Scholarship success stories
01 Apr 2018 | The Star
(From left) Muhammad Musaddiq, Tiew, Puganesan shared their experiences of being Gamuda scholarship recipients.

MEETING her other half was an unexpected bonus for Tiew Lian Sze when she accepted the Gamuda Scholarship.

The contract and commercial (system works) assistant manager had joined Gamuda Bhd in 2011 after receiving the scholarship and met her husband as she was completing a three-year scholarship bond.

“We met in 2015 when we were working in the same department – he was from a different division.

“While it seemed fated for me to find love here, the scholarship also meant a lot to me financially,” said Tiew, 29.

“It reduced my parents’ financial burden and I could concentrate on my studies without having to worry about the expenses,” said the eldest of three siblings, adding that her father is a construction site supervisor while her mother is a housewife.

Tiew is grateful to her father who has been her source of inspiration and motivation since young, sharing his knowledge and experiences with her.

Encouraged by her father to apply for the scholarship, Tiew chose Gamuda because of its reputation as a leading infrastructure development group, and the fact that it offered internship opportunity and guaranteed a job after graduation.

“The management cares for employee development as we are placed under experienced supervisors who guide us on daily responsibilities and career planning.

“Within our organisation, I had a chance to work with experts and expatriates who have accumulated experiences from around the world,” she said, recounting her experience throughout her seven years with the company.

Her proudest achievement, said Tiew, was her involvement in the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line (SBK) from the beginning to the completion of the project.

Currently, she is working on the KVMRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) project.

“In the KVMRT project, Gamuda introduced the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) concept, the first of its kind in the industry, to ensure the successful completion of the MRT project within the predetermined target cost and date.

“This is tremendously challenging and exciting for me,” she said, recalling that systems work was initially totally foreign to her as she had studied building and infrastructure in university.

The same can be said for Puganesan Thiruselvan, 29, who wanted to reduce his family’s burden by applying for scholarships.

The eldest of three boys, Puganesan’s father is an electrical superintendent and his mother, a homemaker.

His efforts paid off when he got first class honours in his diploma studies so he immediately scouted for scholarships available in the market.

Out of the three scholarships offered, he decided on Gamuda because it had many major projects which he was keen to work on.

After completing his degree in Electrical Power Engineering at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Puganesan started his career with Gamuda in the Underground Department as part of the Tunnelling team.

“I expressed my interest in tunnelling during the interview and was glad that my wish was granted.

“I have been with Gamuda Engineering for five years now and have been involved in two mega projects – SBK Line and SSP Line.

“I started off as the only electrical engineer involved in the first Variable Density Tunnel Boring Machine at that time. It was definitely instrumental to my career growth as I managed to learn from global industry experts, including my direct superior who has about 30 years of tunnelling experience.

“It was very challenging physically and mentally, but the hands-on experience played a huge role in helping me climb the career ladder. Today, I’m a senior engineer as well as the assistant plant manager for two underground sites under SSP Line,” he said.

He added that being involved in tender preparations bidding for SSP Line was also another experience which opened up opportunities to work within a bigger ecosystem.

Puganesan admitted that he was experiencing a steep learning curve at the moment, managing mechanical, commercial, contract and human resource aspects in his line of duty, all of which are new to him.

“But it is fun dealing with the challenges, otherwise work life would be boring,” he said with a smile.

Meanwhile, job security prompted 25-year-old Muhammad Musaddiq Abd Manap to apply for the Gamuda Scholarship.

“I had a chance to intern at Gamuda during my semester break which equipped me with knowledge and skills through on-the-job and formal training in preparation for my career,” said the youngest of six siblings.

Muhammad Musaddiq recalled his mother’s constant reminder as a teacher that education was the passport to a better future.

He was offered four scholarships and decided on Gamuda Scholarship to pursue his tertiary studies at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

He took a degree in Civil Engineering and joined Gamuda in 2016 after graduating.

Currently, he is involved in the SSP Line with the Underground section.

Proud to be part of Malaysia’s grand infrastructure projects, Muhammad Musaddiq commended Gamuda for developing young talent.

“Although I joined as a fresh graduate, I was given a co-lead role in planning rather than just executing jobs, which strengthened my problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

“I was also given the opportunity to go to China for training on the tunnel boring machine last year,” he said, adding that Gamuda stressed on employee training such as language enhancement, people management and stress management.

“Gamuda Scholarship is not like typical scholarship programmes which only provide financial aid during the study period.

“It develops our talent and pushes us toward becoming high potential employees,” he explained.

He is currently attached to the Tunnel Department as a tunnel engineer and his job scope includes project management, safety and health, environment, quality management, planning and commercial.

“I am developing my skill sets on a daily basis as working in Gamuda provides a lot of room for growth through training and development,” he said, adding that he is aiming for a senior role in five years’ time.

Established in 1976, Gamuda Bhd is a leading infrastructure development group in engineering and construction, property development and infrastructure concessions.

Since 1996, Gamuda has given out 345 scholarships with a total value of RM39.6mil. Last year alone saw 33 scholarships with a total value of RM5.6mil.

Also a leading builder and operator of major intra-urban highways in the Klang Valley, it has completed more than 40 large-scale civil engineering projects in Malaysia, South-East Asia and the Middle East.

Currently, the company is building the nation’s second MRT Line, having successfully delivered Malaysia’s first MRT Line last July.

Gamuda Land, Gamuda Bhd’s property arm, has a proven track record in delivering innovative, sustainable towns through superior master planning, focusing on connecting communities with nature across its multiple developments in Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Australia.

Further exemplifying its focus on innovation, talent building and sustainable growth, Yayasan Gamuda supports programmes to transform, empower and sustain deserving individuals and disadvantaged communities in the country.

These include scholarships to worthy but financially strapped students, building homes for the orang asli community in rural areas, empowering the differently-abled via a Deaf In Business Cafe at Damansara Perdana as well as training individuals on the Autism spectrum at their Enabling Academy facility.