Q. What is your Name? Ana Mirsayar
Q. What is your job title and role? UK RTI (Research, Technical and Innovation) Coordinator/ Project Manager. I work for Thales UK, Vice President of RTI which enables me to get a helicopter view of the company’s business units (Under water systems, Avionics, Defence, Cyber security and Transportation). I go to different Thales sites to hear the progress on major works. I also manage my own projects
Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? Thales is a French company that has expanded internationally. They work on many different business units and some great examples of their work can be found under the activities tap. It is such a large company with a vast scope of work that if I was to give you small examples then I won’t be doing it justice.
Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? Some of the soft skills that became handy were communication, team work, task prioritising and discipline and the attention to details particularly for example in PCB design. Work under pressure, I remember for our final project work one of the guys dropped out of the course due to personal reasons and we had to pick up on his work and still deliver on the same deadline.
Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? I am usually in a couple of teleconferences, and a meeting or two. On a quiet day I look at the road map for my projects to monitor progress. I regularly ask for updates from the team and plan ahead and I allocate tasks to members. I must say that I’ve only been managing projects in the last year. Before which I was a senior design engineer who designed and developed mathematical algorithms. So I’d say my maths modules became very useful. Also understanding the systems at a top layer and looking down was also something I had learnt at university which is essential for detailed designing as you need to understand the concept of operation and applications.
Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? I enjoy having an appreciation for the technical nature of the work as it always helps the project managers make better decisions in comparison to the mangers that have a business background. My job is varied and it involves travelling inside and outside the UK which I do enjoy. Interacting with customers and hearing their needs for our products is also enjoyable.
Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? My humble opinion for the students would be not just to study for a label (PhD) or just to get high marks. Make sure you really understand the concept because the devil is in the details and that is the most important thing. Engineering is a great career to have as it is fun, satisfying, challenging and its safe, as many surveys show that job security in engineering is quit high.