The candidate's story

Job Title: Electrical Design Engineer

Company: ARUP


Raha is from Iraq. She has an overseas Degree and Masters and over 7 years of engineering consultancy experience in Iraq. Due to political instability she had no choice but to flee to safety.

She found it difficult to find work in her related field. Lack of UK job market knowledge and no UK experience were the biggest barriers she faced. Conscious and unconscious bias also hindered her job applications. After 3 years of frustration in seeking employment, she was introduced to Transitions through a friend.

Transitions brokered a 3 month paid structured internship with ARUP as a designer engineer. Transitions also provided her with a range of quality 1-1 and group professional development and careers services, including a peer coach (another middle eastern female engineer, now working for Virgin Media group).

She learned about the UK professionals job market and how to engage effectively with it, including making use of her professional body (the IET). Her superviser described how she ‘blossomed’ during the placement and proven herself to be a valuable, overseas-experienced, multilingual asset to their work. She succeeded in gaining a permanent Design Engineer job with ARUP following the placement.

“I was impressed and surprised with myself! I would never have that confidence without Transitions’ encouragement and belief in my capabilities. The support I found from Transitions along the last 6 months helped to do my best to get this great opportunity.”

Raha Shahnaz, Eelectrical Design Engineer