Spending at least 3 years in production is vital to flourish career in the textile industry
Engr. Md. Nasir Uddin, Country Manager, Officina + 39 and Engr. Gulshun Ara Munni, Business Governance Manager, H&M both suggested graduates spend at least 3 years in production at the beginning of their career then shift anywhere else if they want to achieve a shining career in the textile industry. They expressed this thought in a webinar organized by Textile Today on ‘Career Planning & Opportunities in Textile and Apparel Industry’.
In response to a question related to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the universities, Mustafijur Rahman, Assistant Professor, Dept. of DCE, BUTEX and Farhana Afroze, Acting Head, Dept. of TE, BUFT informed that universities were able to adopt online learning system after a few months of uncertainty amid the advent of the pandemic situation. As a result, students were able to continue their study flawlessly and even they became much more self-oriented in learning by utilizing the resources available online.
“Majority recent graduates of BUTEX show interest in the corporate jobs related to retail brands, and sales and marketing rather than production related jobs in the factories. Some graduates are also choosing Industrial Engineering (IE) to start their career in garments factories. As many industries are working on medical textile related products after the pandemic begins, many BUTEX graduates are also working in such industries. A trend of going abroad for higher study and taking part in BCS exam among the students are also noticeable,” Mustafirur Rahman informed when asked about the trends of the students of BUTEX.
“In BUFT, the rate of getting job is very good amid the pandemic, most of the students are getting jobs right after finishing their study. And, many of the students are going abroad to pursue higher education in countries like China, Germany, USA, India etc. As BUFT has collaboration with many foreign universities, it is helping students to pursue higher study. After all the pandemic did not leave any significant impact on the students,” said Farhana Afroze about the students of BUFT.
“Amid the pandemic the business execution was not hampered as the government allowed to run the garments industry. We were able to source our targeted products. The big change was that we had to adapt with the digital and from home working environment,” Gulshun Ara Munni said when asked about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.
“Most of the industry has adapted with the pandemic vicissitudes to run their businesses. The businesses are running well even, in many industries got more orders than before. But the big challenges are increasing transit time due to the lengthy time of shipment, and the increase in price of the raw materials. The pressure from the buyers to reduce the FOB price is also a big challenge for the industries. Working on more value added products to generate more revenue may be a solution to these problems. For this industries need to focus on research and development and this requires good textile engineers,” Engr. Md. Nasir Ullah said about the current industry situation amid the ongoing pandemic.
When asked about the career journey Gulshun Ara Munni said, “I started my career in a knit dyeing factory and worked there for 3 years and now working as a business governance manager in H&M. It was the factory from where I was able to learn the basic technical things of the textile industry which are still beneficial to my professional life. Factory was the place where I was able to apply the theories that I learnt during my graduation.”
Engr. Md. Nasir Uddin also emphasized starting a career in production to gain basic technical knowledge about the industry. He suggested to find a comparatively different sector to start a career where there is less competition to flourish in career. He started his career in washing factory and now working as country manager of an Italian chemical company in Bangladesh. He mentioned knowledge in wash technology as his strength which he achieved from production experience.
In response to a question about the future leadership programs in textile industries, Gulshun Ara Munni said that there are many such programs in factories and buying houses where they take interns and train them to be fit for the industries.
For the same question, Nasir said that each industry has its own way to train the freshers may be through a training program or engage in work under an experienced supervisor. He also urged the fresh graduates to stay at least 3 years in a company after joining so that the company can get some return from what it invests to train them.
To build a career in research sector it is necessary to earn at least a Masters and a Ph.D. Degree. And factory experience also add value to be a good researcher, as the research topics are often selected based on factory problems. Interested graduate students should prepare them for higher study from the beginning of university life.
They should prepare for tests like GRE/ TOEFT, if they want to go to USA, and for IELTS, if they want to go in European countries. In addition, learning the German language will be helpful for study in Germany, Mustafijur Rahman said while talking about building career as a researcher.
“MBA can be helpful for industry job to hold top managerial positions. And other job-relevant degrees or training programs can also be helpful,” Md. Nasir said in response to a query about the higher study.
Gulshun Ara Munni also shared her experience of continuous learning to sustain in his career. She also suggested to keep eye on their LinkedIn ID to get updates about the next internship intake. Applicants can also send their resume in advance to HR through the mail for future recruitment as an intern. Minimum 3 years of experience in production is also valued in buying houses.
She was inspired to design a career to create something new for the industry.
Mustafijur Rahman hoped that Bangladeshi textile engineers would shine rapidly in the IE sector. Md. Nasir considers R&D and the Garments sector as most prospectus sectors in the textile industry.
Planning a long-term career goal, having a big dream, developing communication skills, technical skills, and having patience for investing in oneself for learning 3-5 years were the exclusive advices for the graduate students expressed by the panelists.
Job is an echelon of the career, not itself career. So, one should choose a job considering his long-term career plan. One should set a long-term goal for his career and choose job related to the goal. Life is much bigger than a career, planning of career should be in a way that it may build a happy life.
The webinar was moderated by Tareq Amin, Founder & CEO of Textile Today.