SIT engineering grad takes leap of faith with drone company

Mr Sharif Shaharudeen secured a position under the SGUnited Traineeship programme. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Mr Sharif Shaharudeen never expected the journey towards his first job to be so arduous.

Last year, he graduated with a first-class honours degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Glasgow's aeronautical engineering degree programme at the Singapore Institute of Technology with solid internship experience under his belt.

But the aerospace industry was negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic that slashed demand for commercial flights.

Suddenly, the 25-year-old found himself in a precarious position.

"Initially, I was in denial. Based on my performance at university, I thought I wouldn't have a problem finding a job - even if the pay was lower than before the pandemic," he said.

His failure to secure a job was emotionally draining, especially since his family needed him to step up and help out financially.

"I was actually extremely scared at one point and very depressed because even though I did my best as a student, I still could not secure a job to support my family," said the eldest of three children whose father's work in the money-changing industry was also badly affected by the pandemic.

Mr Sharif's mother is a housewife. He has two younger sisters - one, a university student and the other, a Primary 5 pupil.

But after sending out dozens of job applications, the former Temasek Polytechnic student decided it was time to take a "leap of faith" and try to secure employment in a different - but related - industry.

Securing a position under the SGUnited Traineeship programme, Mr Sharif is now working as a systems engineer at drone company Drone Solutions.

In what seems to be a happy accident, he has found satisfaction in an industry which he sees as being the future of aviation.

"It's only been six months and I still have a lot to learn but I am feeling more optimistic," he said.

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