Jaz Rabadia (BEng Mechanical Engineering 2006, MSc Energy Environment Technology & Economics 2009) talks about how staying connected with the university has helped her to excel in her field, raise her profile and continue her professional development.
‘After completing my undergraduate degree, I didn’t feel ready for the big wide world of work. I’d developed an interest in the energy sector and decided to enrol in the Energy Environment Technology & Economics MSc. Throughout my studies I’d worked part time in my local Sainsbury’s and decided to do my project in the store I was working in. I carried out an energy study and implemented energy saving measures which caught the attention of the Head of Energy. Impressed by my project, he offered me a position in the team and supported me to work full time and continue with the Masters part-time.
Having a job that allowed me to put into practice the theory I was learning was really advantageous and made the transition between university and working life a lot smoother. After graduating, I maintained good relationships with the university and even went to lecture on the Masters course that I once studied on. This helped students better bridge the gap and appreciate how what was learnt on the course could be put into practice in a corporate environment. It helped me to develop my presentation and communication skills and inspired others to pursue careers in energy management. I even managed to recruit a student from the course to join the Sainsbury’s Energy team.
Volunteering my time to lecture helped show my commitment to developing a pipeline of future energy professionals and was a contributing factor to achieving Chartered Energy Manager recognition from the Energy Institute.
The School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences featured me in an alumni video to inspire more females into engineering, it felt rewarding to give something back to the university and was a great addition to my CV! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74Z3-XHOQWc
More recently as Energy Manager for Debenhams, I have been involved in the universities ‘Insights into Industry Scheme’. This offered students an opportunity to meet with and shadow me, understand my career journey to date and have the opportunity to ask questions on an informal basis. It was great to offer advice on challenges I had faced when in their shoes and hopefully for the students it was good to know the challenges are not unique to them.
I’ve also taken part in events including undergraduate open days, Ada Lovelace day celebrations and women in engineering talks.
City University has been such an integral part of my career and the 6 years I spent there were 6 of my best. I feel indebted to the university as I’m sure many others do. I would encourage more alumni to reach out and offer their insights and experience to current students to ensure we have a pipeline of future professionals ready for what the world will have to offer’’.