Electronic and Communications Engineering
Having studied electronics and communication engineering while at university, Mirra is now an IT analyst for KPMG. Mirra’s work placement year was a major influence in helping her decide on her chosen career.
What is your current profession?
I am working as an IT Analyst in the IT Advisory department of KPMG.
Describe your role.
I have been involved in various projects since I started in September. My role, in brief, has ranged from performing IT audit related jobs, project management to providing systems assurance on the client’s IT infrastructure.
Describe your career progression.
I saw KPMG at the AISEC careers fair hosted by the University. I took an active interest in the career paths they offered. I actively gathered information form their website, through career fairs and through our own careers centre. I applied for the IT Advisory in KPMG in November of my final year, and was successful in reaching the final stage; the assessment centre. I consulted the careers centre before the assessment centre day and they gave me tips to excel, which certainly boosted my confidence.
What did you do immediately after leaving University?
My parents came from India to be with me on my graduation day. They were elated when I got the best student award – Filtronic Prize from the Dean of our department.
Since the job started in September, I went straight back home after graduation in July. The one month helped me prepare myself to work hard and excel at the job ahead of me.
What did you do whilst studying that helped pave the way into your chosen career?
The placement year was the turning point for me in my chosen career path. I was involved in designing, developing and implementing a new mobile workflow management system for the company. It was during this work experience that I decided that I wanted to work in a client facing role where I would manage projects and advise clients on their business processes.
I won a national award given by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) and an international award given by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) based on my work. This result convinced me of the kind of graduate job I wanted to get.
What skills and attributes did you develop as part of your course?
Engineering in general hones your problem solving and analytical skills which are highly transferable in today’s job market. As a graduate engineer you can get a job in any industry apart from medicine or law. I believe that such is the versatility of this course. During the course, all my professors were extremely supportive and helpful in making me realise my full potential. I am ever so thankful to them that they encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and challenge things.
What skills and attributes did you develop from your co-curricular activities?
At university I was closely involved with the Sri Lankan and Indian Society. The Bollywood dance show that was hosted each year was a huge success. I was one of the choreographers for these shows. It helped me develop as a team leader while also playing the role of a team player in the bigger setup. The student societies were a great place to interact with students from all over the world and also an opportunity to understand their cultures better.
What advice would you have for students studying today?
Come with an open mind ready to learn and absorb different cultures and societies. Leeds has a great student life and after a year the university will become a second home. You make great friends from all over the world and can participate in all sorts of co-curricular activities. For me, the University of Leeds gave a truly international exposure that I had wanted and so much more.