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Hassan Karim

Hassan KarimSignalling Design Engineer, Atkins

MSc Engineering Management, 2010

What made you choose Middlesex University?

I was interested in a Masters of Engineering Management course and very few universities were offering this course. The Middlesex fee offered good value and the course contents were interesting.

What course did you study?

I studied an MSc in Engineering Management.

What attracted you to your course and made you apply?

In my opinion the work environment has changed and engineers need to know far more about "management". After my Electrical Engineering Degree I worked in the industry and realised the need for a management degree, but I didn't want to leave my basic engineering background so I selected an Engineering Management Masters degree course.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

I really enjoyed the Engineering Project Management course module and the industrial visit to the Jaguar plant.

What were the facilities like in your department?

I would give the Engineering Management faculty a gold star! All the professors have a wealth of industrial experience and I feel lucky to have been trained by such Engineering Management gurus!

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

For my final year project in 2010, my MSc Engineering Management course group was divided into two groups, each with seven members. I was selected as the Team Leader for one of these groups. I had to assign the tasks, show weekly progress and maintain a master plan for the project using Microsoft Project. After a one hour presentation and a 45 minute question/answer session on the final presentation day, I felt extremely proud as my group was declared the winner and awarded the trophy. I also enjoyed receiving a Distinction in my degree.

Outside of my course, I enjoyed playing tennis, going to the gym and the Costa coffee!

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

I would recommend going to Middlesex University for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Engineering Management is the most suitable degree for any Engineer wanting to gain a good blend of technical and managerial knowledge. I was very satisfied with my degree modules, my final year project and the faculty.

I personally would recommend to prospective students who are looking at studying at Middlesex University that they join this world class institute.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you get to where you are professionally today?

I am more confident and have better communication and improved presentation skills. The postgraduate course has given me attention to detail and enough confidence to take on and manage technical and administrative responsibilities.

What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?

I always had a dream to work for the railway industry. I joined the UK's railway industry, which is world famous for its standards and regulations, as an Assistant Signalling Designer. The main pro is it is a highly rewarding sector. The main con is the fact there is a lot of pressure as signal designing is highly safety-critical work.

How did you get your first foot on the career ladder?

I contacted Middlesex University Career Services and based on the advice I received, I updated my CV and covering letter accordingly. I applied to many jobs on various recruitment websites, company websites and attended career exhibitions. I was invited for some interviews and assessment centres. As a result, I found my current job.

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

Joining such a specialised and rewarding sector has been a highlight. Some other life defining moments for me to date are:

  • Getting a distinction in my Masters Degree;
  • Getting my associate membership from the IRSE (Institute of Railway Signalling Engineers);
  • Receiving my IRSE licence i.e. Signalling Design Assistant 1.1.500 v;
  • Working on many successful projects including the London Underground's biggest upgrade in history, the Birmingham Gateway Project, Watford Junction's Platform Extension, Ealing Common Depot Project, London Victoria, West of England Project and currently working on Feltham Signalling Upgrade with commissioning due in 2018.

What are the top three tips you would give to current students and recent graduates who are looking for a similar career to yourself?

Be confident, polish your communication skills and always dream big!

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

Work out what your key interest area is and remember everything is possible.

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