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Construction and Building Services
Internship opportunity in property and construction for those pursuing Business, Marketing or Finance; market research experience is an added advantage.
Relevant DegreeAccepting applications from students with degrees in Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business AdministrationF
Toh Chin Leong
Toh Chin Leong studied Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at University of Arkansas, US and then studied Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering at the same university.
Has been with this company for 19 years
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, University of Arkansas, US, 1992; Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering, University of Arkansas, US, 1994
Professional association memberships
Deputy Chairman, REHDA Penang
I worked in the Arkansas State Highway & Transportation Department as a graduate engineer before returning to Penang, Malaysia. I then joined IJM in April 1995 as site engineer in the construction division prior to my appointment as project manager in the property division in year 2000. I joined IJM because of its proven track record and diversification of projects by the construction team.
The turning point
My journey with IJM has been an enriching experience, thanks to the opportunities and guidance from the management. During management meetings, I was asked to sit in even though I was the youngest there. In due time, I was asked to be in charge of the reclamation of 158 acres of land next to the Penang bridge. The management wanted novel ideas and someone who can oversee the project from beginning to end. That was the birth of Penang’s landmark project now known as THE LIGHT Waterfront Penang.
Spearheading one of the most prestigious projects in Penang, which is THE LIGHT Waterfront Penang, I was involved in the conceptualising, planning, developing and marketing of the project. This gave me opportunities to network with investors and influential personalities. It took great perseverance, passion and commitment to ensure the project is successful.
Another was the e-GATE in Gelugor, Penang – one of IJM’s commercial projects. Back then, it was a new concept and having no prior experience meant having to learn through trial and error, but thankfully, the project was a success and was sold upon completion. It currently stands as one of the most vibrant hangout spots in Penang.
Advice for graduates
Knowing the purpose of why you come to work is important. On average, we spend almost half of our lives in the office so better make sure it is worthwhile. Be prepared to work hard and inculcate a fighting spirit, striving for the best. Always go the extra mile to exceed expectations in everything you do. Surprise your boss. Surprise your customers. It is not about whether you are part of a project; it is about whether the project is a part of you. Regardless of where you are in life, always seek for continuous personal development.
Key skills for future leaders
Competition is imminent, therefore, it is essential for business leaders to think ahead and have a clear vision. Good interpersonal and communication skills are vital. The ability to engage and connect with people will open doors of opportunities and an aptitude for clear expression of yourself and ideas enables you to inspire and lead. People should work harder on themselves first!
Chai Koon Wah
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
Assistant Project Manager
Chai Koon Wah studied Bachelor of Civil Engineering at University Technology Malaysia (UTM) and then studied MBA at HELP University.
Bachelor of Civil Engineering, University Technology Malaysia (UTM), 2005; MBA, HELP University, 2012
Has been with this company for 9 years
Like many others, I was puzzled about the construction industry during my degree. The books and classes were merely theoretical and did not give a picture of the real world. Thanks to the IJM scholarship, I had the chance to have a touch of the real world during semester break. The practical training helped me to appreciate the learning process.
I was honoured to be awarded the IJM scholarship and served my scholarship contract with IJM after I graduated. With the recognition and the professionalism of the corporation, I am still with IJM until today to pursue my career growth.
My company and job
My current job is with a conglomerate group diversifying in construction, properties, toll concession, port business and plantation. I am leading a team to complete a luxury condominium project. The day-to-day challenges include meeting deadlines, and materialising the designer concept from sketch to a real feature by meeting all requirements.
The best and worst bits
I like dealing with people and solving problems. There are many barriers and sudden situations in this industry which require good planning and immediate response. However, the satisfaction I receive from the fruits of my success is unparalleled.
My most memorable achievement at work
I had to build 100 residential units in a 100-acre forest and hill. The challenge was to convert the entire forest and hill into a residence while ensuring sustainable development. We succeeded by turning the existing waterfall into a recreational area. The satisfaction is in seeing new owners with their house keys!
Getting the job
Communication skills, team spirit, and experience! The first two are fundamental skills required for this industry in dealing with people inside and outside of your team. The latter can be gained over the years through patience and observation.
Be prepared for
Patience, changes and innovation! Buildings are not built overnight. You need to be patient to endure the process. Notice the changes in housing trends – from landed property to high-rise sophisticated condominiums. Be ready to embrace changes and the world will be at your feet. Innovation is the key to sustaining efficiency.
Dream big, start small. Always plan for short-term goals and review them from time to time. Status quo is good, but it slows you down and makes you lazy. Put in effort, ignore the sweat, talk to seniors, and never stop being innovative for new ideas.
Tong Sau Keong
Universiti Malaya (UM)
Environmental Officer, Kuantan Port (New Deep Water Teminal)
Tong Sau Keong studied Bachelor of Engineering in Environmental Engineering at University of Malaya (UM).
Bachelor of Engineering in Environmental Engineering, University of Malaya (UM), 2014
Had been in this company for 2 years
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.
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)
Manager, Architecture & Product Development
Chong Tony studied Bachelor of Science in Architecture at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 2002
Had been in this company for 3 years and 3 months
‘People build houses with stone, we build homes with love’. That’s the dream of mine when I was a college boy.
I joined IJM Land Berhad in June 2012 after nine years of working with Gamuda Land Berhad and Garis Architects Sdn Bhd. In my early years, I worked in a consultancy firm (Garis Architects) to gain exposure and making sure that I master the major architectural designing skills, communication technique and relevant knowledge. Thereafter I moved on to join Gamuda Land to pursue my career at a higher level.
The turning point
I was recommended to represent the company in REHDA Youth (Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association Malaysia) during my second year in IJM Land. I was also nominated as Executive Committee Member of REHDA Youth in the same year. In REHDA, we look for ways to improve the property scene in the country. I met many property developers from all over the country. I was given the honour to organise study tours to several award-winning developments in the country and partake in numerous international property study tours.
I believe that opportunities came knocking on my door because I always commit passionately to excel at all I do, and constantly strive to push the limits and surpass standards of excellence at every opportunity.
Last year, I was given the honour to lead the design team for the new IJM corporate headquarters; a 30-storey ‘vertical campus’ equipped with cutting-edge building technology and an intelligent building system. It is a hybrid development consisting domestic, workplace, retail and conference facilities in a sloping and compact site.
Royal Mint Garden is another exciting project. It is the first mixed development of IJM Land in London. The most challenging task in this project is constructing a total of three blocks that consist of 12 storeys of domestic buildings on top of three active subways.
Another major highlight was leading the design team for the Horizon Hills project, a prestigious township in Johor Bahru. Horizon Hills is a breath-taking, challenging piece of art within a 1,200-acre freehold township in the heart of Nusajaya which itself is a key flagship zone within the Iskandar Development Region.
Advice for graduates
Planning is very important in paving a successful career path. My secret is the ‘five-year plan.
In the first five years, I worked hard to build a strong foundation by participating in as many jobs as I could to gain various experiences, absorb industrial knowledge and get more opportunities to apply my skills.
In the second five years, I focused on applying the knowledge gained by working in high profile projects with established clients. During the same period, I also took the opportunity to strengthen my managerial skills through courses, seminars and conferences. These are important years to build a business network as well.
I am currently in the third five years of my career path and I hope that I’ll be able to contribute more to my organisation and continue to build my network.
Sime Darby is one of Malaysia’s leading multinationals and South East Asia’s largest conglomerates with operations in over 20 countries.
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