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Janani (Electronic Engineering) ;

Postgraduate alumni: Janani's story

In Chennai, India, Janani (Electronic Engineering with Management MSc) grew up hearing about King’s, it was always on her radar. Then, after hearing a friend’s positive experience, Janani knew travelling to London to study at King's would be the right decision. We asked her about her experience.

What attracted you to study at King’s?

The reason I chose King’s was that it offered the exact course I was looking for, combining Electronic Engineering with Management. The quality of education King’s offers is a class apart. And they mix that education with shaping you as a person. Being in London, staying in Great Dover Street apartments, mixing with students from all over the world – it was an enriching experience.

How important was the London location to you?

Being in the Strand campus you get the best of being in London. The exposure you get is immense because it’s so centrally located in the heart of zone 1.

It’s such a place to grow - I loved being in the centre of a fast-paced city, it was an inspiring place to study and live.

And what was the community like on your course?

One of the reasons I was so excited to study at King’s was the multicultural aspect. I met students from China and Malaysia, for example, and you learn why they chose the course and discover you have such similar interests.

I’m still in touch with all of them. Most of us are in telecommunications. We write to each other to find out about the latest technology trends in different parts of the world. We even discuss job opportunities – you never know when you can be of help to someone.

Did you have specific career goals in mind when you started?

I had an interest in telecommunications and this was nurtured at King’s. With the new knowledge imparted by the course, that interest got a lot stronger. People like Professor Hamid Aghvami really drove my passion and set me in the right direction.

Being in telecomms, everything you learn is new and exciting. At King’s I was learning about all those things the industry has to offer. I wouldn’t have had that exposure without my course.

And now you work for Tata Communications?

That’s right. After my course I did a management internship at Alcatel-Lucent in Maidenhead, where I put a lot of my training into practice. By the time I came back to India I knew what I wanted so I channelled my job search into very specific roles.

I got what I wanted at Tata Communications. Of course, you start from the bottom so you learn from scratch. But what was exciting was that what I learnt at King’s was very similar to what I was discovering in my job. The theory was coming to life.

Did King’s play an important part in helping you secure your job role?

My time at King’s, including my good internship experience, developed the quality of my management skills to meet the expectations of employers out in the real world. My time at King’s helped me put forward my best.

When looking for jobs in India, I uploaded my profile to a job portal and it got automatically tagged with “top European school”. I was so happy! To date going to King’s is one of the proudest achievements of my life.

I was successful in achieving my current role thanks to the exposure I got on my course. It prepares you for the business challenges you face on a day-to-day basis. For example, when you’re completing your thesis, you’re not just doing it for a particular project. You’re preparing yourself for a larger real-world challenge.

How did your course prepare you for your career?

In 2011 I was learning about what would be happening in 2015 or 2016. It was very futuristic. But what we speculated about back then is actually a reality now. We spoke about digital transformation, but now we’re part of the digital transformation. Theory has become practice and I’m living that journey we planned.

And now we’re living in a new decade. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming realities, just like we predicted years ago. Telecomms is ever-evolving but King’s is always ahead of it.

The focus of the course wasn’t just on current technology but rewiring our minds about how to approach a subject that’s constantly changing.

What sort of projects are you working on now?

Being in the product team, I work on a lot of expansion projects, from planning to implementation. You’re in the middle of everything – you need technical knowledge but you also need to understand the business challenges. You’re in the driver’s seat so it’s important to drive projects from start to finish. The course I did really helped me prepare for that.

I used to be a very shy person but King’s made me comfortable meeting people with different points of view or from different cultures. Taking on responsibilities like the Student Staff Liaison Committee helped me become the people person I am today.

I believe I have good interpersonal skills now and I can confidently say that I can take on any challenge at work and get things done.

Janani volunteers with the TATA PRO-ENGAGE, a skill based volunteering platform, as a mentor – like many King’s alumni across the world, she’s passing on that sense of wonder that King’s inspired in her. She left us with one final thought:

We are where we are because someone gave us an opportunity to grow. We should provide the same to others.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Interested in studying a postgraduate course? Join us online from 22 – 26 February at our Postgraduate Virtual Open Week and discover what it’s like to study at King’s and how to apply.

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