Rafizah Binti Arif

Project Engineer

Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UiTM), 2008

At university
I got a degree in civil engineering because I enjoy physics and math subjects, and the excellent career prospects available. My university experience not only prepared me for my career, it has also prepared me for life outside my career. Through assignments and interactions with fellow students, professors, internship supervisors as well as other college staff, I gained social and people skills that I did not even sign up for.

My background
Being an engineer is my dream and I struggled to choose my internship company as I wanted it to align with my future career. Finally, I pursued a three-month internship programme as an engineer with Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd, as I felt that the property industry will help me increase my general knowledge and develop my career.

My company and job
As project engineer, coordinating work between all parties involved while protecting the company’s interest is the most important task in my daily responsibilities. I am involved in a project from the preliminary stage to the planning stage. This includes being involved in liaisons with authorities, the tender process, project implementation and the final handing over.

The best and worst bits
The best part is the diversification of work. My work is not only concentrated in engineering but also extends to sales and marketing, as well as customer relations. I am the only female engineer in my division but I took it as a professional challenge and an advantage to be recognised as a lady engineer. Having more male colleagues does not necessitate a complete maledominated environment. In the past five years, I was never once taken less seriously.

My most memorable achievement at work
Being part of the team that developed the Setia Alam township, and witnessing Setia City’s rapid development over five years! My hands-on experience includes a stand-alone Honda 3S Centre, the four-storey Setia Alam Club building, the two-storey Setia City Convention Centre, and the S P Setia Corporate headquarters. Directly and indirectly, the Setia Alam township is my baby.

Getting the job
I went through two stages of interviews with S P Setia before landing the position. As a fresh graduate, it only seems fair to say that my academic achievements and Dean’s award certificate got me here.

Be prepared for
...working with very tight deadlines on top of long hours and fast-paced working conditions! Girls, you have to be physically and mentally prepared for working in any kind of project site, and not being finicky about its environment as there might be mud, dust and such.

Some advice
Working experience is not important for fresh graduates but having the right qualifications, commitment and perseverance would definitely assist in pursuing your desired career path.