#PeopleStories: Graduate Engineer
What do you do?
I am a graduate engineer, working for an Australian property developer here in Malaysia. We are currently involved in one of the biggest urban regeneration projects here in KL. I am employed under the project management division of the company. Previously, I was in the design team, dealing with day-to-day design issues, coordinating with the internal development team together with the external consultants.
As I am in a graduate programme, I am currently on rotation with the commercial team, dealing with contracts and procurement of the project. This programme, although challenging, is beneficial for my personal growth and self-development. This is because I am currently doing something I am totally unfamiliar with – expanding my knowledge of the construction industry. This gives me a better understanding of the sector.
How did you get here?
I studied mechanical engineering and got my degree from the University of South Australia. I was quite uncertain on my course of choice after leaving high school. I considered many fields, including aviation and law. After thinking thoroughly, I decided that mechanical engineering was best suited for me, partly because of my love for cars and my curiosity towards how stuff works.
After graduating, I was like any other freshie out there – lost and clueless about what to do next. For a while, I was just lazing around and celebrating the fact that I completed one huge milestone in life. Then, I started applying for jobs, being particular about the companies that I was applying for. After numerous bits of advice, I decided to be less picky, and applied for a few engineering-related jobs. I landed a job after months in – but did not stop looking for jobs within the construction industry.
During a career fair, I submitted my résumé to Lendlease. I got the job after two rounds of assessments, and here I am today.
Why do you do it?
Being part of a team delivering an iconic project here in Malaysia is quite rewarding in terms of self-motivation. As engineers, we are excellent problem-solvers, and the construction industry presents a huge number of issues to overcome. Anyone can build something, but it is how you design and execute it that makes it interesting.
Who should do it?
Working here requires plenty of communication, be it with the joint venture partners or the contractors. Hence, people skills are important. As the nature of the job requires a huge amount of coordination, being a team player is also a necessity.
Being highly motivated and proactive is also crucial in this industry. The construction industry requires input from many different parties, and sometimes not all required information is captured or discussed. Hence, as an individual, being proactive is important in ensuring the excellent outcome of the project.
Where can you work?
As previously mentioned, the construction industry requires input from many different parties. Hence, you are able to work with a developer, who deals with the finances, options and basically management of the entire project; a consultant who is involved heavily on the technical aspect and design philosophy of the industry; or a contractor who actually builds the project.