Although Wu Chun-wei's (吳俊緯) English language skills were restricted to the 26 letters of the alphabet when he graduated from junior high school, he never gave up.
On Saturday his dedication paid off when Wu graduated at the top of his master's degree program and received an award for being an outstanding student.
Wu has also been accepted into a program at National Taiwan University's department of electrical engineering.
As a child, Wu, who grew up in rural Yunlin County, never had any interest in books and he had no idea what vocation to pursue.
After his finishing junior high school, he didn't take the entrance exam for senior high school and failed the exam for vocational school.
In the end, he found a place at a private senior high school where he didn't have to take an entrance exam.
After being accepted in a department devoted to automotive maintenance and repair, he received technical and vocational training and decided to become a mechanic.
After graduation, however, he learned that one of his friends from elementary school had been accepted as a medical student at a university.
This made Wu feel that he had accomplished nothing, so he made up his mind to start studying harder.
With the help of his older sister, Wu went to cram school to prepare for the university entrance exams.
However, because of his educational shortcomings, he had to study at a cram school for three years to reach a level where he could finally pass the exam.
Wu said that when he first started attending cram school he had no idea what the teachers were talking about and sometimes had to stay up studying until 3am in order to keep up with his fellow students.
Finally, after three years, he was accepted in the automotive repair engineering program at National Taiwan Normal University's (NTNU) department of industrial education.
Having worked so hard to get into university, Wu was strongly motivated and while other students enjoyed university life, he studied in the library.
The hard work paid off and after four years he earned the highest score on the entrance exam for the master's program at NTNU's department of mechatronic technology.
He continued to work hard and after spending most of his time in the laboratory, he now has three microelectromechanical system packaging patents pending.
Wu's teachers were impressed by his efforts and research results and recommended that he apply to enter a doctoral program at National Taiwan University (NTU).
Living up to their expectations, Wu was accepted by NTU's department of electrical engineering as well as by the department of mechanical engineering.
In the end, he decided to study electrical engineering.
Wu himself said that he is more proud of the process that brought him to what he has achieved today than of the fact that he is of the actual achievements.
He also said that one must never be afraid of being slow, but only of not moving at all.
"I was stuck in one place for too long, treading water, going nowhere. Don't be afraid of being slow in the beginning -- only fear not being able to make your mind up," he said.
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