The man-made world which consists of machines and devices aroused my curiosity since I was a child. I used to always keep wondering of how a machine operates and how every part of a machine compliment with each other to function well. As a child, I thought that the creators of these machines must have been magicians who are able to command supernatural powers to make a machinery works. And the reason grows along my age. Despite this, I still believe that engineers are magicians; they are the last remaining practitioners of this art in an increasingly modernised world. They continue to amaze and captivate the world with their creations. And they never seemed to be running out of tricks from their sleeves. The thought of how great the profession of engineering keeps lingering in my mind, and I think it will be the same for everyone. Take a glimpse look around you; can you jot down anything that is not relying to certain degree on the work of engineers? I bet anyone would struggle on it. Because of that particular reason I chose to be on this lane, to serve community with a better technology that will shape the century and change the world. However, it was the entire previous story because right now I have been on the platform of the sound tertiary education that will provide me with the best experience the embryonic engineer can have. Only one problem remains; how to grab this chance to make the dream of becoming an engineer come to reality.
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Time is said to be precious because it is irreversible. Others said that it is eternal. But the main point here is what is done today is not tomorrow, and what is in the past cannot be in the present – because time moves. You cannot predict what will happen today or in the future because it is yet to come but you experienced yesterday’s event however it is not in your jurisdiction to change that occurrence. That is why it is said that time resembles gold caused by its preciousness. This principle goes well with engineers’ life. Time management is not something that you can let it happen by itself, it needs a proper planning. Even though people said that time changes things but, actually we have to change them ourselves. Professional engineer is someone who knows how to juggle many things at one time. They work to enhance welfare, health and safety of all and make professional commitments to boost the wellbeing of society through the exploitation of knowledge and the management of creative terms. But, frankly speaking, I was a student who practised procrastination in my study. I kept saving all the works given on the eleventh hour – this was during the high school era, and in the early life as a university student. However, the hectic life of first year student with assignments and tests educates me that engineers will not just be an idle person but need to devote themselves in acquiring and cramming a brand new technology in physical world. However, what happens if I keep saving all the work till the last minute? Will I be able to prepare myself then to discover some new knowledge? These kind of thoughts that kept wandering in my mind, helped me to get a picture that no matter how eventful my life with works is, I need to get them done once I got assigned. So I decided to make an improvement to my study style. I made a to-do list bright and early, as the first task of the commencement of my day; on a clear white paper to prevent me from wasting any time worrying about anything that I might forget. Therefore my whole activities throughout the day tend to follow this list without even a second being wasted. This forces me not to make a group meeting turns to a worthless chat, or whenever I bump into someone it will not become a ‘reunion party’ – because every single second counts. Thus, sometimes I need to say no for a certain matter although it is a very hard thing to do for most people but I believe that it has a tremendous reward. Normally my whole night is filled with either ‘twitter’ing, ‘facebook’ing or watching drama (since I am a drama enthusiast), however, the to-do list that I made has replaced those times with something beneficial to my study; either preparing for laboratories, tests, or make a quick revision for the next lectures. For instance, assignment given to SESM1015 Professional Engineering students (absolutely this essay) makes my night more meaningful. 30 minutes watching drama has been replaced by 15 minutes essay writing – even though at first it was a bit hard to get used to.
Engineers are meant to not just please themselves but also others – since they are the one who will succour people towards better life. So in order to do that they need to know what they are working on or objectives of the job they are doing at the moment. But my problem is how to adapt to the transition between school and university environment. The way on how the teaching goes on is totally different; you need to do everything on your own, without having any teacher attends you personally to make sure that you understand what you have learned, or keep an eye on your attendance to every class – it is totally on you. Since my secondary school, I have heard about this tittle-tattle and that scared me a bit. However, I am very indebted to the existing university student there at that time who gave me a clear grasp about how a university environment is; and get me prepared earlier. Even though the nervousness of a fresher in a new situation is still there but I need to get up and help myself first so that I will familiarise with the university atmosphere quicker. Thus, the way how I confronted this problem for the past three month is that I keep preparing myself for the next lecture with a quick revision. At least I need to know the objectives of my learning for the next lectures, so that I can groom my understandings about that topic in the class. To get to know the topic in detail, my friends and I made a study group, and we discuss certain problematic topics because I need to know my subject well so that I can relate the subject with the current application in the world. Whenever we have come to a conclusion we will verify it with a lecturer or senior students so that our discussions will not go wrong. Before that, I need to discipline myself with this new lifestyle as this is how a professional engineer should become, because sometimes I am bombarded with so many distractions that will disrupt my mood and concentration. Sometimes when I was indulged in a distraction, it will drag up to 1 hour period (unfortunately it is normally caused by watching drama). Most importantly is how you change those distractions into actions . I need to restrain myself from all unnecessary matters by considering which activities will benefit me more; giving some rates to those actions before doing it is the best selection for now. Besides that I need to constantly learn new things as technology is always changing . Just look at the gap between the release of the two phones by the world’s third-largest mobile phone maker after Samsung and Nokia; Apple – it is not even a year after the release of iPhone 4s, they have already released iPhone 5. Maybe because of the rapid civilisation, proponents of technological determinisms make a strong case for letting self-accelerating technologies to follow their own life cycle. So as an engineer-to-be, I need to keep myself up-to-date with the current technologies – since an engineer needs to have accuracy and vigour. Hopefully, by watching documentaries or educational channels in the television, for instance Mythbuster and Top Gear, they deepen my understandings on how the situation is on the current world.
Being an engineer needs me to work not only with machines but with people too. There are a lot of surveys made by different kind of companies reveal that apart from a flying colours result, employers are looking for someone who does well on communicate articulately on both writing and verbal forms – or sometime is called as interpersonal skills. The ability to communicate effectively, builds rapport, persuade people of your position or ideas without alienating them, get along with a wide variety of people, be an effective contributor on teams, and leads team to achieve exceptional results – this is what the term soft skills or interpersonal skills mean. Engineer is not someone who only stuffing their life with machines but they need to know how to deal with people. But, seems like at first this was the hardest things to do – communicate with local student with British slang is easier said than done. Truthfully, to seize the understandings given by the lecturer in a class need me to spare some great efforts. So I take same actions by watching same British TV Shows to improve my capability in listening and conveying messages to others. Yet, it is still in the to-do list, the time spent for watching TV shows is fixed (normally when I am having my lunch or dinner). Furthermore, I am actively involved in Table Tennis Club which predominantly by local student; so sometimes I initiated a simple conversation to practise my communication skills. As for social skills I am grateful that I was able to improve my interpersonal skills when I was in a Board of Prefect in my secondary school. I learned how to deal with personal problems, anger and dissatisfaction within the student ranks; plus within a team environment I acquired the skills to lead others and motivate them when they are in their dead end or discouraged – for I know that each individual is a component in the machinery of an organization. One deficient component creates an inefficient machine.
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To sum up, all the confusions about how to become a decent engineer might be resolved if I kept practicing all the steps; whether in communicating with others, time management or continuous learning. The most importing thing for me is not to rush things because even if I am not following all the advices there is no one who will correct them for me. I am not an individual who will only serving the consumers only, but also the government, firms, industries and global environment. The 4 years in university life must be spent wisely so that the result would be great. The dream to become an engineer can be achieve with a proper practical on every day’s matter.
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