International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Meet our IEA Alumni - Rasan Chandra

The Sweet Taste of Success
“Engineering as a subject is something I am passionate about and Sheffield is one of the top universities in the UK to do it in. The University organises activities which give students an opportunity to work with different engineering disciplines to solve real world problems. These practical aspects of engineering are crucial for students to grasp an idea of what the subject is about and prepared me for a career in industry.”

Rasan Chandra, former University of Sheffield Engineering graduate, standing next to a large centrifugal pump at the British Sugar factory where he is now a graduate trainee.

Rasan Chandra, from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield and graduated with First Class Honours. He chose the Year in Industry option, which gave him the opportunity to spend a year working in an organisation to improve his skills and employability.
Rasan is now a graduate trainee at British Sugar, the sole British producer of sugar from sugar beet, and works in their Bury St Edmunds Factory. Here he talks about life after graduation and how university prepared him for his future..  
What does your job at British Sugar involve?
My role as a graduate is to gain an in-depth understanding of the sugar manufacturing process through structured learning modules. Additionally, I will gain practical experience by working with every individual on my shift team, who have the skills and knowledge of various parts of the process to ensure the factory runs efficiently.
On a day-to-day basis, I am actively involved with the on-site shift team to ensure a steady factory operation. This includes walking the factory floor to do checks, troubleshooting and assisting the process operator. I also participate in management meetings where current issues are discussed and targets are set.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy the practical aspects of the job and applying theory into the real-world. Everyone I have met at the factory is very friendly and they display enthusiasm when answering any of my queries, which encourages learning and makes it an enjoyable working environment.
What are the challenging aspects of the job?
As Graduates, we are required to learn all aspects of the factory and sugar manufacturing within our first year of the scheme. A lot of it is self-driven and we are responsible for determining who to meet and which meetings to get involved with, which requires strong people and time management skills. This makes the scheme challenging but I find this encouraging as it compels me to work hard for what I want to achieve.
What skills does the work require?
Strong technical understanding, people management, time management, ability to think on your feet, problem solving.
Why would you recommend Engineering and the University of Sheffield?
The University of Sheffield has helped me shape me into who I am today both professionally and personally. I have taken many opportunities that have come my way and received guidance from the University’s professionals and academics.
Engineering as a subject is something I am passionate about and Sheffield is one of the top universities in the UK to do it in. The University organises activities such as Global Engineering Challenge and Engineering You’re Hired, which give students an opportunity to work with different engineering disciplines to solve real world problems. These practical aspects of engineering are crucial for students to grasp an idea of what the subject is about and prepared me for a career in industry.
What did you enjoy during your time at Sheffield?
Besides being involved in an immersive engineering degree, I participated in many extracurricular activities, and was ultimately recognised with a Sheffield Graduate Award. I joined societies and occupied my time well with social events and there was never a time where I felt left out because being at Sheffield was like being part of a big family.  
What do you want to do in the future?
I want to be more involved with Engineering projects and eventually take up a managerial role in the future.
What would your advice to new students be?
My advice is to be proactive from day one. You have already taken the big step of joining the University and stepping out of your comfort zone. Get more involved with societies, extracurricular activities and explore your different interests; there is no limit to what you can do at University.
About Engineering at the University of Sheffield
The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sheffield is one of the biggest in the UK. With seven departments and three interdisciplinary programmes covering all the engineering disciplines, over 5,000 students, 950 staff and £77m annual research-related income from government, industry and charity, it is one of the best institutions in the world to study or carry out research in engineering.
The Faculty has a long tradition of working with industry, including Rolls-Royce, Network Rail and Siemens. Its industrial successes are exemplified by the award-winning Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC). Partnered with the Faculty, this collaboration between industry and academia has become a model for forward-thinking research centres worldwide.

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