From Oil and Gas to Telecommunications: A Journey of Transition

The transition from one industry to another can be a daunting task, especially for young graduates who have invested years in a specialized field.

Muhammad Halmeey Roy Bin Ibrahim (Halmeey), a 25-year-old graduate of Universiti Teknologi Petronas, decided to explore the telecommunications industry - fuelled by a drive to diversify his skill set and adapt to the evolving needs of the job market. With his background in chemical engineering, Halmeey embarked on a journey of self-discovery.
Throughout the interview, he shares the hurdles, the lessons learnt, and the personal growth he experienced while navigating this uncharted territory. Halmeey’s story is an inspiring testament of a #MalaysianTalent to the power of perseverance, adaptability, and the pursuit of one's passions in shaping a successful career.

Q1: Can you share with us your current role and what inspires you to pursue in this field?

I am currently working at Huawei Technologies Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. serving as Network Design Engineer under Malaysia Sales Solutions Department. I am responsible to provide support for wireless bidding projects by analysing customer bidding documents, identifying the needs, and designing cost-effective innovative solutions including technical compliance, network design & network dimensioning, technical proposal, and specifications by operators.

While the field of chemical engineering and telecommunication may seem distinct at first, there are several areas where my background can be relevant and valuable. For instance, the telecommunication industry is at the forefront of technological innovation. It offers exciting opportunities to work with cutting-edge technologies such as 5G networks, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. Being part of this industry allows me to contribute to developing and implementing transformative technologies that shape how we communicate and connect globally.

Q2: What were the challenges you have faced throughout your journey, and could you share with us how you overcome it?

Stepping into an industry that I am unfamiliar with - from Chemical Engineering to telecommunications, I think the biggest challenge will be understanding the rapid technological updates that revolve around us. Although I am still interested in Oil & Gas industry, I am open to learning about other industries to be a well-rounded talent. To overcome this challenge, I would invest in continuous learning and professional development by taking courses to enhance my knowledge and marketability. Finding passion is not an overnight process. It requires patience, persistence, and an open mind. Embrace the journey as an ongoing exploration rather than a destination. Keep an open attitude towards new opportunities and experiences and be willing to adapt.

Q3: As a fresh graduate, what were the strategies that you have taken to research and understand a new company culture?

As a fresh graduate, I was excited to start my career. I had a lot to learn, but I was eager to make a good impression and start contributing to my new company. One of the most important things I wanted to do was to learn as much as I could about the company's culture. I took a few steps to research and understand the company's culture through the company's website and any other materials that were available by paying attention to the company's mission statement, values, and goals. I also read employee reviews on websites like Glassdoor and Jobstreet. Next, I reached out to people who worked at the company. I connected with them on LinkedIn, asked them questions about their experiences and advice on how to succeed at the company.

Q4: Coming from a different field of study, could you share with us what was your career aspiration, and how do you find your current experience fits in your aspiration?

I graduated with a degree in chemical engineering, and my excitement to join into oil and gas industry and work at multinational companies such as PETRONAS, and ExxonMobil was part of my dreams since I was a kid. At the same time, I always had a passion for technology. I was intrigued by the way that technology could be used to solve real-world problems. After graduating, I decided to take a leap of faith and apply for a job in the pre-sales department at Huawei. I knew that this would be a challenging role, but I was excited to learn new things and grow my career. I was also inspired by Huawei's mission to connect everyone and build a better world.

In my current role, I work with customers to understand their needs and recommend the best solutions. I also help to develop and deliver training materials for Huawei sales representatives. I am constantly learning new things, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such a talented and dedicated team. I believe that technology has the power to make a positive impact on people's lives, and I am proud to be a part of a company that is committed to making that happen.

Q5: In your opinion, what are the needed skills that young talents need to go higher in their career?

University life is the exciting time in our life where we grow ourselves to embark on a new and rewarding journey. Having ton of activities and funs with beloved friends and lecturers really built my characters and made me who I am today. There are few starting points that I did when I was in university.

Get involved in extracurricular activities. This is a great way to gain leadership experience and make connections with people in your field not only in the university but also amongst the industry players.

Volunteer your time. When I was in university, I spent my ample time participating in several volunteering programs, starting with given the opportunity to participate in a soup kitchen during my exchange programme in the US, an emergency disaster mission with Mercy Malaysia up to English tutoring for underprivileged primary school kid with Yayasan PETRONAS. This is a great way to give back to your community and show employers that you're a well-rounded individual.

 Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are a lot of people who are willing to help you succeed in your career. Don't be afraid to reach out to your network for advice and support. For me, LinkedIn or even attending to conferences and upskilling program such as the apprenticeship programme under InvestKL Talent Programme, definitely a good start to connect with various industrial players.

Q6: Finally, what would be your advice to Malaysian talents like yourself, who are chasing their passion?

Congratulations on graduating! This is an exciting time in your life, and you are about to embark on a new and rewarding journey.

First, don't be afraid to start small. When you are first starting out, it is important to get your foot in the door and gain some experience. Don't be too picky about your first job, just take something that will give you the opportunity to learn and grow.

Second, be willing to work hard. Your first few jobs will likely be challenging, but it is important to be willing to put in the effort. The more effort you put in, the more successful you will be.

Third, be persistent. Don't give up on your dreams. There will be times when you feel discouraged, but keep going. If you keep working hard and never give up, you will eventually achieve your goals.

Finally, enjoy the journey. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy the process and learn as much as you can along the way.

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