IN its efforts to encourage interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, ExxonMobil representatives addressed participants during the inaugural Student Programme held in conjunction with the 19th Asia Oil and Gas Conference (AOGC) 2017.
ExxonMobil is a primary sponsor of this initiative, designed for 60 Forms Two and Four students from 15 schools from across the country identified by the Education Ministry.
The three-stage programme enabled the students to further enhance their knowledge of STEM subjects through hands-on activities and lecture sessions by industry specialists on topics such as robotics, programming and coding as well as soft skills such as marketing and presentation.
Each school was represented by a team of four students who attended a camp-in at Petrosains to receive their first brief on their tasks. They were subsequently given the basic equipment, guidelines and requirements required to construct Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles (ROVs).
The ROVs were later put through a series of challenges to determine their workability.
At the final stage held during the AOGC 2017, the students were then given a platform to pitch to the judges, where they applied their STEM knowledge and practised their soft skills by defending and selling their project ideas.
Prior to the finals, two of ExxonMobil’s young executives, Muhamad Syahril Hussin, an asset manager and Mohamad Hakim Hamid, a wellbore hydraulic modelling engineer addressed the participants and shared the many career paths available in the Oil & Gas sector.
The two spoke about their backgrounds and personal experiences about working in the industry, as well as the importance of soft skills to boost their career development.
“Technical skills are important but soft skills are equally as important because most of your time will be spent working in teams,” said Muhamad Syahril as he spoke about his role and responsibility as an asset manager in charge of one of the company’s offshore fields, Guntong.
“As you grow into a leadership role, non-technical skills such as communication, problem-solving skills and the ability to handle difficult situations will help a person to excel,” he said, adding that these non-technical skills can be applied to any role in the working environment and even in one’s personal life.
Mohamad Hakim, who works in ExxonMobil’s Global Enginee-ring Support Office, stressed the importance of English skills, and shared his struggles during his childhood to grasp the language, growing up in a non-English speaking environment.
“I come from a very modest background in Kelantan where I was born and raised. I studied Math and Science in Bahasa Malaysia throughout my school years, and my exposure to the English language was limited.
“I was not confident to speak in English but I did my best to learn and practice conversing. Although I was afraid of making mistakes, I was more determined to improve,” he said.
Mohamad Hakim’s advice is to make the effort and be willing to work for it in order to achieve something.
ExxonMobil’s support for the Student Programme at the 19th AOGC represents its latest initiative in the company’s ongoing contributions towards developing the nation’s talents.
Eight finalists were shortlisted for the pitch, with three emerging as winners.
Coming out on top was The Malay College Kuala Kangsar who won a cash prize of RM10,000 followed by Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Gombak and Sekolah Tun Fatimah who were first and second runners-up. The schools won cash prizes of RM5,000 and RM3,000 respectively.