Yit is a second-year PPE undergraduate student at the University of Warwick. He is very much involved in research both inside and outside of Reinvention as a Research Director of AMEU (Association of Malaysian Economics Undergraduates). He joined Reinvention in 2021. In this post, he tells us about his journey and his relationship with research, and the important part that this journal has played in it.


I still remember the first article I oversaw. The naivety of an excited first year, being entrusted with his first ever peer review article. It was not a topic that I was anywhere close to being familiar with, it was a complex sociological analysis on gender identity in the digital spaces. To describe this task as a challenge would be an understatement - but in the heat of the moment, I told myself: someone poured hours into this work, and I would do the same to see it go as far as it could.

My time in Reinvention was just that and was that for the rest of the year. Every article I oversaw, no matter the complexity, no matter its length, I wanted to give it the best possible outcome. Even in situations where it could not be published, I gave every bit of feedback I could.

Why? Why was it that for every article I read, I saw not just the content but the author? Today, I just want to share a bit of my experience in research, and how Reinvention fits into it.

First Lesson – The High School Innocence

There was a phrase I hated in high school, which was “you don’t need to know this. This is something you will only need to know in university.” I still remember the first topic I researched was in Year 10 about voluntourism. Although it was just a simple short high school research paper, I found myself engrossed in reading different case studies, and trying to understand the various data sources available.

Despite knowing that I had more than enough to get an A, the thought of my essay topic stuck to me (arguably till this very day). Was it a thirst for knowledge? Was it the innate Asian competitiveness ingrained into my culture? Maybe. But I think the greatest enjoyment for me came from the self-discovery of knowledge. I could have just as easily been taught this, but it would not have been close to the same feeling of having twenty different tabs open, and finally hitting the moment of enlightenment.

That was my first lesson on research. Research is about being finding something that lives in your mind rent free, and the satisfaction you get from self-discovery.

Second Lesson – A Glimpse into the Real World

During the summer of 2020, I took up an internship with an international relations professor in Malaysia, specifically to delve deeper into Malaysia’s foreign policy and our attitude towards global security and defence.

Frankly this was an intimidating experience, I was a high school student with limited knowledge on the world. I was initially prepared for a month of intense reading and research, combing through the most complex theoretical frameworks of small state behaviour.

But how wrong I was. I was constantly going to meet other professors to talk about their research and ideas, meeting politicians and thinktanks to evaluate the current political atmosphere. While the internet was a vast source of information, the world knew much more. The internet might show you the policies that were implemented, but not the backroom discussions, or the ideas that never made it to the document.

This became my second lesson on research. Research is not about sitting in your room at the comfort of your own desk, but it is rather actively going out to hear about current sentiments and finding fresh new ideas.

Third Lesson – The Research Team

Today, I am currently the research director for the Association of Malaysian Economics Undergraduate (AMEU).

When I joined AMEU as a research associate in 2021, my role there was rather simple. Sometimes I would spend time synthesising news articles, and occasionally I get the opportunity to publish my own research ideas. Yet I found myself being rather quickly demotivated. Although I enjoyed the avenue to conduct my own research and looking into issues I always wanted to, there is the question of: what am I even doing this for? Why am I doing this?

Which let to my most recent research enlightenment – audience. While it is important to conduct research on things we enjoy, it is more important for our research to be accessible, but also relevant today. Ask questions like: why should people care about your research? Would people be able to understand your research? Who do you want to read your research?

There are multiple ways to answer this question, but I resorted to the 21st century trend to find an answer: data. We collected rows and rows of data on each research piece we posted, from engagement rates to views to likes. This dataset will then be processed to identify key topics that have been successful, but also identify anomalous pieces of research that did not do well, and we would later evaluate the reasoning behind it.

This became my third lesson from research. Research is not just about writing whatever that interests you, but about whether you can write it in a manner that can be understood by those you need to read it. There needs to be an incentive for the reader to read it, and it should also be accessible to them.

Conclusion – Reinvention

I now lead a team of 7 researchers in AMEU, hoping to train them into successful independent researchers one day. For every piece of work they submit, I try to provide the most constructive and detailed feedback I can, while also adding questions that critically challenge their research ideas. The goal is not merely about knowing how to write better, but also how to think better.

And my goal will be the exact same in Reinvention, to share my experience and knowledge in research with those who have put countless hours of effort into their submissions. I want you to take pride in the research you conducted, to highlight the key discoveries and contributions you are making to the academic circle. But I also want to make sure your submission will not be just ‘another article’ in Reinvention, but that it will stand out in its own unique way.

Interested in publishing your research with Reinvention as well? Find out more at Reinvention: an International Journal of Undergraduate Research (reinventionjournal.org) or get in touch via reinventionjournal@warwick.ac.uk