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Professional Chemical Engineer - A story... Part 2

This is the continuation to my journey to be a professional engineer... Before I proceed, please note that I'm not yet a professional engineer. I'm still working on it. I'm just a normal graduate engineer...

My mentor explained that my log book record looks the same each and every month and that is not good for my training. I need to get other projects and get more exposure. I can't rely just on my responsibility to ensure my plant is running smooth. That ain't enough.

Coincidentally, I have applied a position as a lecturer in 2 local public university in Malaysia. For the first one, I attended an interview in University Malaysia Pahang (UMP) at the end of 2007. Earlier, I was invited to join the faculty several times by the Chemical Engineering Faculty dean at that time within a space of 3 years (if I'm not mistaken). I only responded and submitted my application in the third quarter of 2007. I hesitated to join the academic force in that university several times mainly because I don't want to be away from my family who is already based in Johor Bahru. My wife is already working as a chemical engineering lecturer in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Skudai, Johor. If I accept the job as lecturer in UMP, I'll be 300 km apart from my family. That's the main reason I hesitated to join UMP. However, since the dean offered me a senior lecturer position, I kept thinking and thinking...

After a while, I decided to apply for the senior lecturer position. The reasons were:

1. I cannot control my future and career if I keep my position as a process engineer. The most I'll be is senior engineer and later manager. I don't fancy lifestyle as a manager. It is not healthy for a family man like me. Most of the manager that I observed in my work place stay back and return home late. There are other manager level jobs who are not as hectic as the one in my workplace, but I just don't see myself being a manager. I may consider be a manager if I'm still single!!! If I become a lecturer, I can plan and work on my future/career. It is clearer and not unpredictable. If an academician perform, he/she can be promoted to associate professor and ultimately professor.

2. It is my ambition to further my study to Ph.D level. I can't just stop working and be a full time student. That is not wise. I may face the risk of not getting any job after getting my doctorate degree. It's a gamble if I do that. I will only do my Ph.D if I become a lecturer. That's why I decided to give it a try to apply at UMP. I hope I can further my studies immediately after I join UMP since I'm already 30 plus.

3. My IEM mentor highlighted that I need to add more projects and not just focus on my task as a process engineer taking care ONLY of the plant. This is another contributing factor made me decide to be a lecturer. I can be more diversified in my jobs if I become a lecturer. I can be a teacher, researcher, writer and consultant at the same time. That is what I want compared to just focusing on my limited scope as a process engineer.

4. Salary did not rank high in the factor deciding me to join UMP, but it somehow influenced my decision to quit my engineer job. The senior lecturer position offer seems to be irresistible and it can help my family economically.

5. My ultimate ambition since I was a kid is to be a lecturer. That's why I finally decided to join UMP as a lecturer after I was invited to be one.

At the same time of applying a chemical engineering lecturer position in UMP, I applied for the same position in UTM. It was my third attempt applying for the job in UTM in a space of 4 years. The spirit is still there. Despite failing in the interview two times, I was still encourage to apply again by my wife, parents and masters' supervisor.

UMP called first for the interview and the process is superbly efficient. The faculty based interview took place in the morning and those who passed the interview was invited to proceed with the university level interview in the afternoon. My interview when smooth and I just hope and pray to receive a happy result.

Want to know the continuation of the story? Wait for Part 3 (maybe tomorrow)...

Snapshot of the story from future post:

"Zaki, you made the right decision resigning from my process engineer job..."

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 7:15 PM,


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The Author


I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!

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