Back here, I have this sense of freedom to be in control of my work life and simply be able to carry out my plans of saving for the future.
Ahmad Faiz is currently a process engineer in the R & D department of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors Sdn Bhd where he is involved in plasma related projects such as process qualification study for LED packages, plasma laboratory set up and production support for plasma related issues. Hailed from the Malaysian East coast of Kelantan, he has since proceeded to study overseas in Germany while his parents have made Selangor their home.
When prompted to tell us his story of how he ended up here in Penang and OSRAM, he warned us of a long story. And the long story it was, or rather a long journey for Faiz to acquire his early education and thereafter a degree in Mechatronic Engineering from Germany which evidently helped to land him a role in OSRAM, a German-based company here in Penang.
His tertiary education started from his A-levels of 2 years in MARA Institute of Technology Selangor inclusive of a year in the German Malaysian Institute (Practical Industrial Training program ). This was followed by an 8 months preparatory course in Carl Duisberg Centre, Dortmund, Germany. The next 6 years at the Aachen University of Applied Science, Germany completed his journey to a degree in Mechatronics Engineering.
Since starting his work experience as an intern in OSRAM, he was subsequently taken in as a full-fledged employee. Faiz had long set his sights on Penang as he felt that Penang has many German companies from where he could kick-start his career with the advantage of having studied and lived for 6 years in Germany.
Remaining in Germany after his graduation was never an option as he had planned to return to Malaysia to contribute to the country, by being part of the highly skilled, knowledge-based generation of professionals much needed by the country. He stressed that he was not tied to any contract to return to serve the country once he graduated, instead he said that it was inevitable that he landed in Penang as here he had the most opportunities as compared to Kuala Lumpur, especially the high numbers of foreign investors in the semiconductor industry. He felt that this, coupled with a highly competitive environment will benefit professionals like him who are looking for rapid self-improvement and career development.
“There’s no place like home” was his answer to comparisons of working in Germany and Penang. In his situation, Faiz feels there is not much different to be based in Penang as he is always in touch with his counterparts in Germany, either via emails, teleconferences or the regular visits between the offices. He feels that the weather and food which he missed so much, has always been an attraction to his German friends and in fact, in Germany many restaurants offer Asian food, which is a delicacy and expensive. The infrastructure in Penang especially in internet services is improving and he believes will be catching up with KL and the rest of the world soon. He notes that even the bus transport has improved tremendously over the years that he was away.
Another significant comparison he made was the fact that during Ramadhan this time of year, the fasting calendar in Germany would have had him starting Sahur at 3:00 am and breaking fast at 9:00 pm. For this reason, he is happy to note that he is back home where this significant work-life balance should never be taken for granted by him and every other Muslim living here in Penang.