Into engineering? Siemens’ Project Engineer shares his top advice

Are you an aspiring engineer, or a student of engineering with great hopes for an exciting and fulfilling career in the field? If this is you, then you’ve probably already thought of prestigious firms to work for once you snag that degree. While reputation and prestige are indeed attractive factors that will draw you towards a particular engineering firm, a dedicated training programme that will really encourage your growth is more important than anything else. You’re going to want to learn on-the-job, and that means getting your hands dirty in engineering projects and the day-to-day life of working with a diverse team.

Gear up with the Engineering Graduate Programme

Siemens, a Germany-based engineering firm, offers graduate engineers such a training programme – the Engineering Graduate Programme (EGP). The global firm is counted among the top graduate recruiters in the UK and remains one of Singapore’s top employer brands, providing local graduates with great learning and working experiences in the past.

Take the case of former EGP trainee Bing Chia, who benefited greatly from the EGP and spoke to us recently about life at Siemens and shared insights on the training programme itself.

According to Bing Chia, the Engineering Graduate Programme runs for 18 months – great news, especially if you’re hoping to offer some serious commitment. “70 to 80% of it is on-the-job training,” he shares. And if you’re someone with an interest in project management, it’ll help to know that Bing Chia decided on the firm because of its “well-established system in the industry for project management.” Under the programme, Bing Chia spent 6 months at three different departments. He recounts his experience there and describes the EGP as “more structured than its competitors.” You can expect to go through the same if you choose Siemens as your training ground – and what better way to learn and beef up your knowledge and skills than being exposed to more than one department?

Immersing in Siemens’ culture and rigour

Bing Chia notes that Siemens promotes a strong culture of ownership and taking charge of your own career. He enjoyed the flexibility of working with his hiring manager to figure out how the EGP’s training could be tailored to best suit his goals. The Engineering Graduate Programme’s impact was essentially dependent on “how much the individual wants to learn,” says Bing Chia. Sounds a lot like great ownership to us!

Not every day is the same as a trainee at Siemens, which could sound like a good thing if you’re someone looking for a fast-paced, enriching training programme to learn from. “Every day is different,” says Bing Chia. “You can spend a week out onsite, a week in the office, half a day at your customer’s place, or half a day at your supplier’s place. It’s quite dynamic, whether it’s about what I do or who I interact with.”

Make a real impact with Siemens through key projects

The Engineering Graduate Programme, Bing Chia shares, also allowed him to work on significant projects including “supporting the Downtown Line project,” where the team worked closely “with LTA and main contractors.” Visiting worksites were eye-opening experiences and served as good exposure, not just to the rigour of a major engineering project but also to other aspects of being an engineer and project manager. Stakeholder interaction was also a part of Bing Chia’s responsibilities at the time. His role in the project proved significant since he wasn’t just observing – he was actively working, too, and had a hand in organising the engineering team and bringing engineering solutions to life. Talk about big responsibilities!

Life at Siemens full-time is as fulfilling as it is hectic, too. Expect to flex not just your knowledge and engineering skills, but also softer skills as you meet with a great variety of people while on the job. “I was given the opportunity to mingle with people from all walks of life,” Bing Chia says, when asked about the great joys of working at Siemens under the EGP. “I don’t just deal with engineers. I get to deal with salespeople and the finance and marketing teams too.”

Bing Chia, now three years in as a Project Engineer under the Building Technologies department, offers sound advice for those hoping to join the programme, aside from possessing a genuine interest in engineering:

“As you work, find a good mentor who takes care of you and your career progression.”

Siemens – a reliable name in engineering

Siemens is trusted in the engineering world for a reason. With humble beginnings as a small workshop in Berlin, Siemens has paved the way to becoming a global powerhouse in electrification, automation and digitalization. Siemens’ partnership with Singapore began in 1908, after establishing a Technical Bureau in search of new business opportunities.

Over the last century, Siemens has helped Singapore to grow into the Lion City it is today and has grown itself as an engineering and technological pioneer. Mention Siemens and people will instantly know you’re talking about something related to innovation and bringing ideas to life.

The EGP serves to develop serious and passionate engineers and offers up an 18-month programme that will teach you everything you need to know – from executing major projects to interacting with various people and stakeholders along the way. If you’re an aspiring engineer with a passion for making things work, then consider exploring your next opportunity with Siemens as an Engineering Graduate Programme trainee today!

Sophia Lee

I used to freelance exclusively for Glints - now I'm a content marketing intern working furiously in the backdrop. Talk to me about writing any time! (Or we could have a serious discussion about video games and e-sports... that's cool too.) Find me on Instagram (@pxtrx)!