Engineering Students/Graduates in Australia, Singapore & Hong Kong

This psychographic profile includes information on their frustrations or challenges, hopes or desires, joys, fears, preferred forms and sources of information, hangout places, and a day in their life. Engineers in Australia are frustrated about the circulating misinformation in the Australian community, engineers in Singapore are frustrated with the lack of job security while engineers in Hong Kong are frustrated with project delays.

Engineering Students/Graduates in Australia

1. Frustrations or Challenges

  • Australian engineers tend to be frustrated with tensioning wires when fixing or building fences. This frustration led Richard Fox, an Australian engineer, to find a better system that can address this frustration.
  • Fox added, “The hardest part of developing new innovations is getting them to market, but our commitment is to always ensure we produce high-quality tools at an acceptable price.”
  • Another source of frustration is the existing cynicism and circulating misinformation in the Australian community. A mining engineer in Australia said, “If I were CEO for a day I would like to kick start a campaign to generate greater support for the resources industry by educating the Australian public on the benefits of mining for our country, both materially and economically. There is so much negativity and so many myths floating around, but people believe it because there is no one telling them otherwise.”

2. Hopes, Dreams, Desires

  • Australian engineer Richard Fox said, “I have a family background in cattle and dairy production on Queensland’s Darling Downs and, coupled with my engineering skills, I am keen to keep working on finding efficient, safe, and cost-effective solutions to common labor-intensive tasks.”
  • Izabel Dickinson, a mining engineer in Australia, has this burning desire to discover more of what the world has yet to offer. Dickinson said, “In 10 years’ time I would hope I have tried out at least one other commodity, worked overseas, and developed myself into a managerial position.”
  • There’s also an engineer whose desire is to be a subject matter expert in his field and he intends to do whatever he can to achieve that in the future.

3. Joys

  • One of the joys of an Australian engineer is seeing their parents invent ideas to make life better. Richard Fox said, “I always enjoyed seeing my dad continually invent ideas and systems to make his farming jobs easier.”
  • Nicholas Rodwell, an electrical engineer in Australia, has been filled with a fascination for physics and math ever since he was young.

4. Preferred Sources of Information

  • A mining engineer in Australia looks to her grandmother who is her role model when in need of advice. Dickinson said, “My Great Nana always knew what she wanted and how she would get there. She encouraged me to go after what I want by reminding me that, at the end of the day, we are responsible for our own happiness. And she lived to 100 so I think she knew what she was talking about!”
  • Their mentors and colleagues are also preferred sources of information. One electrical engineer said, “My two mentors are really passionate, knowledgeable people who are very keen to share their experiences. A highlight has been the opportunity to unleash a hoard of technical questions, no matter how stupid they might seem, and having them answered without judgment. I’ve also learned from my colleagues about communicating with impact and practicing patience.”

5. A Day in their Life

  • Sanam Misthry, a graduate engineer at BHP in Australia, starts her day by getting ready for work and having breakfast. When she arrives at her workplace, she normally gets changed into her PPE and stays on her desk to check emails. She also chats with her colleagues to talk about their weekend. After that, she puts on her safety gear before she makes her way to the mine to collect and analyze some data. She would then go back to her desk to check and answer emails that need immediate attention.
  • During lunchtime, Misthry would eat her packed lunch and socialize with her colleagues. She then goes back to work after lunch. In the afternoon, she would usually exercise or play sport. After work, she eats dinner with colleagues. Before she sleeps, she would usually catch up with friends and family, read, watch Netflix, or surf the internet. She sleeps at 9 pm and wakes up at around 5 am.

6. Preferred Form of Communication

  • Email is a preferred form of communication. Aside from Sanam Misthy, Tahereh Noohi also starts her work by checking on her email. Tahereh Noohi is also an engineer who’s working in BHP, a multinational mining company in Australia.

7. Hang Out Places

  • Engineers in Australia normally spend the whole day at work but before going home, they would spend some time exercising. Sanam Misthry would exercise or play sports while Bushra Ahmed, a graduate electrical engineer, would usually spend one hour in the gym or in a yoga class. Both of them also spend time on Netflix before sleeping.

Engineering Students/Graduates in Singapore

1. Frustrations or Challenges

  • Engineers in Singapore are frustrated with the low pay that they’re getting in local engineering jobs.
  • Also, engineering graduates believe that there is no job security for them in Singapore because they would have to constantly upskill in order to stay relevant. An engineer in Singapore said, “In spite of our government’s drive towards moving into higher-value sectors, the labor supply, and demand situation, prospects and job security for engineers still don’t look fantastic nor attractive.”
  • One chemical engineering graduate in Singapore lost his interest in engineering because of the potential lack of social life and the long hours of work in obscure facilities.
  • There’s also the perception in Singapore that engineering is a dirty job. One engineering graduate said, “There was a perception that while engineering was a professional degree, it was viewed as an outdoor, dirty job.”

