Chinju Sebastian case study
Graduate Power System Engineer at Siemens Energy
MSc Electrical Power Systems, 2022
Please describe your current role and the journey you took to get there
I am currently working as Graduate Power System Engineer in Siemens Energy- Transmissions. I received the offer by mid-March 2022, while I was pursuing MSc Electrical Power Systems at the University of Birmingham. I started working here part time after my second semester exams on 1st of July. I am now working full time here from 1st of October.
Did you know what you wanted to do before you started University?
I had a huge career gap after my Bachelor’s, I wanted to get back into my career, hence I joined the University because of the prospectus of the course offered there.
Did you have any work experience before you graduated?
I had no previous work experience.
What do you love most about your role?
I am in training now in the system engineering team under grid solutions. Being part of this vibrant, experienced, and technically strong team helps me build more into my career.
What is most challenging about your role?
I am responsible for load flow and short circuit studies happening during tendering stage of offshore wind farm projects. Hence my role is crucial in determining their feasibility.
Have you faced any key challenges during your career journey, if so, how did you overcome them?
Having a huge career gap, once I joined my role, I was concerned about the huge responsibilities I have to take up. But my team especially my manager and trainer showed good patience and supported me well to make things easier for me.
How did your time at Birmingham help you prepare for this role?
I had a good peer group at the University who were all passionate about studies and eager in getting placed. We engaged in curriculum discussions and finding career opportunities together. My mentor at the University had motivated me during our monthly meetings to think about the things I had experienced during my career gap and make them into good points for my interviews. He kept me motivated. Professors aided to bridge and patch my career gap with technical skills and knowledge making me more employable. The course offered by the University is very much industry specific, so the modules are useful to build a strong career. The interview skills workshop ‘Top Tips for Postgraduates’, conducted by Careers Network helped me perform better for my interview.
What are your career plans for the future?
I have just started my career; I must get a strong hold and build a good profile as power engineer. Gain more knowledge in my career area. Build a good network among personalities in my industry.
What advice would you give to students who are interested in getting into your industry or role, or if they’re unsure what they want to do?
The power industry is very demanding. Choose courses that are interesting and will help you build a career. Study well. Stay motivated - I had received many rejections before I landed my current role. Always try to make a step to choose courses or careers that are interesting to you. Look for opportunities in all job portals and company portals. Try to make your resumes match the required job profiles.
What would be your key piece of career advice for a student just entering the employment market?
Once you land a job role, stay patient and build your knowledge and skillset. Remember you will find many interesting profiles among your senior colleagues; they didn’t achieve it all in a day. You are unique, there are certain things that you can be good at, find them and go for them. There will be certain areas that you may struggle in, don’t try to go after them, get a grip on to areas you are strong and then pull along the areas that you are weak in.