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Sumaiya Aniz

Sumaiya Aniz

Entrepreneur, Simply Graphic, 2009
Bachelor of Art (Hons) in Games Design

Limkokwing University actually gave me life. It gave me a purpose and a reason to be here, confidence, the ability to strive and to interact and meet people of all levels.

01 March 2009

Love at First Sight

Written by Sharina Ros Kamal

Her childhood ambition was to become a journalist but when Sumaiya Aniz enrolled at Limkokwing University, she became more than what she ever thought she could be.  Sumaiya now gathers knowledge and stories from the world, turning them into beautiful pieces of art. Sharina Ros Kamal has the story.

Born in London, British citizen Sumaiya Aniz left for Malaysia at the age of 15 to follow her family. Being in Malaysia was not easy for her – for the first few years she kept wishing to be back at the United Kingdom despite having her family around.

Things turned around for her, though, after she enrolled at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology. It was there that she found many other people in the same situation: far from home and in a foreign land, she quickly made friends with them and found a calming sense of belonging.

“Limkokwing University actually gave me life. It gave me a purpose and a reason to be here, confidence, the ability to strive and to interact and meet people of all levels,” she said. “Being given knowledge from greater teachers have made me a stronger person with ambition and drive.”

Being given knowledge from greater teachers have made me a stronger person with ambition and drive.

Initially, it never crossed her mind that she would be a part of Limkokwing University and she only ended up studying at the global university as fate had a hand in her life. After finishing high school, Sumaiya was unsure of what she wanted to do but with an A in computer skills, all the signs pointed to an IT-related future.

She ended up enrolling for a business information technology course in one of the IT colleges in Malaysia. Despite being discontent and unhappy, Sumaiya continued her classes since she thought that it might be the best for her in the end. 

Her obvious unhappiness was noticed and this resulted in her being called in by her Multimedia lecturer for a conversation in her office. After a long discussion, Sumaiya was finally told that her interest and talent in graphic designing was beyond obvious.

The lecturer suggested that perhaps she would be better off perusing a degree more focused on designing rather then programming. It was than that Sumaiya found out about Limkokwing University and that carried many courses that would interest her.

When I arrived at Limkokwing University a week later to find out more about it, I felt love at first sight.

“When I arrived at Limkokwing University a week later to find out more about it, I felt love at first sight,” she said. Without a blink, she signed up for the next semester on that very day.

After graduating in Graphic Design in 2008, Sumaiya followed her family to move to Dubai, where she underwent her internship at a local advertising agency. Since then she has been traveling all around the world, including to the Middle East and various parts of Africa, combining her passion for reading, writing and designing with her wanderlust.

She even managed to freelance in Malawi, her parents’ home country. Despite the communication barrier, she learned a lot from her experience while having the chance to explore another country.

After three months of travelling, Sumaiya returned to Malaysia and worked for a local advertising company called Tijanimas, but within six months she felt that she had a vision to start up her own company and this led her to join Simply Packaging.

Simply Packaging,  her family’s business, allowed her to gain the business ethics and learning experience necessary for starting up her own company, Simply Graphic.

Helping out with the artwork designs for the company and creating designs printed on the bags,  Sumaiya explained that she considered her two older brothers as her role models.

“Once they finished their studies in the United Kingdom, they moved to Malaysia and started their own plastic bag factory where they manufacture plastic bags for all the leading supermarkets in the United Kingdom. Seeing them and seeing how they have grown to be an international company that is doing so well gives me hope that one day I will be able to achieve the same level of success,” she said.

Simply Graphic, her pride and joy will be launched on 17 March 2009. It will be a joint venture with Simply Packaging and Simply Property, which are also owned by her family.

“My biggest achievement so far is having the courage to start my own company; it’s scary but at the same time something to be proud of,” she said.

“My older brothers are 28 and one is 25 and they are very young to be in the position that they are in now as they are co-founders of a international company. Most people work most of their lives before they can be in this position. You’re never too young or too old to live your dream,” shared Sumaiya.

When being asked whether or not she would be going back to United Kingdom soon, without hesitation Sumaiya states a simple ‘no’.

Limkokwing made me see Malaysia as a completely different place. While I was at high school, I was looking for the first opportunity to go back to the UK but once I started at Limkokwing I felt happier then ever.

“I’ve been in Malaysia for 10 years now and although I could have gone back to the UK to work I chose to stay in Malaysia, the main reason being that I feel more at home here than in the UK. Secondly, I feel more motivation here than anywhere else.”

“Limkokwing made me see Malaysia as a completely different place. While I was at high school, I was looking for the first opportunity to go back to the UK but once I started at Limkokwing I felt happier then ever,” she said, ending the interview.

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