Life On The Job: Environmental Officer

Tong Sau Keong, an environmental officer tells gradmalaysia.com readers what it's like to be in his shoes!
gradmalaysia_Image_Sau Keong IJM_2017
Tong Sau Keong
Environmental Officer, Kuantan Port (New Deep Water Terminal)
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How was your first year being on the job? 

At the beginning of my career path in IJM, I was offered to join the Graduate Associate Program (GAP). I have been scheduled to go through different departments such as Tender & Contracts, Accounts, Quality Assurance & Quality Control as well as Health & Safety Environment. The 12-month development programme, which includes a three-month HQ-based exposure and nine months of site-based on-the-job training.

The tasks given are interesting as I learned things that I did not have the chance to explore during my study days. As part of the programme, multitasking was very important in order to succeed. Additional effort was needed as I was requested to assist in the Quality Assurance and Health & Safety Environment departments, as well as performing site supervisions instead of just being an environmental officer.

What do you do at work? 

After completion of the Graduate Associate Program (GAP), I officially became an environmental officer. My job position requires me to take note of issues relevant to the environment at the construction sites, whilst planning for the enhancement of corrective and preventive measures to tackle issues according to environmental requirements.

Throughout the process of my work, ensuring compliance in fulfilling HSE and Quality Assurance & Quality Control requirements is part of the job as well. In terms of documentation and product quality, we will need to ensure that the job delivered meets the customers’ expectations.

What is it like to work in your company? 

In IJM, we work as a family. Interaction between departments and divisions is highly important in the company. Operational departments work well with supporting departments. For example, it wouldn’t be difficult for a project site-based employee to seek assistance from other departments which are mostly based at IJM headquarters. Besides that, there are frequent internal checkings in order to ensure that the quality does meet the clients’ requirements.

Get-togethers are equally important to us. Kelab Sukan IJM (KSIJM) has contributed a lot in organising festive celebrations, sports events, adventure activities, trips as well as movie days and family days. All of these events do bring us closer, from colleagues to friends and family. Here, we have the same objectives, goals and targets, and we work together to achieve them.

Name three (3) things to watch out for! 

Ownership, Responsibility and Accountability.

What advice would you give to your younger self? 

If I can advise my younger self, the first and foremost thing I would like to raise is the importance of learning. As the saying goes, 100% of success is 99% effort and 1% talent. This equation brings the awareness that without the 99% of effort, we are nothing but the 1% remaining which is negligible.

There is a saying that goes ‘fools learn nothing from wise men, but wise men learn much from fools’. We must not feel ashamed to ask and learn.

What do you like most about your job? 

The exposure that the company has given me is what I like the most about my job. The construction field has exposed me to many different types of work such as reclamation, highways, buildings, and MRT. Perhaps this might be common jobs for an experienced engineer, however as a junior engineer this is where integration comes in.