- Course studied:
- Mechanical Engineering
- Year of graduation:
Engineering a great career
From a young age, Awaiss Mirza was headed for a career in engineering. He always enjoyed learning how things worked, and when his sponsor Michelin recommended studying at Staffordshire everything fell into place.
“I had always been interested in how things worked from an early age,” says the 44-year-old. “I remember taking my toys apart just to see how they fit together and what the inner mechanisms were like. Things that moved, had gearing or mechanical devices, were like magic to me and my thirst for understanding how they worked led me to want to study engineering.
“I didn’t know which university to attend and was recommended Staffordshire University by my sponsor at the time, which was Michelin Tyre Plc. I guessed that if a university was recommended by a leading blue chip organisation then it must be good, and I was right!”
Top sales manager
Awaiss graduated in 1993 with a BEng (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering, and went on to complete an MSc in Computer Aided Engineering, also at Staffs, in 1995.
He worked at Michelin from 1994 to 2002 in a variety of roles, including industrial engineer, account manager, training manager and regional sales manager, before moving on to senior roles in a range of other businesses.
He has worked at IMI Precision Engineering since 2012, initially as UK sales manager before being promoted to global sales efficiency manager in June 2015.
“I have set and driven commercial strategy to increase profitability in each role in the past 12 years,” says Awaiss, who was named as “best in class” throughout Europe by global strategy consulting firm Roland Berger in an independent survey carried out by Birds Eye in 2011.
“I am currently working for a FTSE 100 engineering company and have a career path towards being one of the profit and loss leaders of the business.”
Despite his enthusiasm for engineering, going to university was still a daunting prospect. But his time at Staffs increased his confidence and gave him a firm foundation to launch his career.
“When I came to Staffordshire University, I, like most students of that age, was leaving home for the first time and living by myself,” says Awaiss, who says his graduation was a memorable experience. “I spent the first year in halls of residence and made lots of new friends, many of which are still friends today.
“My four years at university helped me grow up a great deal and taught me independence, confidence and gave me opportunities to learn about life in a safe environment. There was always support at hand if you needed it and it had the feeling of an extended family network.
“Professionally, Staffordshire University provided me with the education that I needed to continue working with my business sponsor on a course recognised by them as being best in class. This later led on to a job and a great career.”