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Rishi will graduate in 2013, with an MEng in Electronic & Electrical Engineering. He will be working at Cisco on the Sales Associates Program
I completed my A LeveIs and came to Loughborough University in 2008 on the three year Electronic and Electrical Engineering programme. Loughborough was my first choice as it enabled me to study at a highly ranked department and continue playing cricket at a competitive level. Based on my academic performance in the first year, I was offered to progress onto the 4 or 5 year degree programmes, the later which I grabbed with both hands as it allowed me to gain a Master’s level qualification and also some paid industry experience.
Where are you now?
I have just completed my final year and am eagerly awaiting my results so fingers crossed! I have secured a graduate job on the Cisco Sales Associates Program, a highly-coveted early-in-career development program at Cisco Systems. I will be based in London and the role contains a mixture of technical and business aspects. I firmly believe that the experience I gained at BAE Systems in my DIS year between years 2 and 3 of my degree and a summer placement at Cisco were key factors in me securing the graduate job of my choice.
How did you get there?
I have already undertaken a summer internship at Cisco which I became aware of through a vacancy advertisement on my departments notice board. I applied through the company website and progressed through the application process. I did have to re-apply for the graduate role as my summer placement role was within another department but the experience and exposure I gained was priceless and helped me to stand out at the assessment center.
Where are you going?
My initial ambitions are to graduate university and to start work at Cisco. I then aim to graduate through the CSAP program and hope become a Cisco Certified Systems Engineer. Beyond that, I’m not too sure but I hope to stay at the forefront of technology and perform a job which allows me to express myself and innovate.
What if anything would you have done differently during your time at Loughborough University to help you prepare better for your career/life upon graduation?
The one telling aspect of my time at university which I believe would better prepare any student for life upon graduation is experience. The year and summer placements I secured really made my CV stand out and also gave me plenty of interesting experiences to showcase my skills at interviews and assessment centers. There are also plenty of possibilities to gain experience within the university where you can learn and develop key skills and attributes that recruiters are looking for, so get involved!
What advice would you give now to a student studying your subject at university now?
If possible do the DIS/placement year! Many of my friends were often offered a graduate job with the same company and even scholarships! It also means you don’t have to fill out application forms in your final years and can focus on the work. If you don’t fancy a whole year out then definitely look into summer placements and extra-curricular activities. There are many places within the University to gain career help such as Industrial Liaison Tutors within the departments and the Careers and Employability Centre.