Class of 2020: Resilience Amid Tough Times

Two graduates seized opportunities to upskill and gain industry experience through the SGUnited Traineeship Programme at SIT.


Graduating amid a pandemic is daunting and no mean feat, but the passion in our SITizens to realise their dreams has helped build grit to push through tough times. Two recent graduates, who have seized opportunities to upskill and gain industry experience through the SGUnited Traineeship Programme at SIT, share their experience in this instalment of the mini series.


Muhammad Faiezin Bin Osman, SIT-Newcastle University Chemical Engineering (Class of 2020)

"Passion is a strong motivator for success. It's okay if you're struggling in your studies or job search. You just need to keep on trying and hold on to that passion," said Muhammad Faiezin Bin Osman (left), 25, who recently graduated from the SIT-Newcastle University Chemical Engineering programme.

Graduating amid a pandemic was daunting, but that did not stop Faiezin from staying positive that he would find his way into the working world. After job hunting for a couple of months, he decided to give the SGUnited Traineeship at SIT a try. The position of Research Officer with the Chemical Engineering and Food Technology cluster required programming skills in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), which he lacked. Faiezin gamely took on the challenge to upskill himself and signed up for online courses in VBA and data analytics, and successfully secured the traineeship position.

Since the start of his traineeship with SIT in October 2020, Faiezin together with his supervisors, Asst Prof Cheow Wean Sin and A/Prof Tham Ming Tan, has been working on an energy efficiency research for Abbott Manufacturing Singapore. The project, funded by the MOE Translational R&D and Innovation Fund (TIF), aims to help Abbott improve and optimise processes.

Faiezin's supervisors were quickly able to trust him to work on tasks independently. Impressed by his positivity, work ethic, and determination, they decided to offer him a full-time position at SIT. "Faiezin is always ready to take on challenges and delivers quality work on time. It was an easy decision to offer him a conversion from a trainee to a full-time Research Engineer. We're glad that he accepted our offer," says Asst Prof Cheow.

Apart from honing his technical skills, the traineeship also enabled Faiezin to practice essential skills such as handling clients, project management, and time management.

Moving forward, Faiezin is keen to continue growing with the university and hopes to contribute more to applied research projects in the field of chemical engineering.

Tan Yin Li, SIT-Massey University Food Technology (Class of 2020)

Following the completion of her undergraduate studies, Tan Yin Li (pictured, center) decided to keep her options open amid the challenging economic climate, and applied for the SGUnited Traineeship at SIT. She secured a placement at the university's upcoming FoodPlant, a​​ shared production facility for small batch production that supports innovation within the industry.​​​

Throughout her six months as a trainee at FoodPlant, Yin Li helped set up the facility and was involved in the procurement of the facility's equipment, which included drafting of technical specifications. This provided her with a good knowledge of the various equipment she was involved in procuring. Yin Li also had the opportunity to attend training courses on ISO22000 Food Safety Management System, ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System, as well as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). With the training, she helped in the HACCP study of freeze dried products. Her supervisors were impressed by Yin Li's resourcefulness, and her ability to work both independently and collaboratively.

"Not only is Yin Li an efficient worker, she is also a role model to her peers by constantly demonstrating an exemplary work attitude and performance," said Fiona Lee, Deputy Head, FoodPlant,​ SIT.

Yin Li has since secured a full-time role at a local R&D start-up as an Associate Scientist, and will be involved in conducting trials for healthier food alternatives. This is a scope that aligns to her philosophy of advocating healthy consumption.

"I appreciated how the traineeship at SIT had provided a springboard to my career development. The experience has widened my perspectives. It's not every day that I get to be part of a team that is setting up a new facility, and I'm thankful for the opportunity," reflected Yin Li, who is looking forward to contributing to the food technology industry in her new role.

We wish both Faiezin and Yin Li the best in their future endeavours. Stay tuned for the next feature on the 'Class of 2020' mini series for more stories.