Updated: Jul 6
Financial stability, job security, and professional prestige. Most often regarded as the practical choice, these are what usually come to mind when discussing STEM. While Malaysian leaders affirm that it is vital for STEM majors to increase to 60% of all students, is it really the right choice for the majority of students? Co-executive director of Charisma Movement, Jaspreet Kaur gives her take as she shares all about being a Chemical Engineering major.
Why did you choose to major in Chemical Engineering?
Actually, I really enjoyed chemistry even way back in school.
When I got rejected to do medicine, the second option that immediately came into my mind was engineering. This is because I have a brother who studied engineering and I always loved the things he used to build.
How much has your major prepared you for what you would like to do in the future?
In terms of what my job scope will be, I think it has prepared me well. But in terms of job force in general, I don’t think my major has prepared me.
How useful is your degree? Do you think it was worth the price?
It is useful as it covers such a wide prospect of job fields. For example, after graduating from Chemical Engineering, I could work in the F&B industry, oil & gas industry, cosmetics industry, and etc., basically in any industry that involves chemical processing.
To me, yes it is definitely worth the price because I really enjoy learning my major and I’m quite curious to see how I would apply it in the industry.
How did you know that your university was the right fit for you?
It’s mainly because of the environment. I’m a person who finds a peaceful and secluded environment more conducive for studying.
Besides that, my seniors who have studied there have guided me and informed me a lot about my chosen university. I don’t regret making the choice to study here at Manipal International University. I was actually in another university before this (Monash), and I suffered badly there as I was so discriminated against by my classmates and even the lecturer. So, coming to MIU really made me feel more comfortable.
If you could go back in time to pick another major, would you? Why/why not?
Yes, 100%. This is only because during the pandemic I discovered who I am, what I truly like, and how I could use my strengths in the things I was doing. I exposed myself a lot to projects, webinars, and organisations during the pandemic, giving me an opportunity to discover and learn different skills. Due to this, I feel like I would have done so much better majoring in Public Relations rather than Chemical Engineering.
What do you think more people should know about majoring in Chemical Engineering?
It has NOTHING to do with chemistry. Don’t be fooled by the name. It is no doubt one of the hardest engineering fields, but it is fun to learn it only if you are mentally ready and have the passion for it.
Is there any advice you would like to give those who are starting out in your major?
I don’t think this applies to just my major, but generally when choosing any major, don’t simply choose it because you’re forced to or because you have no choice.
You always have a choice.
I would suggest cross-checking your choice of major and the job market, see if it’s in demand and how sustainable it is in the next five years. Next, go through what are the contents taught in the major and most importantly, ask people around about the major, be it your seniors, family members, or even teachers. This will give you a clearer picture of what you might be committing yourself into and to ensure that you are making the right choice.
Jaspreet Kaur (@spongebob_jkc)
Chemical Engineering, Manipal International University
CM Journalist 21/22
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