Graduates: Systems well engineered: Expertise in IT leads to many opportunities, says one high-flyer who met Philip Schofield

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The Independent Online
Chris Goss took a BEng (Honours) in Manufacturing Engineering and Business Studies at Sheffield City Polytechnic. This was followed by an MSc in Information Technology Systems at Strathclyde University. He joined the Ove Arup Partnership, one of the UK's leading engineering consultants, in January last year.

'I saw engineering, business studies and IT as three core skills to move into management and IT consultancy. A large part of our work is dealing with the client, determining their business strategies . . . and developing solutions which fit in with those strategies.'

He joined Arup Communications. 'Our core business is IT for construction projects. We design voice and data communication systems for new or refurbished buildings.

'We need to determine equipment room requirements, the equipment in those rooms, cabling out to desks, voice and data requirements at those desks.

'We also design video conferencing, radio, microwave and satellite communication systems.

'My first project involved the new Cable & Wireless Telecommunications college which just received the Sunday Times Building of the Year Award . . . very interesting.

'I'm now working on the RAC Regional Control Centre at the intersection of the M4 and M5 on the outskirts of Bristol . . . a splendid building - very distinctive.

'It not only handles all breakdown calls for South-west England and the Midlands 24 hours a day, but also has telesales departments and customer relations departments for their other services, general administration.

'The communications are vitally important because this is the front end of the RAC's business.

'There's a proposal for a new international arrivals building at JFK airport in New York and I was involved in writing the initial review of JFK's information and automation systems.

'This included those for airport management and control, aircraft scheduling, and passenger and baggage logistics - how you control the movement of people and baggage around the airport, from check-in to reuniting them on arrival'

Although Mr Goss puts technical knowledge first, his job is very people-oriented. 'I deal with clients on a daily basis, varying from company directors and their IT staff to architects and other engineering and design professionals.

'You also have to understand the business aspects. It's vitally important to realise that somebody has to pay for the project at the end of the day.'

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