2. Hopes, Dreams, Desires

  • Many engineering graduates in Singapore end up choosing a job outside the engineering industry. They are drawn by the attractive pay, a more flexible working arrangement, as well as career prospects in emerging sectors.
  • Top engineers in Singapore usually become public servants or they go into finance. Engineers’ salaries can triple when they become managers that’s why engineers who are in local engineering jobs work towards getting MBAs so they can become managers.
  • Learning a foreign language is also a desire. A software engineer in Singapore normally studies a foreign language through the Duolingo app on his phone during breaks.

3. Joys

  • One of their joys is to be able to help others like them. One software engineer in Singapore said, “Growing up, I’ve always been interested in web technology and the possibilities of connecting people through the internet. Now, I’m glad to be given the responsibility of building a platform that helps people like me to find meaningful jobs, doing the same thing I do.”

4. Preferred Form of Communication

  • Written communication is a preferred form of communication as expressed in their frequent use of emails and company chat groups such as Slack. Most engineers start their work by checking and responding to emails. Verbal communication is also a preferred form as they enjoy chatting with colleagues before work or during meal times.

5. Preferred Sources of Information

  • One of their preferred sources of information is the tech conference videos. There are not as many tech conferences in Singapore as they hope to have. According to a software engineer at NodeFlair Singapore, these videos “usually feature a lot of interesting knowledge that can be applied to work, or just for plain fun.”
  • Hacker News is also a preferred source of information for technology news.

6. Hang Out Places

  • The food court near their office or workplaces is where they usually hang out. This is where they eat their breakfast or other meals with their colleagues.
  • Their office common area is also a hangout place especially during and after lunch. This is where they would usually relax and share fun discussions or jokes. In the afternoon, this is where they have tea or coffee.

7. A Day in their Life

  • Michael Cheng is a lead software engineer at GovTech or the Government Technology Agency of Singapore. His day starts by preparing to go to the office and checking on the Telegram chat group that he has with his colleagues. Then he grabs breakfast at the food court near his office before entering his office building. He starts work by checking his computer and attending their morning team meeting. The morning is then spent discussing and solving issues with his team. At lunchtime, he eats with his colleagues in their office pantry where they would usually discuss their weekend and share personal stories. He then continues with work until 6 pm and after which he attends a meeting with other developers and IT professionals for his passion project.
  • They usually have some passion projects or passion endeavors after work. Another software engineer in Singapore goes to a hip-hop dance class after work.

Engineering Students/Graduates in Hong Kong

1. Frustrations or Challenges

2. Hopes, Dreams, Desires

  • According to the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, one civil engineer in Hong Kong is hoping “not only to assist developing countries through short-term volunteer services but more importantly, to impart professional engineering knowledge to local residents and encourage them to apply what they have learned so as to improve their quality of life in the long run.”

3. Fears and Joys

  • Voluntary work has been one of their joys. There are several engineers who have served in various volunteer work as well as international rescue organizations. Some engineers who are affiliated with the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers have “assisted in engineering work and logistics support and solved various difficulties encountered in rescue operations.”
  • According to Cannix Yau of Yahoo News, in 2018 “members of Hong Kong’s top engineering body have expressed fears that industry professionals could face criminal sanctions over revisions to project designs amid the fallout from a construction scandal at the city’s rail operator.” The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers discussed at that time the “risk of procedures being tightened and criminal liability being spelled out for engineers seeking government approval for alterations.”

4. Preferred Form of Communication

  • Email is also the most often used form of communication not just for engineers but for engineering students as well. They normally start the day by reading last night’s emails and responding to them. This is also where engineering students download their pre-lecture videos or handouts from professors.

5. Preferred Sources of Information

  • Engineering students in Hong Kong normally look to their professors, reference books, or handouts as sources of information. They also discuss problems with their peers.

6. Hang Out Places

  • During this pandemic, engineering students in Hong Kong just stay at home and would usually hangout through a teams call or video call.
  • Before the pandemic, engineering students would usually hang out in study places. Study places are normally at maximum occupancy every hour of the day. They value their education more than their relationships or social life.

7. A Day in their Life

  • A software engineer in Hong Kong starts his day with the usual morning routine and by reading last night’s emails. Then there’s the 50-minute commute to work before starting work at 8am. He would also grab some breakfast and eat it at the office. His work involves a lot of coding and checking on bug lists so that’s what her mornings constitute. He eats lunch at a restaurant near the office and he returns to the office to play an online game before the lunch break ends. He then continues working in the afternoon and after work, he goes to a yoga studio near his office. After that, he goes home and eats dinner with his family.
  • An engineering student in Hong Kong would talk to friends before going to sleep. One materials engineering student said, “I take some time to relax, have a cup of tea, talk to old friends, or even do some night-time baking before I go to sleep.”
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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