Can a female make it big in the male-dominated Aerospace domain? Nurul Rasyiqah is someone who will not take “no” for an answer. And indeed, she is well on her way to making a mark in the Aerospace sphere. She shares her experience…
Should I go to a JC or Polytechnic?
Which course should I choose?
Is the school near to my home?
These are the questions that every single Sec 4E/5NA student will ponder over after they receive their ‘O’ level results.
For me, I decided to enrol in Temasek Polytechnic (TP) as it is the one and only Polytechnic in the East! Besides – and perhaps more importantly – I was keen to enrol in an Aerospace diploma course, as I’ve always wanted to be a Licensed Aircraft Engineer (LAE). It’s my dream to be with the planes. And TP is the only polytechnic certified by CAAS as a SAR-147 Approved Maintenance Training Organisation (AMTO), which means I could get direct credits to shorten my professional apprenticeship later on! It also means that CAAS has audited and checked the Aerospace courses in TP and certified that these courses have met certain stringent standards. Confirmed, chop!
The bottom line is: an Aerospace diploma from TP will be worth much more in employers’ eyes, than similar Aerospace diplomas from other local polytechnics.
But during JAE, when I looked thru the JAE booklet, my whole world collapsed. I was totally devastated. That’s because I had an ‘O’ level aggregate of 19 points, which means I’m way, way, off the minimum aggregate needed to secure a place in an Aerospace diploma course in TP. I kept thinking to myself, why did I not study harder during the ‘O’ levels? I felt really pressurised at that point of time. Thankfully, I visited the JAE counselling booths at TP during the JAE period and I came to know about the Common Engineering Programme (CEP).
CEP allows us to stream into various different diplomas after our first year! And it has a cut-off point (LAS) of about 20+, which suits me fine! So after I enter CEP, I promised myself that I would study hard and stream into one of the Aerospace diplomas offered by TP.
Of course, I fulfilled that promise to myself. To cut the long story short, I eventually graduated with a Diploma in Aerospace Electronics in May 2015.
After I got my diploma, I joined Hawker Pacific Asia Pte Ltd as a Junior Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. Here, I perform maintenance tasks such as the inspection, repair, modification and testing of aircraft. I’m still basically a trainee learning on the job from the Licensed Aircraft Engineer. But, eventually, after about 2.5 years of training, assuming all goes well, I will be getting my LAE licence!
It’s a long road ahead. But I am determined to stay in the course to fulfil my dreams. Being an LAE is a heavy responsibility, because you are accountable for the serviceability of the aircraft and the safety of everyone in it. But, to me, this job creates a challenge for me with a bit of exciting segments!
You might think, why does a girl want to be an engineer or even worse, to be in the male-dominated Aerospace field? Well, the answer is… To attract all the guys, and so that all the guys can pamper me! Nope, I was just joking!
Girls or boys, everyone is equal! Different people will have different dreams! As long as you have the heart and will to achieve them, you should just go for it! No matter where you go, there are bound to be people who might put you down. But do not be bothered by these people. You should just push on and do it for yourself, not for them!
After all, joining CEP, and then AEL, I have absolutely no regrets. They have prepared me well for the working world. Most importantly, I am well on my way to fulfilling my dream or becoming a Licensed Aircraft Engineer.
Thank you TP, for opening the doors for me, and equipping me well to proceed along the journey to success.
Lots of love,
Flashback: Nurul (arrowed) with her Aerospace course mates at TP