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Zaidi Haji Osman (MSc Agriculture and Economics 1984)


Upon returning to Malaysia, I worked with the Agricultural University of Malaysia (UPM) for 10 years. I thereafter joined the National Oil Corporation (PETRONAS) where I am working currently. While with PETRONAS, I had the opportunity to work in three multinational subsidiaries heading the HR functions. In addition, I have also been a Quality Manager, a student advisor (based in Sydney) and in the HR Corporate Centre. I was the HR Leader of the Year Gold Award Winner 2012. The Award was organised by the Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

The University is very well known for its innovative agricultural studies

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

It gives a feel of countryside but yet not too far from London. The international students provided a multinational flavour to the studying environment

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Leverage on the strength of the teaching staff of the University and enjoy every facet of the campus life and facilities.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I am currently the Head of Operation Readiness Technical Capability in PETRONAS Downstream HR. My role is to help build a talent pool of about 3,500 technical personnel to support the mammoth US $27 Billion Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia. With the tight widow to project commissioning there is also the need to accelerate competency development especially the new engineers and technicians. This role requires the ability to drive the program deliverables and to be able to interface with 10 operating units which are spread across peninsular Malaysia and in the island of Borneo.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

The overseas experience has widen my perspective to work in multinational joint ventures. The knowledge of economics has helped provide a business relevance to my role of a HR practitioner.

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

Build up and document your competencies (both functional and leadership) that will be your value propositions to your would be employers.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

The life at Sibly Hall and walking through the woods around the University

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