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Part time university role leads to Director of Technical Strategy opportunity

Raphael Waller

The multi-disciplinary and industry skills focused courses at Brunel have really helped me settle into the workplace.

Raphael, Alumni, Undergraduate

Director of Technical Strategy, Cardonet IT

Electronic and Electrical Engineering BEng - 2016

From UK

Previous Institution

Hasmonean High School - A Levels

Tell us about your educational and/or career journey since you graduated from Brunel?

After graduating, I continued working at Cardonet IT where I was working part time during my degree. The combination of skills I learnt during my time at Brunel and the industry experience has helped me grow and progress between roles much quicker. I started off as a Network Engineer, then moved to Team Leader and am now in my current role of Director of Technical Strategy.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

My current role revolves around understanding how our engineers are using their time. By using BI (Business Intelligence) tools, we look at where we can improve their life by introducing automation of processes or by investing in tools so they can focus on what needs their attention the most. Also, part of my role is looking at the solutions that we offer to our customers, making sure we are up to date with the latest technology and can talk to our customers about the latest solutions available and how it can help them.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Over the last 18 months we've been working on starting a new branch in California. For me this has been an amazing process and allowed me to break out further than the normal technical work and into what it takes to run a company. Through this process I've been going back and forth between London and LA and engaging with partners and vendors as well as accountants and lawyers to make sure our go to market strategy is correct.

How would you say your Brunel experience has helped you to get where you are today?

The multi-disciplinary and industry skills focused courses at Brunel have really helped me settle into the workplace. This approach has helped me bring forward technical solutions to real world business applications by applying the problem-solving skills learnt at Brunel.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

I chose Brunel because of the flexibility of the Engineering department. Their willingness to provide opportunities for a well-rounded course which covered a large number of disciplines and topics was really attractive. The mentoring programs and interaction between different Engineering courses and year groups within the courses was also something that proved valuable.

What is your best memory of studying here?

The practical group projects where we had to think creatively were both challenging but also immensely gratifying to see the results. One memory that stands out in particular is the Multi-Disciplinary Project - the opportunity to collaborate with other disciplines and build something interesting was a fun experience.

What would be your top tip or key advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey after leaving Brunel?

There are plenty of people around you who are interested in sharing their wealth of knowledge with you, so make sure to find who they are. Whilst the working world is focused on outcomes and results, take time to understand what you're working with and don't be afraid to ask questions too. Understanding why things are the way they are is important. Your education never stops, it just evolves.