The value of a UWA degree

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UWA and me

I joined the Oil & Gas industry as an aspiring Subsea Project Engineer and have since had the privilege of working on a range of exciting offshore construction projects across the globe.  My career has thus far taken me from Australia to Singapore, Malaysia, China, the Middle East and Norway.  My time at UWA was important as it equipped me not only with technical knowledge but also with equally valuable skillsets such as problem solving, effective communication, a strong work ethic and the need for teamwork to achieve greater outcomes.  Furthermore, the friends I made at UWA have since formed an important part of my professional and social network.

How to be innovative at work

Young professionals have the chance to make a real difference when it comes to innovation, as newcomers to the workplace are encouraged to ask many questions and have the opportunity to challenge the status quo.  To be seen as innovative, focus on tangible benefits of innovation such as cost savings through greater efficiency, improved safety performance or reduced impacts to the environment.  Personally, I have taken on the challenge of enhancing in-house engineering standards to improve the company’s overall engineering capabilities.  To do this effectively, I have to be courageous to challenge the status quo and not always take “no” as an answer from relevant stakeholders and technical experts in their respective fields of expertise.

Just say "yes"

I would recommend that all young professionals take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way, whether it is taking on additional responsibilities in the workplace, participating in industry networking events or embarking on overseas training placements.  Say “yes” to as many assignments as possible as they arise, ask thoughtful questions and use this time to build up your reputation and grow your network in your chosen profession.  

In addition, use this time to figure out what aspects of your work areas you enjoy the most so you can steer your career towards this direction.  Find a mentor who can provide you with honest feedback and is able to assist you with career planning and goal setting. 

The best career advice I've received 

Your career should consist of continually building your skillsets and technical abilities in your chosen field, however you should also remember to act with integrity in all situations.  Be known as a professional who is willing to stand up for what you believe is right and won’t allow other parties to compromise your values and integrity.

Darren Wong is Project Engineer at Subsea 7 and is based in Singapore. Darren has over 8 years of professional project engineering experience, providing technical and commercial assessment in the business development, tendering evaluation, package management and project execution planning of offshore Oil & Gas construction projects in the Australia, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Europe regions. Darren graduated from a Bachelor of Engineering and Commerce in 2010. During his time at UWA, he was the President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Perth Student Chapter and President of the Malaysian Student Union.