing his PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Malaysia Pahang.

He posted pictures of physical copies of his PhD thesis on his personal Facebook account on Sep. 24, along with the caption thanking his family and professor for supporting him in his academic journey.

"Thank God, finally completed my PhD programme after four years," he wrote.

"I would like to give my utmost gratitude to Professor Mimi Sakinah for her knowledge and guidance. Thanks to my mum and dad for their prayers because without them, I feel that it would be impossible for me to complete this programme," Akmal added.

"Thank you to my beloved wife for supporting me and understanding my life as a student. There were many obstacles that we had to overcome over the past four years," he said, adding that his wife was pregnant twice during that time.

Working as a delivery rider taught him soft skills

His inspiring story garnered more than 6,000 likes, and was shared more than 900 times.

In an interview with Kosmo!, Akmal said that working as a food delivery rider has taught him soft skills, such as communication skills and time management.

"I started working as a full-time rider since the beginning of the Movement Control Order (MCO). This job has taught me a lot on soft skills, such as communication skills, patience and time management," he said.

Delivery rider by day, PhD student at night

Akmal added that he usually works as a delivery rider in the day, and uses the time at night to complete his thesis.

He shared that there were instances where he needed to be present at the university, so he would take leave on those days.

Akmal acknowledged that juggling his job as a delivery rider, his family, and his PhD thesis, was challenging.

"The main challenges I faced were managing my time and energy," he shared.

He added that working as a delivery rider was the main source of income for his family, so it was important for him to balance his time between work and studies.

Won netizens' praises

Inspired by his perseverance, several Facebook users praised Akmal for his achievement.

The comments section of the post was filled with congratulatory messages.

One Facebook user Faisal Fauzi wrote in the comment section: "Congratulations. Hopefully, the knowledge gained can be beneficial to the community."

Another Facebook user, Muaz Wan Ariffin, commented: "Congratulations! Hope this can be an inspiration to many."

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Top images via Facebook/Mohd Akmal