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2023 IOTM WAZIF's INterview VIDEO

Host: 21B0103, Dk Nurafiqah Binti Pg Hj Ramlee
(Public Relations Officer, Executive of Media and Public Relation Officer)

Interviewer: 21B0088, Nur Ajlaa Fahima binti Abdullah Mohamad Asmayuddin
(Public Relations Officer, Executive of Media and Public Relation Officer)

Video Edited by: 22B9011, Muhammad Nazirul Aiman bin Khalid (Public Relations Officer, Executive of Media and Public Relation Officer)

Written by: 22B2161, Zainab Akhtar (Public Relations Officer, Executive of Media and Public Relation Officer)

It is with great joy that we announce Mohammad Afif Wazif bin Asha’ari as our Leadership Inspirasee of August 2023. Wazif currently studies at the Institute of Health Sciences, majoring in Nursing with an elective in Emergency Nursing. During his time studying at UBD, he has had the opportunity to give back to both the university and the community around him by filling in roles such as Platoon Commander (President) of Kadet Tentera UBD, Ahli Jawatankuasa Tertinggi of Penjuru Nursing Association, and as a mentee in several hospitals.


During the COVID outbreak, he was involved with the national COVID Vaccination Programme as part of the first batch of Health Sciences students who volunteered for this cause. He was also often in charge of the UBD Vaccination Centre, volunteering himself for this role. Despite his background as a Health Science student, he had also gotten involved in many national events such as National Day, and His Majesty’s and ABDB’s birthday. He tries to be involved with the community as much as he can, contributing his efforts to helping people out.


As said in the interview, Wazif describes that he never saw himself as a leader before entering university due to his more introverted personality. Once entering UBD, he started becoming more active as he realised that volunteering was his thing. Getting involved with work and activities outside of academics allowed him to observe the different management styles used by leaders which motivated him to try out new things. His first part-time job as a Jollibee Kitchen Helper became the first step to his ever-expanding ventures as a leader. 

Going up the ranks during his years in Kadet Tentera, he had to learn how to manage people which made him realise that he had to step up as a leader. He willingly took up the role of Platoon Commander as he wanted his juniors to know that they can rely on him if they ever need guidance. This allowed him to successfully lead weekly Extra Curricular Activity (ECA) sessions for his cadet members with activities ranging from debates and presentations within the club to activities outside of UBD such as merintis (cross country).


Wazif believes that being a leader is about guiding the people around you and helping them become independent. He says that a leader is meant to guide people so that they are able to guide others in the future. He states that it is important for leaders to know how to communicate with people, because to guide others, relaying your message and guidance is crucial. For him, it is important to convey the team’s collective mission and vision to the teammates so that the team is able to move forward in one direction. When communicating with his teammates, he tells them directly what they are meant to do and how, in order to avoid any possible miscommunication. 

Other leadership values — aside from communication — that he thinks a leader should have are empathy and sympathy. He differentiates a leader from a manager, in which a leader is someone who can guide a team from point A to point B even with the absence of the leader, while a manager is simply someone who manages people. He points out that having empathy and sympathy is required within a leader as they need to know the strengths and weaknesses of the team, in order to tackle said weaknesses and use their strengths in a useful way.


Wazif often collaborates with his teammates, asking for their opinions and ideas as most of his teammates are people of different backgrounds and experiences. He often keeps an open mind, making sure to take in the various kinds of opinions while still weighing the pros and cons of the plan. Within his role as a leader, he has encountered some disagreements during meetings which he says could have been avoided by further understanding both perspectives. When a disagreement occurs, he asks his teammates why they disagree so that he could further evaluate each  idea and opinions properly.

Being a leader sometimes means that Wazif has to juggle his role as a student, a cadet, and a nurse, all at the same time. Though all these responsibilities require a lot of work and cause time constraints, he was able to overcome these issues by managing his time and knowing his priority. He ensures that he sets priorities for tasks that need to be done earliest and are most important, allowing him to have a smoother workflow and an ability to do his tasks efficiently. Of course, simply dividing his work is not enough to fully deal with the number of responsibilities he has, so he has learned to sacrifice some of his time for his work. For example, he often goes to the library at 4 pm to do his work and goes home at 9 pm.


Wazif often takes up too much work, initiating and suggesting works and activities to do with others. This sometimes causes him to go through a ‘burnout’, something leaders experience due to their immense number of responsibilities. He often reminds himself when to take a break, to take a step back and makes sure to delegate the work within his team to his teammates to not overwork himself.


As a leader, Wazif is a strong communicator and is great at delegating work to others, both of which he had developed due to his background as a nursing student and a Kadet Tentera member. As a nursing student, he was able to develop communication skills as he taught and guided students from IBTE and Politeknik throughout certain procedures, and had worked closely with nursing and medical officers in hospital settings, allowing him to learn the many different kinds of management styles. He is also someone who has sympathy and empathy towards his teammates, always making sure to check on them during long events and help them out if needed. He says the values he has are there to ensure that he is able to effectively and efficiently do his work.

When people underperform in his team, Wazif pulls them aside to have a personal conversation with them, giving them advice and guiding them. He always makes sure to let his team take a step back and tries to motivate and encourage them, to create a more positive environment. There are times when he lets the teammates swap their tasks to not tire them out and to allow them to try new things.

The most difficult decision he has ever made as a leader is when he was offered a different and higher leadership position in a project, while already being in another project himself. In this project, he was receiving opposition from his teammate and it became quite a dilemma for him as both projects were his interest. Despite the challenges, he kept his spot in the original project as he could not simply throw away his responsibilities as a leader of the group. He believes that responsibilities cannot simply be chucked away just because a better offer is given.

Leaders are just like every other human, so they are bound to make mistakes. As a leader himself, Wazif has had a fair share of mistakes made, which is why for him, the opinions and support of his teammates are always helpful. He states that a leader is not necessarily someone who always makes the decisions, and that having someone by his side helps him notice the things that he may have overlooked. When plans don’t go as planned, he would call his team and ask for their reviews and opinions, reflecting on their work to improve both as a team and individually.


The most memorable leadership experience he has had was when he was in charge of the UBD Vaccination Centre, where he was doing his Discovery Year Programme. He always volunteered to be in charge for the days he was there, especially during the peak of the vaccination rollout. He remembers the day where almost over 1500 people were vaccinated despite being a small vaccination centre, one of the highest records throughout the whole 5-month operation. On that day, he stepped up and managed the team, while also controlling the flow of vaccination. He even moved people in his group around to ensure a more effective rollout of the vaccination program. It was his most satisfying moment as he says that he was simply a second-year student who was in charge of the vaccine centre. 


When asked about which leader inspired him, Wazif says that he looks up to a lot of people throughout his life: his parents who work as officers in the Ministry of Education and sacrificed a lot for him, his lecturers, his cadet members, and even the Royal Brunei Air Force’s Commander. All of them have inspired and influenced the person he is now, but the one person he has consistently looked up to is his future self. He sees himself achieving a lot of things while also guiding others and contributing to people's self-betterment. He uses that future self as his role model to help him move through life to become the person he aspires to be.


“Everyone has an equal chance to be a leader, it’s only whether you are willing to take a step or not,” he says, when asked whether he had any advice to give to the listeners. He emphasises again that a leader is about guiding others and he suggests that people take that step to becoming a leader as it is a satisfying role when you’re able to guide and help others to become independent.


For our readers who wish to know more about Wazif’s volunteering and leadership roles, you may contact him on Instagram at @wazeeeef

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