I felt like it was yesterday when I started my first online class in Engineering Management (MSc), and definitely, it was a unique year with so many challenges. Since the course started, I have been elected by my supervision group to act as team leader, which I have discovered new abilities and developed many skills, including leadership, emotional intelligence and most importantly, the capability to adapt to changes. All these skills have given me confidence and boosted my expertise to set up for the next level of my career plan in the industrial sector.
I feel incredibly confident with these skills by being a team leader for a group consisting of 6 students with different cultures and genders. It has given me the unique opportunity to improve my skills and learn more about keeping control of it. I have gained essential qualities of being a good leader through these experiences.
Some of the valuable leadership traits that I obtained and strengthened are: how to be a better listener, to have more patience, to not be afraid of constructive criticism, to be outspoken, and to be a problem solver. In addition, I learned from being a leader that I should encourage people to concentrate on what needs to be done. Plus, we all must contribute so that everyone will feel proud that the goal was accomplished.
During COVID19 times, adapting to changes and being resilient is one of the challenging skills that I have improved. Because this term was unique and the environment surrounding us is frequently changing, and learning this new ability has given me more strength and reliability to keep control when things dramatically change.
With the fluctuation of study modality in this year, between online and on-campus and the challenges of sudden lockdown during the term, I have learned how to be resilient and quickly find an alternative solution to adapt to the changes. For instance, when the lockdown started during the middle of the term, as a team leader, I quickly acted and notified my team that we are changing to Zoom meetings twice a week, and I have added some fun activities to make it sounds more realistic and add more productivity to the team.
I have learnt that a pivotal element to leading a team effectively with different genders and cultures is to establish trust among my team and keep them motivated. This also includes learning how to motivate my team when they are down or losing trust because something has gone wrong or failed, along with learning how to shield my team from interruptions or demotivation, especially during COVID19. I am very confident with developing this ability now after I have learnt good techniques to deal with any team when they are diverse with ideas, acting emotionally and when the team is demotivated or mentally unwell.
Studying for my MSc in Engineering Management has significantly inspired me and given me more confidence to apply for a management role. I am now more aware of how to overcome challenges and be more resilient. Now I am looking for a new opportunity and challenging managerial positions, one that will make the best use of existing abilities and knowledge to boost my career and professional development.
To sum up, I believe I can withstand any challenges I will face and make the most of the knowledge and experience gained through this Masters course. Although in the future, some professions may demand us to work remotely, as a result, this MSc has prepared me to work both online and face-to-face. I will contribute my talents and efforts to become a worthy leader in future. I know that all of my goals will remain dreams if I do not implement them. Therefore, I am committed to working hard and chasing all opportunities that could help me make my goals a reality.