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Alumni

Pedro Miranda

Career Path: International Production Manager Operation & Maintenance, Acciona Agua
Location: Madrid, Spain

Since leaving Northumbria University I knew my career was to be developed in an international sphere, therefore I focused my first job quest on multinational companies related to water (my first interest) and also broader chemist businesses. First interviews were good, but fruitless. I always kindly asked the highest ranked manager in the room for permission to send to him letters in the future to update my CV from time to time, all of them accepted and so I did every month for the following year. This technique worked and one of the organisations I was keen to work for called me a year later, while I was dedicating my time to obtain another degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences. In 2001 I got my first chemistry-related job at the company I am still working for now, Acciona. It is a Spanish multinational organisation but still family-owned with many facets (energy, water, construction, engineering, airport services, etc.) and 40,000 employees worldwide.

I got my first assignment at a desalination plant in the Spanish island  of Ibiza and after two years there I became Plant Director for one of the two seawater desalination facilities serving drinking water to the island. Two years later, I moved back to the main offices in Madrid and was then assigned a position which involved in the design and construction of new water plants. A further two years later I volunteered to join a team of Chemists, Processors and Engineers in developing a remediation project of a failed desalination plant in Florida, the biggest desalination plant in USA.

What are you doing now?Pedro Miranda

In 2008 I returned to Spain, started a family and ten years later I am managing water plants for a worldwide company, Acciona Agua, and bidding everywhere to obtain more contracts. I am in a plane 2-3 times per month at least and I am very happy with what I do.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

Coming from a Spanish University, where I passed the first two modules of Chemistry, I looked to culminate the degree at Northumbria University, on the advice of a friend that studied there before me.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

I attended lectures in the mornings and carried out final year project work in the afternoon and evenings. Impressive and very constructive.

How connected was your course with industry?

Placements were a real possibility, unlike my university in Spain, and my lecturers encouraged us to go to interview with industry partners that worked with the course.

What was the best thing about your course?

Laboratory facilities, access to equipment and the final year project. Also how well connected my lecturers were to course alumni.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

Attending the University was a definitive booster to obtaining my job and developing myself in an international business arena.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

Hard work and a 'never-give-up' philosophy was embedded within Northumbria activities, lessons and the final year project. Attending the University also taught me to be creative, imaginative, to not hesitate to take opportunities as they appear, not be afraid to look foolish in front of others and that you are unique, just need to be you and work hard. Rewards will come for sure.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The work ethics, methodology and lecturers' proximity if there was a question or issue.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

Just go, don't think about it.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Learn, work and socialise.

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