Helping people move
Managing KCRC projects satisfies engineer's interest in railways
Young Post: How did you get your current job?
Mok: I joined the graduate trainee programme offered by the KCRC after I graduated in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic University. The first half of my training was basically job rotation. I was seconded to various departments which allowed me to become familiar with the daily operations of the corporation.
I was also seconded to the operations department and to different corporate support units such as procurement, human resources, finance and IT. After that, I chose to stay in the design section of the rolling stock department.
YP: Why did you choose this as your career?
M: I've been interested in railways since I was in secondary school. Because it is my interest, I put more effort in my job.
I also got offers from other companies after I graduated, but I took this job. I think this is the right job for me.
YP: What are your duties, and what is your daily routine?
M: My role could be considered as an assistant engineer. I help professional engineers in managing various rolling stock projects, including managing contractors, design evaluation, progress monitoring, site supervision, testing and commissioning.
What I do now is a bit different from what I studied at school.
At university, our designs did not have to emphasise safety too much. But in reality, safety and reliability are the first things we consider. We can't just apply academic theory to the designs; we need to modify them. Frankly, I was not really used to that at the beginning.
YP: What qualifications are needed for the job?
M: You don't have to have any work experience to join most of the graduate trainee programmes. All you need is a degree in engineering.
YP: What qualities should an engineer have?
M: I think communication skills and active participation are two important qualities that an engineer trainee should possess.
We rotate among various departments throughout our training and meet a lot of people - not only engineers, but also shop floor maintenance staff, operations frontline staff or even senior manager. If you ask and participate more, you will definitely gain more from the training.
YP: Are you happy with your job?
M: During the first and second years, I was more of a learner. In the third year, I had more opportunities to handle different projects. Since then, the job has become more satisfying.
YP: Any advice for people interested in the field?
M: You have to be comitted to your job. There are hundreds of thousands of people commuting by railway every day. Safety is a really significant issue, as are reliability and user satisfaction.
Name: Steven Mok Hiu-fung
Occupation: Graduate engineer, KCRC