My parents’ wishes have always been on my mind: with seven children to provide for, commitments were aplenty and they never had a chance to study at university level. In turn, they hope their kids would achieve the things they themselves couldn’t.

So, you can imagine how happy I am that I have been able to make them proud. I have a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and completed the Master of Project Management (MPM) programme this year.

As I was filling up the application form at Miri Learning Centre in 2018, I worried about how I was going to cope with studying part-time as a working adult. But those worries were eased once I understood how flexible OUM really is. Even though study arrangements changed because of Covid-19, I got a 10% tuition fee waiver for the fully online mode. This motivated me to study even harder!

The knowledge I have gained from the programme has been valuable, especially in ensuring that projects can be completed within the timeline, cost and quality of planned baselines. I now have a better understanding of project lifecycles and can take appropriate action to reduce risks and lead my team successfully.

The MPM curriculum is aligned with A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), and this enables learners like me to prepare for the Project Management Professional certification in the future. On top of my master’s degree, I’ve also obtained the Professional Technologist certification from the Malaysia Board of Technologists in the field of building and construction technology.

As a resident engineer, I provide consultation to contractors and clients during construction projects. I carry out inspections and ensure that building follows specifications and drawings. I lead, assist and guide my subordinates, and resolve technical issues that may arise.

Construction is something that comes with a lot of uncertainties. What we plan for at the feasibility stage may not agree with sampling results, so adjustments are always necessary. It is the resident engineer’s job to solve these problems and provide the best options and solutions.

I’ve also become a role model to my peers! Three of my colleagues and friends have enrolled at OUM, and I’m happy to play a part in helping others improve their lives through education too.

Now that I have my MPM, I hope to get a PhD in project management. I enjoy my work in the construction industry, and hope to teach one day, as I believe the academic background and industry experience I have will be useful to others. I believe in grabbing every opportunity that comes my way and I’m constantly challenging myself to become a better person.

Today, I’m proud to be an engineer, a skilled project manager, and role model to others.

Ts. Ho Wee Khoon was born and raised in Bintulu. The youngest of seven children, Ho is 29 years old and currently lives and works as a resident engineer in Bintulu.