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From Brunel to handling a £150million engineering project in Dubai

Arun Kumar Raghunathan

I got my current job based on my Master's degree with Brunel - it gave me an edge over the other candidates

Arun, Alumni

Senior Mechanical (MEP) Engineer, WS Atkins

Building Services Engineering MSc - 2011

From UAE

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…

I always wanted to be a Building Services Engineer (aka – ‘MEP Engineer’ - in this part of the world). I got into Atkins directly upon graduation and it has been a wonderful learning curve for me. Being born into an engineering family, I’ve never regretted the career I have now.

What does an average day at work involve for you?

I work for Atkins, Site Operations. This involves the day to day activities on project sites where I execute the project in line with design and project specifications. We also monitor the contractor to ensure everything is done by the book including quality and safety. We basically execute the Atkins design on-site.

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

Within 5 years of joining as a Trainee Engineer, I am currently handling a £150million project in Dubai where I am currently in charge of executing the mechanical side of the project. My first project was executing and handing over a Hilton Double Tree 5 star resort at Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. I did this alone and received praise from the client - this gave me immense confidence.

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

I got this job based on my Master's degree with Brunel. I had an edge compared to the other candidates in the interview - some of the questions asked were quite basic but most other candidates were not aware of formulas or the idea of how BMS works, etc. I believe my studies at Brunel helped with this part.

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

Brunel has always been in the news for Building Services Engineering since the 1970s. Until today, it’s one of the few recognised universities in the world that offers such detailed courses for students in Building Services. My uncle and even my Manager had heard about Brunel during their hey-days. Also, the campus life was unique compared to other universities.

What is your best memory of studying here?

My entire time studying in the Library (probably the best library in the world!). The Academy, Prontos, Uxbridge mall, KFCs, Sainsbury's, etc. The walk from Uxbridge town to my accommodation at the Isambard Complex. Memories are flowing as I write these words. My best memories are the sleepless nights I spent finishing my assignments in the Library.

If you could give one piece of advice to new students, what would that be?

It’s a much bigger and unique world outside the university campus. No one is an expert when it comes to ‘what to do after graduation’ - it all depends on each individual's ability to adapt, endure and have the work ethics to survive in such a world. Usually your first job will decide what your future might hold.

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

Just enjoy the ride. Don't get disappointed - remember that nothing is perfect. If you find a good boss, stick to them not the company. My career flourished due to my manager - he has always supported me in many areas of the job and provided bouquets and brick-bats for a job well done and mistakes respectively.