By Eloisa Janelle Greñas

Kuya Rey. Within the organization, Reynaldo Marquez Jr. was known as a real “Kuya” – he kept us bonded and blissful in our everyday encounters in the tambayan. He extends beyond the scope of his duties as the Executive Officer for Internal Affairs in 2013-2014, as he has made unyielding friendships with the members. But even with his organization duties, he kept a solid ground in his academics. One cannot question his scholarly proficiency; his Cum Laude recognition and his numerous research accolades would definitely confirm this!

Rey has added yet another bullet to his list of achievements as he conquered the tough November 2014 Chemical Engineer Board Examination flying high, grabbing the top 8 spot. Looking into a topnotcher’s perspective, here are a few stories Rey shared in his glorious achievement, in our light encounter with him fresh from his triumph.

Q: Pangarap mo ba talagang maging topnotcher nung undergrad ka?

A: Nung undergrad, di ko pa masyado iniisip ang board exam. Haha. Mas determined ako maging magna nun. Nung last sem na at alam ko na di na ako aabot sa goal ko, saka ko ginawang goal ang mag top sa board exam.

Q: What were your preparations? (From study tips to your everyday routine the past months)

A: Gumawa ako ng Gantt Chart para mamonitor ko yung progress ko pero sobrang naadjust siya nung nagstart na ako magtutor thrice a week. Pero I suggest na gumawa rin ng Gantt Chart yung mga future board takers pero dapat flexible pa rin. I decided not to work yet to have more time reviewing. Every Sat lang yung review ko sa MRII but I had my own review sched during weekdays. Solve lang nang solve ng problems coz you’ll never know, one of those probs might actually be given in the board exam. And wag kalimutan magrelax at unwind paminsan minsan. Important din yun. And don’t forget to pray always, thank Him and ask Him for strength, guidance and wisdom.

Q: What did you do a week before the board exam? Todo aral pa rin ba?

A: One week before boards? Hm. Nafood poison ako. Haha. Monday before the boards, I was brought to USTH because of food poisoning. Nagcollapse pa nga ako at buti na lang di nawala yung mga inaral ko. Haha. So I had to take a study break for a while. Buti na lang Day 3 na yung inaaral ko nun. As much as possible, dapat medyo light na yung inaaral a week before the boards para narerelax nang konti.

Q: How did you feel about the examination proper? Did you find the exam difficult?

A: Pinagpray ko talaga na wag ako kabahan during the exam. Dahil mabait si Lord, relaxed ako during the exam. I even tried to smile while answering kahit di ko na magets yung question o kaya naman di ko mabalance yung equation. Haha. Lahat naman ata kami nahirapan sa exam. May mga madadali rin naman na matatawa ka pa pero marami din na nganga ka na lang. Haha. Pero dapat at the end of every exam day, nakangiti ka pa rin na lalabas ng room at confident pa rin kasi baka di ka na makasagot nang maayos the next day kung depressed ka na. Tingin ko talaga confidence plays an important role during the exam, wag lang sobra.

Q: What’s next for THE Rey Marquez?

A: I’m pursuing a career in the energy industry. Gaya nga nung sinasabi namin sa thesis presentation nung undergrad, “providing energy while protecting the environment”.

Q: Final words of advice to the undergraduates?

A: I am not sure when would the new syllabus for ChE Boards be implemented. Pero mas okay na yung prepared. So I suggest, don’t be too mechanical in your calculations. Deduce something from it. Dapat nagmemake sense sa inyo yung equations na ginagamit nyo kasi indication yun na gets nyo talaga siya. Kapag kasi outcomes based na yung board problems, dapat may way kayo to integrate all the concepts you know to answer a particular problem or situation. Saka wag kalimutan ang basics. Yung foundation courses ng ChE, importante na naintindihan nyo by heart. Naks. Yun lang. Kaya nyo yan. Proper mindset, hardwork and faith will get you there. :)

Thank you so much, Kuya Rey! We know we’ll be seeing more of you as you climb your career ladder, and as you help make the country better. Salamat sa pagiging inspirasyon sa amin, at isang masayang pagbati, Kuya!

Results of the November 2014 Chemical Engineer Licensure Examination can be accessed via this link.
Photo credit: Neil Namoro