UTB students share their stories

Fresh graduates experience a mix of emotions when facing challenges of making transition from the student life to the professional world. The future is looking bright for these Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) graduates as they share their thoughts and experiences while studying at the university and their current professions.

Syifaa Syafiqah Syaza binti Suhaili, Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Civil and Structural Engineering

When Syifaa graduated from UTB’s Civil and Structural Engineering Bachelor’s programme in 2017, she immediately landed a job with a private company in the energy sector. She recalled the intense recruitment process which she had to go through before landing the job.

“I remember having to prepare for a group assignment and a PowerPoint presentation on a specific topic to my future employer.”

With a demeanour of confidence Syifaa said, “The key was to prepare early and thoroughly research the position you are applying for.” She credited her time in UTB for being able to demonstrate integrity, passion and professionalism which led her to ace the recruitment test.

“UTB has helped me in challenging myself and getting me out of my comfort zone. Thanks to the resources and professional mentorship that UTB provides, I learnt how to be forward thinking and how to think outside the box.”

After holding that position for about two years, Syifaa is now working for Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP). She chose to further her career in the energy sector, however this time shifting her focus to economics.

“My Civil and Structural Engineering Programme at UTB also exposed me to non-engineering related fields such as economics and design for example. The fundamentals of economics that I picked up during my time at UTB helped me in my day-to-day analysis of petroleum economics and also in corresponding with my company’s shareholders.

“I am grateful that UTB has taught and trained me to be a flexible individual and helped me prepare for the unexpected future and its demand!” she added.

ABOVE & BELOW: Syifaa Syafiqah Syaza binti Awang Suhaili, Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Civil and Structural Engineering; Norfatriah binti Abdullah, Master of Science (MSc) in Mechanical Engineering; and Muhammad Nazri bin Hassan, Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechatronics Engineering. PHOTOS: UTB

Norfatriah binti Abdullah, Master of Science (MSc) in Mechanical Engineering

Norfatriah first graduated from UTB’s HND in Mechanical Engineering in 2012. Despite increasing competition for jobs at that time, she quickly landed herself a job as trainee engineer at a large oil and gas company and seemed to be on her way to a promising career.

But when the opportunity to further her studies arose, Norfatriah made the brave decision to leave her job and return to UTB. Fuelled by her passion for learning, she would go on to obtain her Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2016.

By now, competition in the job market was fierce and Norfatriah witnessed her peers struggling to find jobs.

“I thought about it. Instead of applying for jobs, I should create jobs!” Norfatriah said.

Establishing Qafa Haus, a fashion house providing modest wear for women, today Norfatriah provides occupation to five Bruneians and together they are beginning to venture into Malaysia.

“In UTB, my timetable was full from 8am – 4.30pm every day, and I would frequently work on weekends too. I had to learn how to manage my time, meet tight deadlines, work in a team, manage stress and more importantly, problem solve! Even though I may not be working in my field of study, UTB has shaped me to be a successful entrepreneur, Alhamdulillah.

“Hiring more people, providing value to my customers, and contributing to the economic growth of the country.” These are the guidelines which Norfatriah has set for herself along her entrepreneurial journey. When asked what are the most important skills she has picked up during her time at UTB, Norfatriah replied, “Resilience and survival.”

Muhammad Nazri bin Hassan, Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechatronics Engineering

Also beating the odds by being offered a job by a prominent international company just a few months after his graduation last year was Mohammad Nazri bin Hassan.

Having completed his undergraduate degree in Mechatronics Engineering he was offered to work at the Petrofac International Limited based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He started as a graduate engineer on rotation exploring various business functions within the organisation to gain holistic view of how the operations of the company works.

He admitted working overseas is challenging but he is very positive about it, “Although working overseas is life-challenging, but it is definitely one that I will not forgo. I believe the experience will not only develop me professionally, but it will also shape me to become a better version of myself,” he added.

According to Mohammad Nazri, he was able to hone his skills and knowledge whilst at UTB and found the university’s many programmes and activities beneficial for character building.

“I have gained various imperative skills such as communication, time-management, technical writing and leadership amongst others at UTB that has helped me become who I am today especially now that I am working. These skills have been extremely beneficial especially in my ability to adapt to the foreign work culture whilst maintaining a healthy work-life-balance”, said the former UTB Student Council member.

Mohammad Nazri also shared his thoughts on how to be successful whilst studying, “To be successful, students need to be pro-active, productive and always positive and we must also do our best in everything we do. With the amazing experience and industry-relevant education at UTB, I am confident, with the right opportunity, student will be able to secure a job or create one, Insya Allah”.