1st year

Akmal Rafiq Bin Ariffen

Akmal is an IB Diploma graduate, currently pursuing his degree in MEng Chemical Engineering.

What appealed to you most about Heriot-Watt University?

Heriot-Watt University showcased a promising chemical engineering degree programme that can secure not just the academic requirements to become an engineer, but the security to land a job and/or internship as well. Plus, the building has a breath-taking view of Putrajaya and is really serene.

What tips would you give to a student thinking of studying at Heriot-Watt?

They must acknowledge that they are entering a new level of academics; something that is more serious, demanding, and realistic than what they have ever experienced. It is essential to prepare a mature, calm, and an open mind-set so that problems can be solved. Refine your time management skills; know when to focus, when to relax, when to exercise, because balance brings great satisfaction.  

What did you enjoy the most about studying your degree?

I personally enjoy the challenges that it gives. Being able to manipulate data, derive equations, and apply engineering concepts have allowed me to see the world through a whole new scope; but all of these things were made more enjoyable with the company of others. To find comfort amongst peers whilst engaged in something that was out of my comfort zone has made it unexpectedly enjoyable.

Do you feel your degree has prepared you well for a career?

A career requires knowledge and experience, and as a first-year student, this degree has definitely given me a dosage of both thus preparing me well for a career.

Has your degree programme helped you develop links with industry?

It helps keep me updated with the major chemical/oil companies around the world and especially today, after visiting a Petron refinery, it definitely provided me with valuable insights. Understanding how the industry works is the first step, running it is the main goal.

How do you think your degree will impact your career prospects?

Heriot-Watt University provided me with an honours programme where I can obtain an MEng degree in four years. I believe that my degree will have a positive impact on my career prospects. The University will undeniably increase my career prospects, but to be more pragmatic, my degree will be worth as much as I make it.