Reja Khalid Mateen
BEng (Hons) Electronic, Telecommunications & Internet Engineering (2014) Subsea Systems Engineering Manager, BT Subsea Centre of Excellence Team, Ipswich
Why did you apply to the University of Bradford and why did you choose your course?
Mobiles and satellites have always fascinated me; hence I wanted to get into a field where I would get an opportunity to closely observe them. University of Bradford stood out as one of the very few universities that offer a Bachelor's degree in telecommunications related subjects, plus given the added advantage of it having such a high employability rate after graduation, I chose to pursue my degree there.
What did you like and enjoy about the University and your course?
The university environment was extremely diverse so being an international student I did not feel out of place. The variety and depth of subjects that were taught in the course gave me a strong base to enter a telecommunications based industry without the need to put in as much effort as was required by my peers joining from other electrical or electronics based backgrounds.
How did Career Development Services support you during your time at University?
From the initial draft of my CV to mock interviews just before my actual ones, Career Development Services guided me through every step of the way. I was given advice on everything from the layout of my CV and covering letter to in-depth preparation for my interviews.
What action did you take to improve your employability whilst at university?
Knowing the kind of soft skills that employers look for through my placement experience, I engaged myself in activities that could demonstrate a wide variety of my strengths including team working and initiative driven tasks. These not only helped me develop my personality but also gave me points to highlight for any future job position without having to think much.
What advice would you give to your fellow international students about improving their employability?
The thought of not having as many opportunities as the locals should not let them down. Focusing on the few that are available helps make the application better than applying to a lot through generic covering letters etc. Also, they should keep trying even if they do not succeed in the first few attempts.
What did you enjoy most about being an international student at the University of Bradford?
Being an international student meant that I had a completely different background from most of the people around me. This allowed me to have unique experiences to share with my other class fellows which they found intriguing as well. This also provided me with the opportunity of making my applications stand out from the crowd while applying for jobs.
What would you say about the University of Bradford and the city to prospective international students?
The university and city are both extremely multi-cultured so one does not feel out of place at all. The staff at the university is quite helpful and the city has lots to offer itself and in the adjoining areas, whether it is museums or parks.
Tell us about your current job...
I am currently a Subsea Systems Engineering Manager for BT since Sept 2014, as part of my Graduate 2 year Programme. I hope to gain enough expertise in the Subsea area by the end of the programme to apply for a chartered engineer status and continue to work within the subsea line of business.
My team looks into planning, implementation and maintenance of BT Subsea Cable assets which carry most of the international internet traffic. They also provide support for updating existing equipment and capacity as well as notify relevant customers of traffic impacting events e.g. during capacity upgrade implementations. As part of my role as a graduate, I shadow team members on all their daily activities in order to gain an understanding and eventually learn enough to lead their tasks. My job involves a lot of travel in order to support the operations and maintenance activities.