No Experience, No Sweat: How This Technician Made the Switch to a Different Field

Posted 2yr(s) ago Reading Time: A few minutes

What led you to join the semiconductor industry when you studied chemical?

I chanced upon the job opening for production technician at UTAC and thought it looked interesting, so why not try something new? I was curious and wanted to find out more about what the semiconductor industry was like. Actually, there were other job offers with higher pay, but I turned them down because UTAC was the most interesting to me.

Is it difficult then, since you lack experience in this industry?

Yes, it is! But I always try to tell myself that I am learning something new everyday and my colleagues have been very kind to help me in any way that they can. I try to ask questions whenever I don’t know something and take down notes for my own learning. Every day when I get into work, I will have many questions for them. After the first few months, I was already quite familiar with the processes. 

What is a typical day for you like?

My shift is in the evening and I usually go in earlier around 6.30pm to prepare. At 7pm, I will be at the production line, with my jumpsuit and everything, ready to start work. Typically, I will have to make sure that the machines are running well so that there is no disruption to the production line. My shifts are 12 hours long, but I don’t mind the late hours especially as there are no bosses around during the evening shifts! (haha…) But that doesn’t mean I can slack. Our bosses can monitor the machines remotely from home so if any machine is down for too long, they will be alerted, and will send a senior technician down to fix it if we can’t resolve the problem ourselves.

Is shift work tough?

It’s okay as I work 4 days and get 3 days off, so I do get enough time to rest. Staying focused and disciplined really helped me to improve and be better at what I do. I think the opportunity to learn something new every day really motivates me to press on.

What do you do on your off days?

On weekends, I’ll catch up with my friends. They are very accommodating of my schedule and will let me get more sleep if I need it. Otherwise, I like to bake cupcakes, take care of my dogs or clean the house as my dogs often make a mess! Sometimes, I’ll also stay up to chat with my twin sister. She studied the same course as me in ITE and is now working in a chemical company.

Understand that you work and study at the same time, how is that going for you?

After joining UTAC for a year, the company encouraged me to take up the ITE Work-Learn Technical Diploma, which is a ‘work-study’ programme to help ITE graduates like me learn by doing and deepen our skillsets. Currently, I am learning about wire bonds and the skills I’ve learnt are actually helpful for my job in the future. 

Working and studying at the same time can be quite stressful and sometimes I’ll feel lost. But I’ve learnt to manage my time well by being focused in school and at work. In school, my teachers and classmates are also there to give me support when there are things I don’t understand.

What do you like best about your job?

My colleagues! UTAC is very fun. At work, when we have our free time, we will hang out and chit chat. Outside of work, we will plan barbeques or attend one another’s housewarming parties. I’ve made some close friends at UTAC. Also, I treasure the opportunity to learn from my more experienced colleagues who have helped me a lot to overcome challenges at work.

It’s quite rare to see women in engineering, and you’re one of the few female production technicians, what is it like for you?

To me there is no difference. I get along with all my colleagues. We learn and grow together so it’s a really good environment for everyone, man or woman! 

Any words of advice for your juniors at ITE?

Work hard and you will achieve your goals. Have a positive mindset and do not be afraid of failure. - Kanene Wong, UTAC

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