Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A little bit more..

Today is the 3rd last day of my industrial training or internship as how some might call it.

Time seems to pass very fast and I've never thought that this Friday will arrive so soon.

But I am grateful that it is going to end. Because I really don't see a point of undergoing training really. If in the end I am only going to be tought how to do office work, make price quotations, send e-mails, you can just send me on a short course or something. It didn't have to be an almost-3-month ordeal.

I do blame myself for not searching diligently for companies with better training facilities/personnels, and that is the reason why I ended up in a small unknown trading company which nobody recognizes at all while most of my coursemates are in some big-ass, major companies involved in the production of semiconductor or engineering firms or whatever that is of the same level which can make their CV more keng.

I do blame myself for not standing firm in my decision of wanting to go to an alcoholic brewery factory at first, and succumbed to my department's wishes, although I might have gotten a better experience whatsoever in that place.

However, I am very thankful for being able to at least carry out my training without much hassle (although I can't say without much boredom), and lucky me, I go to at least attend a course organized by The Electrical and Electronics Association of Malaysia at their office yesterday, which rewarded me with a certificate and some knowledge on infrared thermography. =)

I guess every cloud has its silver lining no? Being in such a small company distributing Japanese electrical and electronics measuring intruments, I did not only experience the boring office work side of working life, but I was also able to learn to do some sales and marketing work AND at the same time try to do some servicing (i.e. finding faults, fixing instruments, play with new instruments). I guess not having a proper techinician/serviceman and insufficient workforce here in the company tought me how to handle the instruments myself, although I may not have any prior knowledge to them and also tought me how to other things.

Now, I don't feel like blaming anyone, but I still believe that the university should have done a better job in ensuring that the students undertaking the Industrial Training will go through it smoothly (or maybe it's just the department's fault). These are some of the things they should have done (what I can think of right nowla):

a) Distribute the Industrial Training guideline (Buku Panduan Latihan Industri) before the students start looking for a place so that they will know what kind of companies to avoid

b) Publish a list of possible places with CORRECT contact numbers and relevant to the programme

c) Encourage feedback by students upon facing any difficulties or problems while training

d) Ensure that students are not enslaved by the companies

e) Provide separate guidelines for students and for supervisors AND separate guidelines for different programmes of studies, NOT a general one for each faculty
f) Advisors must too help by checking up whether the companies chosen by students are relevant and not go, "Aiyah, I don't knowla.." >=/

There. That's all I can think of for now. I mean if the university adopt the tidak apa/tidak kisah attitude, then why the frog must they put Industrial Training as one of the requirements/subjects in the course structure? Might as well replace the 6 credits hour (for my programme's case) for other relevant subjects.

Now for the students, here are some tips/advices for you people out there who will be undergoing intership/industrial training one day:

a) Start looking for companies/organizations/places for training as early as possible. If can start calling up even before the advisor gives the first briefing. 1 to 2 semesters before your final year starts. Or even before your second year! =P

This is definitely the time to be kiasu. Not only you will be competing among your coursemates, you will also be fighting for places with students from other universities! Can you imagine the horror when you apply to a place only to find out your application is rejected just because other students are faster than you? And of course, at these kind of times, the popularity of your university does count sometimes. Let's just say that not many people know of UMT. My supervisor would sometimes accidently claimed that I am from Terengganu branch of Universiti Malaya. sigh~

b) Websites can fool you. Trust me on this one.

They paint different pictures of companies/organizations. And they paint them according to what you want to see. Sometimes the truth sucks.

c) Research, research, research.

Study about the company you are about to pursuit carefully. Not only it will help when you need to go for an interview, it will also help you make a better decision. Some companies are not what they seem to be.

d) Three (or more) is not a crowd.

Apply for intership together with your friends. If you're lucky, you get to go to the same place and thus, making the training a more enjoyable experience! And it is also good when you are applying for a place further away from home. At least you'll get to stay with your friends and travel to and from work together. And this will also avoid loneliness. Especially if you're unable to blend in well with your colleagues.

e) Prepare for surprises.

Sometimes, like I've mentioned before, a company can sometimes be not what it seems to be. Be prepared to do some factory or regular office work even when you're sent into a big ass famous company. Be prepared to do things that are irrelevant to your study programme, even though that's the reason why you did not apply to companies doing things irrelevant to your study programme. Be prepared to do a lot of traveling. Be prepared to not receive any allowance/wages. Be prepared to experience office politics. Be prepared to meet all sorts of people. Be prepared to..


f) TRY to enjoy yourselvesla.

Anyways, the advices above are based on personal experience and based on stories that I've heard from my friends. Sometimes, luck plays a major role too. So, go through the whole experience either with an open heart and an open mind, or just wallow through the days til it ends.

Because it will eventually come to an end. Definitely.

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