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Passion, persistence and the unique Professional Conversion Programme for BIM Professionals have led 38-year-old Mohamad Saifullizan down a rewarding mid-life career path.

When a new career path beckons

Find out how Mohamad Saifullizan took a leap of faith and joined a new industry in his 30s.
15 May 2020

By Catherine Tan

It is especially rewarding when what I’m working on is approved for inclusion in a tender submission. The sense of achievement I feel is doubled when we are awarded the project.  
- Mohamad Saifullizan 
 

It all started with a visit to a built environment (BE) sector career fair for Mohamad Saifullizan Bin Abd Rahman (Saifu).

The 38-year-old shared, “I came across the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for BIM Professionals during the career fair and decided to apply. I had a background in 3D Animation and thought it would be of relevance.

“I also saw good career prospects for BIM professionals as Singapore was moving rapidly towards digitisation in the built environment sector.”

When Saifu was shortlisted and eventually accepted into the PCP, he joined Lum Chang Building Contractors Pte Ltd. (Lum Chang) as a BIM Modeller.

Building confidence

He spent the next 12 months in the PCP before he graduated with a Specialist Diploma in BIM. As a newcomer to the BE sector, Saifu’s learning journey wasn’t without its challenges.

 “One of my main hurdles was having to juggle work and studies. I overcame this by being disciplined with my time and making to-do lists. Meeting tender deadlines was also a real challenge at first as everything was new to me. However, I managed better over time as I gained more experience,” he said.

Saifu added, “It is especially rewarding when what I’m working on is approved for inclusion in a tender submission. The sense of achievement I feel is doubled when we are awarded the project.”

Despite being a newcomer, Saifu showed good progress at work. Within a year, he advanced from being a BIM Modeller to BIM For Safety Specialist at Lum Chang.

Ingredients for success

Saifu cited two factors for his successful transition – strong family support, as well as the fact that he could put into immediate practice what he learnt in the classroom.

“The Programme allowed me to learn the fundamentals of construction and understand how things work from the beginning till the completion of a building project. As I am part of the Tender team at Lum Chang, I also received specific training for the essential set of skills and knowledge necessary for preparing tender projects,” he said.

How does his company feel about the Programme? Ms Jennifer Loh, Manager (Digital) at Lum Chang said, “Our company has been a part of the PCP for BIM Modellers since 2018. We feel the Programme is an attractive proposition for mid-career job seekers like Saifu to be reskilled to take on new careers in the built environment industry.”

Saifu’s parting advice to those considering a career switch is: “You need to have passion, determination and a never-give-up attitude. Even though everything is new and a little difficult at the beginning, rise to the challenge and tackle it head on.”

About PCP for BIM Professionals

The Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Building Information Modelling (BIM) Professionals is a six- or 12-month Place-and-Train programme. The programme aims to train mid-career individuals and equip them with the knowledge and skills to embark on a career in the built environment sector as BIM professionals. 

Find out how you can be a part of it.

 

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The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is an agency under the Ministry of National Development, whose mission is to shape a safe, high quality, sustainable and friendly built environment. As the lead public agency, we champion transforming Singapore into a future-ready built environment.