Industrial engineering is that field of engineering which aims to improve quality and productivity. This study uses technical engineering expertise in figuring out how to do things better, through eliminating waste of time, money, materials, energy and other commodities.
It is a relatively young body of knowledge. But it already serves prime importance across several industries like manufacturing, shipping and logistics, healthcare, and even entertainment.
In the Philippines, the field of industrial engineering is growing at an impressive rate. Since the inception of the Industrial Engineering Certification in the country, many Filipino teenagers are taking the BS in Industrial Engineering course on a nationwide scale.
This is evident in the 8th Industrial Engineering Certification Examination given in December 2016. The exam was taken by 778 industrial engineering graduates, with 522 of them successful. The results presented a 67.10% national passing rate.
Among the new Certified Industrial Engineers (CIEs), there’s one who shone the brightest: the gal who topped the exam with a 93.51% rating, Raylin Platon from Adamson University*.
A native of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, Raylin is an ordinary engineering student with an extraordinary commitment to God’s plans. Despite the challenges that she encountered in her engineering study, the 21-year-old gal managed being a scholar and a Dean’s lister.
Her journey towards to the day she passed the certification exam was not at all easy either, with issues concerning her exam review and her job.
More of Raylin’s experiences as a student and an exam taker are transcribed below after an exchange of emails. Here, she tells more about her life in engineering, her struggles in the certification exam, and her tips for future industrial engineers who want to follow her footsteps.
Why did you choose that course? Who or what was your inspiration?
After graduating from high school, I didn’t realize that I will be running out of time to think what course I should really take for college. That time, I went to three different schools to take their entrance exams for BS Medical Technology or BS Biology.
I was aiming to become a Medical Doctor that time but due to money constraints and not wanting my family to sell any of our possessions, I accepted the suggestion of my aunt to take up BS in Industrial Engineering.
She said she has a friend in Singapore who was also an IE, and she believes that I will like the course. As not to aggravate the finances of my family, I entered the course. I prayed to God and let Him lead my way.
What are your favorite subjects in your entire engineering study? How about least liked subjects?
It is funny that my favorite subjects are those subjects where I got my 3.0 grade and 2.25 grades. These are Production Systems (Prod Sys) and Industrial Quality Control (IQC).
I fell in love with the Prod Sys subject because it taught us how be just in time, proactive, do more with less, and other stuff in planning and production design. It also taught me how to never give up – because out of 33 students, there were only 6 of us who passed that subject. And out of 6, there were only two of us who didn’t take the remedial for passing that subject. I was just really happy that time.
For IQC, it was also my favorite because here you can apply statistical process control, where we identify problems on different companies, study the root cause of those problems through qualitative and quantitative analysis then give our conclusion and recommendations to the company’s management through a formal presentation. It was challenging and fun because there you can feel that you did something for the improvement and welfare of the company.
Least liked subjects? Advanced Math, Scheduling and some topics of Operations Research (because it is full of lengthy computations that make my hand tired). The funny part is that it is in these subjects that I got 1.5, 1.25 and 2.25 opposite to those subjects that I liked.
Have you had any subject failures or disappointing academic performance to the very least? If yes, what did you do about it? How did you cope?
I didn’t have any subject failures. However, I did get 5.0 grades during Prelim or Midterm periods but I passed all those subjects.
For those subjects where I got 5.0 exam grades, I set my goal first, which is to pass the subject at the end of the semester. I compute the grade that I need to achieve for me to pass and push myself to really study hard even though I didn’t like the subject very much. In those times, I see it as challenges that I must face not a dilemma that I would cry about.
Do you have any study tips or tricks that you think others should emulate from you?
Pray. Always pray to God for guidance. It is a must and a first thing to do.
Resourceful. Be resourceful. If you didn’t get your professor’s point on that topic, see to it to use your vacant time in attending his consultation (maybe it is about time to use your tuition smart).
Obedient. Always follow instructions, read directions/instructions carefully. Professors tend to scramble our scrambled minds due to simultaneous exams and projects.
Alert. Be alert on bonus points, additional grades or give away points from your professors. They can carry your grade higher.
Careful. Be careful in class, especially on the first day of class. Read your professors’ actions and habits because sometimes there are professors who grade the students based on attitude.
Time Keeper. Always meet the due date or the deadline of any submission. It is always important to show your dedication.
Innovative. Read articles or blogs that would help you in your studying habits. Maybe you need to try studying on a cafeteria or maybe have some nice music to help you remember things. Or you can just be innovative by looking for other ways to solve a problem in books or Internet that is easier and faster. Create your own style that would fit your own personality.
Vision/Goal Oriented. Set your vision and goals about what do you want to happen in the future. It would give you a clear direction even when the path is yet to be clear.
Enjoy. Enjoy every moment even if it is not fun. Because at the end of the day, it all boils down to your experiences where you can reflect to the things that happened to you. You can have a good laugh with all the good and bad things.
What is the best engineering school advice that you can give to other students?
Never give up. There is always a better way to do things.
People tend to believe that engineering students are great in mathematics but it is not just about math. As an engineering student, especially one who studies industrial engineering, not only your critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making skills are trained but also your character.
