By Nirvair Kaur | EXPERIENCE |
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi.
This is one quote that I strive to practise in my everyday tasks.
Over a year ago, I began my journey towards achieving a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Many times, doubts grew in my head, that I wouldn’t be fit for this field of study. During my summer break, after completing a year of my degree, I decided to put those doubts to task and applied for an internship in the automotive industry. Despite the pandemic, I was gifted the opportunity to do my internship with Tan Chong Motor Assembles in Segambut. At this plant, they conduct the assembly of some of Mitsubishi, Subaru & Renault’s cars, as well as UD & Foton trucks.
I was placed in the Advanced Engineering Department, with a supervisor who was, at that time, handling a project for the UD trucks. During the first few weeks, I got to experience what the assembly line for trucks is like. As you would imagine, it’s not at all like that of cars. I learnt in depth regarding the tools they use, how it’s used as well as the challenges that can arise during the assembly process.
Not only was I able to expand my knowledge regarding the automotive industry, I was even given the chance to work with people from different walks of life. In the assembly line, there were many operators who were hearing impaired. It was honestly such a beautiful experience being around them. Despite the communication barriers, they were friendly and ever willing to teach me more about the process.
Although my supervisor oversaw the assembly process of vehicles, I was given a chance to see how the processes for the body shop & paint shop are. At these sections, they construct the body of vehicles and further paint the vehicles the desired colours. I learnt about the intricate process, and how important it was to follow the required SOPs to prevent injuries to the operators or damages to the body of vehicles.
Coming from an international school, it was never a necessity for me to speak in Malay but that wasn’t the case while working. I feared being unable to communicate well with my colleagues, but together with their patience and my available knowledge on the language, I was able to successful complete my tasks with them. It’s safe to say that I’m now much more confident when speaking in Malay and have increased my proficiency in the language.
With this being my first time working, I was beyond nervous during the days leading up to my first day. Thankfully, my colleagues immediately made those nerves fade with their constant willingness to teach me & include me in the projects they conducted. Though being the youngest & the only female in the department, there was never a time where I felt intimidated or unequal to my peers. I will forever be grateful to have been given the chance to learn so much more about the field that I’m venturing into.
There is only so much you can learn in your university. Being in the field is a completely different experience, and it made me appreciate the industry a lot more. With that being said, I would recommend to all degree students to consider doing an internship during their course.
Nirvair Kaur, a mechanical engineering student, has voluntered with Al-Hasan Volunteer Society that worked with refugees as well EnKaurage, the women’s wing of Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia
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