This Engineer Shares How To Survive Your First Month At Work!

Want to know what it's like being an Engineering Executive at Nestlé Malaysia? Let's ask an insider.

1. Can you share a brief history of your education?
I received my Bachelor’s in Engineering (Chemical Engineering) from Monash University Malaysia with a minor in Biochemical Engineering. During this time, I was fortunate to spend a semester abroad in Monash University (Clayton Campus) in Australia where I was exposed to an entirely different culture and people from various backgrounds and ethnicities.

2. Describe your role at the company.
In my previous role, I was tasked to manage a project which requires setting up a new building and processing line within 6 months. Project management has taught me to manage stakeholders, budgeting and especially the technical aspects that go into designing a manufacturing line. Long working hours with high attention to detail was expected during the course of the project as any delay would affect the product launch timeline. Currently, I am managing the plant maintenance for our Ice Cream Plant where we conduct preventive maintenance in order to ensure minimal downtime to our production line. In this role, people management and good technical skills are highly required to manage day-to-day activities. Generally, in the manufacturing industry, one needs to be a quick learner, able to adapt quickly and above all, have good communication skills.

3. Can you share how you ended up working at Nestlé? What was the interview process like and what was interesting or stood out about it?
I did my industrial training for 12 weeks with Nestlé under the Production department in which I was quickly exposed to the ins-and-outs of the industry – manpower management, cleanliness of processing line, on-line quality control of products and many more. However, from managing the mini-projects tasked to me, I learned that I was much more interested in the engineering aspect of the job. This led me to apply for the Nestlé Management Trainee Programme under the Engineering function.

There was a total of 4 assessments; the first, a phone interview in which general screening questions were asked such as my educational background and interest in the function that I applied for. The second assessment was a case study where a group of 6 of us had to play different functions in a factory to discuss and argue out our opinion on crisis management. Thankfully, my previous experience helped me to push through this round of assessment. The next was a face-to-face interview with upper management. I was put through a stressful hour and a half of grueling interview questions, which was still very tough despite my preparation and experience. It was also important to show your interest in the related function as well as how relevant experience will make you the suitable candidate for the job. Lastly, the final interview was with the Chief Engineer following which a week later, I received the offer letter and here I am now!

4. What was the biggest challenge when you first started work and how did you overcome that challenge?
The biggest challenge was to understand the needs of the factory and the business. The best way to overcome anything – ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS.

5. Advice on how to survive your first month at work.

  • Get to know your colleagues
  • Try to take criticism positively
  • Listen to understand

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