In touch with industry


By PHILIP AUGUSTINE

ONE of the first lessons many fresh graduates learn upon entering the employment market is the fact that there are more job seekers than jobs available.  

In a highly competitive environment, any extra skills that a graduate possesses will give him an edge over the others. Realising the need to empower students with the necessary experience that will give them a boot-up in the field, Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd offers both undergraduate and postgraduate internships in the semiconductor industry.  

As one of Malaysia's wafer foundry service providers, Silterra not only lets students work with advanced technology, but also conducts training, education and continuous learning for both staff and interns.  

As a result of its good partnerships with local universities, Silterra offers students in engineering, physics and chemistry a chance to become interns for a period of two-and half to six months.  

LIGHT YEARS AHEAD: (from left) Alfy, Soon Aik, Izaham, Michelle and Azrin pose in their bunny suits in the cleanroom of Silterra Malaysia where they are currently internship programmes.

“The undergraduate and postgraduate internships are targeted at recognised university students and fresh graduates who have the desire and aptitude to undergo practical training in the wafer fabrication field,” says the company's training and development section head, Lena Tan.  

She explains that the undergraduate internship provides hands-on experience using state-of-the-art technology. Students will be assigned to specific modules while working on related projects. Students will be paid an allowance of RM500 a month during the internship.  

The postgraduate programme is targeted at research in any field of interest relevant to the industry, and students will conduct full-time Masters By Research at Silterra for a minimum of 1 year (not applicable for PhD candidates) with the project title to be jointly agreed by Silterra and the university. Postgraduate interns will be paid a monthly allowance of RM2,100.  

“My lecturer encouraged me to do an internship at Silterra as it would give me good practical training with a high-tech company,” says Alfy Merican Ahmad Hambaly, a final year Electrical Engineering student from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) who will finish his internship at the end of the month. 

“Before I came to Silterra, I was really shy but being able to talk to the senior engineers and ask them a lot of questions has improved my confidence,” adds the 24-year-old, saying that regular Toastmaster sessions offered in the company have also improved his public speaking skills.  

Alfy, who says making new friends is just another incentive of the programme, undergoes training at Silterra's diffusion department together with his coursemate Mohammad Azrin Daud, 26, also from UiTM.  

“It's amazing to see technology in action as we involve ourselves in all the stages of semiconductor manufacturing,” enthuses Mohammad Azrin who has had previous experience as an assistant engineer in Canada. 

For Michelle Wong Poh Ling and Chew Soon Aik, their postgraduate internships turned out to be even better when they were recently employed as Process Integration Engineers for Silterra.  

“Even though we were never bonded to the company, I feel privileged to work in a very conducive learning environment where the latest technology is used,” says Michelle, 26, who completed her Masters in Material Engineering with Universiti Malaya.  

Hoping to be part of Silterra someday, 25-year-old Izahan Syemylona from Universiti Tenaga Nasional is currently working on her thesis to complete her Masters in Engineering.  

“I have developed better analytical skills which contribute a lot to my research based work. I like the hands-on environment that allows you to fully utilise what you have learnt.” 

Other programmes at Silterra include field trips to the company's main site in Kulim Hi-tech park, Kedah. In addition, the company also launched the Young Malaysian Graduate Programme in 2000 

Under this programme, Silterra hires top Malaysian engineering graduates to be sent to LSI Logic, Gresham, USA for one year of training.  

During internship, a training plan is prepared for the candidate. Silterra monitors the progress of the graduates through weekly and monthly reports and also during performance appraisals. 

For more information on the internship programmes, visit Silterra's website at www.silterra.com or contact Lena at 04-4014172  

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