You should never give-up on your goal. If things didn’t work out as you planned maybe there is something that might work. Just look at other alternatives.
What do you plan to do in your career? What are your career goals?
Honestly, I am still on the process of planning and studying my career options, so I am yet to arrive at the best decision for me. I am still praying for God’s will because His plans are greater than mine.
But now I can say that for my career goal, I would like to get a doctorate degree. It is for my self- fulfilment and career enhancement that I can finish the highest post-graduate degree possible and learn the best and newest things in the field.
What do you want to change about people’s perception about industrial engineering?
I want to change the way people think about industrial engineers as “instant engineers”, because people think that if you want to become an engineer, the easiest way is to take BS in Industrial Engineering.
I want people to know that industrial engineers are a vital part in any organization. If there’s a company or any organization committed to continuous improvement and giving the best quality of what they are doing, there you can see industrial engineers.
One of our speakers before told us that “there is no such thing as jack of all trades” but, we, industrial engineers can be “masters of all trades” given the scope of the field.
Industrial engineers are not just like instant noodles that you only need water and three minutes to cook. Instead, we were trained and crafted to create instant noodles that could make each and everyone’s life a little lighter, easier and brighter with our commitment in improving things, sustaining quality and moving forward to cope for the needs and wants of this dynamic and ever changing world.
Certification Exam Experience
What are the greatest struggles that you experienced while preparing for the certification exam? What did you do to overcome them?
My greatest struggle is that I initially didn’t have the time to review for the exam.
I was affiliated in a Training and Consulting company before as a Content Development Executive that prepares/creates training materials and other training needs. Parallel to this, I was also a Junior Consultant involved in two projects that time. My working schedule is really tough that I had to use my weekend and finish everything that I needed to do to beat deadlines.
I didn’t have time to review which made me sad. In August, I was torn between reviewing for my certification exam and my job. I tried to balance the two but it really didn’t work out.
In the end I made the toughest choice of my life. I resigned from my job and focused on the review because I didn’t want my work at the company to suffer.
After rendering a month separation notice from the company, I only had 1 and a half month remaining to review for the exam. With that, I dedicated myself in reviewing almost everyday to prove that I am firm with my decision and sacrifice.
Did you enroll in a center for your review? Do you recommend doing so? Which one did you go to?
Yes, I enrolled at Arrow88 Business Solution review center. I recommend doing so because you need the materials coming from them, the lessons that the review professors can provide, their tips and techniques in answering the exam.
How did you find the certification exam? Easy, average, or difficult?
It is difficult especially on the Part 3 and Part 4 of the exam. These were the parts of our major subjects that cover a broad range of topic. I believe 40% of these parts I have made educated guesses, through the technique called elimination.
For those items that I’m not sure about, I guessed my answer by eliminating the choices and coming up with only two to choose from. It is safe to say that this worked for me and I feel blessed.
What were your expectations after you took the exam and before the results were out? Did you have a feeling that you will be at the top?
Honestly, I expected that I would pass the exam right after submitting the papers because I assured with my answers that I could get the passing score. That, while still being hopeful that my other answers, the ones I am not sure about, will be correct.
I say this with all humility: before the results were out, there were schoolmates and friends that were losing their hopes to pass which gave me a light that maybe I can land on the top 10 list, being hopeful with my answers.
What did you do the first minute you discovered you topped?
I cried with tears of joy, called my mother and we both cried thanking God for His awesome blessing.
I was out of our house that time, spending time with my friend waiting for the dancing lights at Ayala Triangle. My friend saw the news from her Facebook homepage and revealed that I landed on the top.
It was really a sparking moment, just in time that the lights opened and it was so beautiful and bright like they were all rejoicing and happy. I really got emotional so I hugged my friend. After that, I called my mother, with tears of joy, while containing the awesome blessing from God.
Who do you owe your success to?
First, to God for I believe that if He didn’t sustain me in those days that I don’t feel like studying but I really need to, I would not make it.
Second, to my parents and my family, for their prayers and never ending support.
Lastly, to my professors who made time for us to learn through their teaching efforts and support.
Give 5 important tips (in bullets) for future certification exam takers who aim to become topnotchers.
Study with your most comfortable study buddies. They can make your day, ease your burden and you will learn from each other. You are not the only one in this journey.
Take your time wisely. For me, I study 8 to 12 hours a day maybe 3 to 4 times a week. I always allot time for the things I love to do that can relax me and my mind from thinking. It will help you a lot to have a break once in a while. Also, every 30 minutes of my review I allot 10 to 15 minutes break.
Use your resources. Use your old books, old notes, the Internet, the school’s library. Use everything that you can reach that would help in your studies. Ask your favorite professor. If you want to learn things or topics easily the fastest way possible, your professor can help and teach you.
Devotion. Have your daily devotion and strengthen your inner strength through good connection with God, because you need to have a sound mind and spirit. Only God is the source of the overflowing knowledge and wisdom, therefore go ask Him for these in prayer and devotion.
“You/I can do all things through Christ, our Lord”. Philippians 4:13. Remember to believe in yourself and believe that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
*All the top 5 placers in the 8th Industrial Engineering Certification Examination came from Adamson University.