PSC has more than 260 global employees, all helping power a more sustainable world. Our employee spotlight segment offers a look at what our hardworking people are all about when they’re not serving our clients and each other at work. This spotlight is on Raj Hirani, a consultant with PSC UK who works out of our Newcastle office there.
How was your first day at PSC and describe your role?
Raj: I joined PSC as a graduate HVDC engineer straight after completing my Master’s in Electrical Power Engineering at Northumbria University, Newcastle. On my first day with PSC – about two years ago now – I remember reflecting on how eager I was to meet the prospects and challenges that lay ahead.
In my role as an HVDC consultant, I have the opportunity to work on a diverse range of projects linked to the field of HVDC transmission systems, as well as onshore and offshore cable systems.
My projects involve helping utility developers implement their renewable generation projects. This requires system designing and consultancy on the creation of onshore and offshore cable routes from wherever the generation site is located to the preferred substation.
I collaborate with engineers, managers and stakeholders as we route High Voltage AC and High Voltage DC cables that range from 11 kV to 400 KV.
In these cable routing projects, we support developers in finding the optimal route for laying cables. This means we must consider nearby and existing utilities, water crossings and infrastructure development throughout the route. Every project requires close collaboration with multidisciplinary teams and experts to ensure a successful implementation.
As a natural progression from gaining competence and expertise in the power engineering sector, I am now working toward IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology) Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
Raj: I was raised in a small town called Bhavnagar in western India. It is a coastal area with hills and is surrounded by sea. I have happy recollections of playing with friends in the neighborhood park, riding cycles, and playing cricket.
I currently live in Newcastle, UK. When I moved here, it was a significant cultural change. Newcastle is a busy city full of vibrant ethnic diversity and urban activity.
I feel lucky to have the opportunity to experience the charm of a small town and the vibrancy of a big city because both places have played crucial parts in forming who I am today.
What is the most interesting or most gratifying part of your job?
Raj: Overall, my job is fascinating and incredibly gratifying because of ongoing learning, making meaningful relationships, and staying current within my area.
Dealing with a wide variety of clients and assisting them in finding solutions to their issues is immensely satisfying. Contributing to a project by giving advice or sharing knowledge and insights is incredibly rewarding.
Another exciting part of the job for me is keeping abreast of new advances in the industry and investigating emerging trends. This enables me to remain at the forefront of my field and give my clients the best care possible.
What is the quality you admire most in other people?
Raj: One of the qualities I value most in other people is true empathy. When you are truly capable of knowing and relating to the feelings and experiences of others, you can be deeply supportive and compassionate. Seeing someone who actively listens, actually cares, and responds without passing judgment is immensely energizing.
Furthermore, genuine empathy typically catalyzes acts of generosity and kindness. Even if it’s just through small acts of kindness, it’s heartwarming to see people go above and beyond to make the lives of others better. This quality can spread like a virus, inspiring others to show empathy and kindness.
I highly value the capacity for empathy and a sense of connection with people at work. I hope I demonstrate it in my own interactions and relationships in a sometimes confusing world.
What do you work toward in your free time?
Raj: After work and at weekends, I do several things. Sometimes, I go out for a meal with colleagues and relax by walking around the city centre. This provides an opportunity to bond with staff on a personal level. On top of that, when team members from different divisions share a meal, it can help to provide insights into each other’s roles and responsibilities, fostering a greater appreciation for the diversity of functions within the company.
In addition, I play cricket in South Division 5 with the Lions Cricket Club in Newcastle, and I enjoy reading non-fiction books. I like factual information that helps to expand my knowledge based on the world around me. Reading factual books also offers self-improvement and emotional intelligence and inspires me to set and achieve goals.
I also work with COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas), a children’s charity providing sustainable sources of quality education to children living in poor and marginalized communities. I support them in fundraising events.
I am very happy to support this type of NGO (Non-governmental organization) and very passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of individuals and communities.
What advice would you give to a new young professional who wants an entry-graduate role?
Raj: First and foremost, focus on your studies by understanding the basics and foundation of the course. Emphasize your education, be current with market trends and start looking for summer internships while pursuing your studies.
Try to market yourself as much as possible during your education by attending seminars and webinars and becoming a member of organizations related to your field. Don’t undervalue the power of networking during this phase.
Try to visit career fairs, industry conferences and LinkedIn professional connection pages. Engage with university graduates currently employed in your subject of interest who can offer insightful help in recommending jobs and good company.
Try new things, maintain a proactive approach by continuously adjusting your strategies, and feel free to adopt the advice.
Finally, always keep these few guiding principles in mind:
- Be flexible towards change and embrace challenges.
- Reinforce trust with your teammates.
- Encourage new ideas.