A graduate of Air Asia Academy, Neoh Wee Ming is living his dream of being a part of the aviation industry as an aircraft engineer at the popular budget airline. This is complemented by his passion for travel and adventure, which has enriched his understanding and appreciation of the world’s diverse cultures and landscapes, and allowed him to capture many wonderful experiences and special moments from across the globe in photos. Despite the many challenges he faces from work daily – from technical issues to frequent night shifts and long hours – Neoh is proud to be in a team that ensures the safe operation of every flight before it takes off. He also ensures that he maintains a healthy, active lifestyle by keeping fit through kickboxing and regular workouts at the gym. Of late, he has found Zen in the planting of terrariums.
We speak to him about his career, his ultimate life experience, and his philosophies in this 2018 interview.
How did you get into aircraft engineering?
My brother-in-law and sister were a pilot and cabin crew for Malaysia Airlines, and growing up, seeing them going off to work every day… I decided that it’s a career path that I’d like to go into as well. So, when I graduated high school, I went ahead and applied for a position at AirAsia. However, being the gullible person that I was when I was 18, I didn’t specify which position I was gunning for! The next thing I knew, I was called up for an aircraft engineering program (laughs). At that point of time, I figured that with the scholarship offered, I could save my parents tons of money on my education so I signed on the dotted line, and went into the program for six years. Today, I’m a licensed aircraft engineer, and I’m enjoying my job so far. It’s still something related to aviation, so I have no regrets. I mean, it is possible to transition to my childhood dream as a pilot still, but as of now, I don’t see myself doing it, because I’m pretty much comfortable with this job. I’ve learned a lot of the more technical and behind-the-scenes stuff that keeps a plane in the skies. I find that just as interesting as piloting a plane.
What drives you to achieve the things that are important to you?
I’m a person who likes to challenge himself. I love to see myself progress in life. I’ve always believed that a change is for the better, and when faced with a challenge for change, I’ll always ask myself, “why not?” If it’s a change to be better, a change from wrong to right, I will go for it.
The A-List is about experiences. Tell us your ultimate life experience to far.
I went on a 10-day backpacking trip around Europe back in 2016, in which I covered five different countries. I personally felt that it was a big challenge! I planned everything only one month before the trip, and on average I had only two days in each country, literally hopping from one place to another: Paris, London, Amsterdam, Milan and Prague. After that, I came back and fell sick for three days (chuckles). It was intense but a good experience and I do wish to do something like that again.
What is your philosophy in life?
Take every experience in life with a pinch of salt. It’s not blue skies every day, and you go through ups and downs. However, you should never be shy about the bad experiences you go through, and there’s a lesson to be learnt in each of them.
August Man Malaysia is a magazine for the discerning gentleman. personally, what do you think makes a gentleman in this modern era?
Of course, ultimately, someone who is successful in his career. However, despite the success, you still remain humble. You still go back to your roots, and be kind to the people around you.