Ardmac’s Manoj Goyal spoke to Engineers Ireland at their virtual Global Engineers event.
Transcript and Video Below
Good evening, everyone.
Let me first introduce myself. My name is Manoj Goyal and I work as a Design Engineer with Ardmac on Critical Mission Facilities such as cleanrooms and data centres. I am originally from Punjab India, and I must say I never thought about moving to another country until 6 years ago.
A bit of background, I did my 12th standard exams in India only and then got admission to Mechanical Engineering in Thapar University Patiala. I was going through university as everyone else will do for the first 2 years. By the end of 4th Semester exams, I got an email from the Dean of University stating that I was selected as one of the Top 10 engineers in the university and was being offered a scholarship to study the remaining 2 years of my course in Trinity College Dublin. I was shocked, surprised, and intrigued by this offer. As I said before, never did I think of leaving my home country, so I was scared a bit as well. My parents were supportive but were also worried as I was the first one to study and live abroad in the family. Eventually I said yes, and next thing you know I was on a plane to Ireland, of course with my student visa in hand.
Coming to Ireland six years ago was a big decision for a 19-year-old. I was moving halfway across the world, but I think at the time I was just very excited to visit another country and experience it. As soon as I landed, the first thing that I noticed about Ireland was the weather, it was so cold and windy.
TCD student forums and the TCD student union was very helpful in answering my questions on anything related to moving to Ireland. I was living in student accommodation for the first year. Everything was new for me. I had to cook my own food, do my own laundry, etc. I had to basically do everything on my own for the first time in my life. It was a bit different and difficult at first but eventually I managed to do all of that and complete my studies at the same time with first class grades.
Going to college was also a different experience. I attended classes as one would normally do, but the big difference was the approach to projects and assignments. It was not just an activity to be completed by any means but was actually used as an effective learning method. Group assignments/individual assignments were all graded and were a big part of final results. I was also involved in different social clubs such as Trinity Entrepreneurial Society and Trinity Indian Society helping with organising events and social meetups.
Ireland was a big culture shock for me. There were parties all around the college campus! Students would go out on Thursday night to clubs, drink a lot and then go to college on Friday with a hangover. I think I am accustomed to the culture now as I don’t remember much what I found different then, but what I do remember is the first few days thinking ‘Where am I’?
Two years of study went by, and I was looking for a job. Everyone that I knew had an offer in hand by the time of the final exams. I was still interviewing, applied for almost 60 jobs through different job websites, TCD career advisory and several graduate programmes, got a few interviews, and eventually got the offer from a small company called Source.
I was hired as a Mechanical Engineer at Source and was responsible for the design of HVAC and mechanical utilities for different projects. They also agreed to sponsor my CSEP after my graduate visa expired. As it was my first job, I didn’t know what I was doing most of the time initially. College teaches you basic skills and how to conduct yourself in professional world, but the actual job is only learnt with hands on experience. I was grateful that my manager was very supportive and gave me training and enough time to learn and execute my responsibilities. Soon I was working and interacting directly with clients such as McDonald’s, Argos and Intel for different projects with budgets of mostly €0.5m up to €1m. I was happy with my progression for the first 2 years, but as can happen in small companies, one can only go so far and then you can become quite stagnant in your role. Also due to the pandemic, things slowed down a lot and that affected the work as construction was completely shut down for several months. I wanted to move to a bigger company to manage bigger projects. Also, I wanted to work more on critical projects such as pharmaceutical and data centres.
As soon as things started picking up after covid, I got a lot of LinkedIn messages from recruiters and companies for different roles. I interviewed for a bunch of them and got several offers. Eventually, I accepted my current role last year and I am very happy that I did. I got the job as a Design Engineer with Ardmac, working on Cleanroom projects. Ardmac also sponsored my CSEP as I had a few months left before I got my Stamp 4. After first 2-3 weeks of training, I was handed my first project for a big client, designing a cleanroom cold store for Pfizer. During the project, I got hands on learning and a lot of support and knowledge from my manager. Since then, I have been involved in several cleanroom projects, working as Lead Mechanical Design Engineer, for several clients such as MSD, Arkray, Alexion, etc with budgets exceeding €3m. Also, I have been to several events such as Pharma Awards and have met industry leaders and gained insights about the industry.
I have grown a lot in past 6 years personally and professionally. I used to be very closed and shy person, but I have to say my confidence level has grown exponentially and I have started putting myself out there a lot more.
Since coming to Ireland and over the years, I have learned many things. I want to share few of them with you today.
- Ireland weather is not predictable, so always carry an extra layer of clothing with yourself.
- People here generally have very nice nature and always talk very friendly, so be kind and try to engage with people. It’ll help you better understand them and them to understand you.
- If you are coming here to study or work, make the most of the resources available to you for information, any online forums, student unions, any college liaison or company HR, etc.
- Rental accommodation market is tough in Ireland. With rising prices, it is difficult to rent, so keep a healthy budget and look around daft.ie regularly as there are accommodations coming up every day that fits your needs.
- If you are enrolled in a university; along with the classes, try to socialise and participate in different activities. College is a great place to develop connections.
- Job hunt might be tedious process but never lose hope. There are so many job opportunities here, you just need to find what’s right for you. Look for jobs on different websites such as LinkedIn, Irishjobs, graduateireland, etc., attend career days, take career advice from university career counsellors and other trusted sources, always take feedback from several people on your CV and keep refining it. Also don’t lie on your CV, interviewers will know.
- Never say no to an opportunity especially if you can afford it. It changes your life in different ways that you can’t even imagine and for the best of it mostly.
Before I end my presentation, I want to tell you a little bit about Ardmac
Ardmac are a specialist contractor operating primarily in high-tech sectors including life sciences, data centres, medical devices, semi-conductor, and Lithium batteries. We operate in 10 different countries across Europe and currently have approx. 450 employees across all divisions. We offer full turn-key design and build solutions to many of our clients. The design and engineering team totals approximately 50 people made up of engineers and architectural technicians.
We are continuing to grow and currently have various openings at all levels in the engineering team including:
- HVAC design engineers
- Electrical design engineers
- Process design engineers
- BIM MEP technicians
- Project Engineers
- Turnover & CQV Engineers
You can find our more details on these opportunities on our website, www.ardmac.com. If any of the roles are of interest, please feel free to submit your CV to our HR dept at Human.Resources@Ardmac.com
Great presentation Manoj, Thank you!