Virendra Chauhan (Chemistry 2009) has relocated to Singapore to help build the Asian office of an oil and gas start-up, working as an energy analyst. We caught up with him at a recent reception for alumni and friends in Singapore.
What did you learn during your time at Imperial, in class or out?
“I did an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and went on to do a PhD in the field of Chemical Physics which was a collaborative effort between Chemistry, solid-state Physics and material science. Imperial taught me that it’s important to strike a balance between success inside and outside of academics.”
Tell us a bit about the work you’re doing now.
“I work for a start-up in the oil and gas industry. We write research on commodity markets and I specifically work on oil. I have recently relocated to Singapore to help build out the Asian office here.”
How has what you learnt at Imperial helped you in your career so far?
“Being linked to a college renowned for its strength in the field of science and engineering helped get me through the door, but since then it's been about developing the softer skills – the ability to present, communicate ideas as part of a team.”
What have been your career highlights and lowlights?
“I started my career in investment banking. Moving from a very academic environment to banking was difficult at times as I learnt to manage the different time pressures and demands. Moving to Singapore has certainly been a highlight for me, and gaining international experience is invaluable.”
What does a typical day look like for you now?
“We often travel for work, have meetings with clients, monitor the markets and write reports, which is the bread and butter part of our business.”
What are your plans for the future?
“I would like to continue developing as an energy analyst. It's very dynamic as the past 18 months in the oil market have shown. I would like to continue gaining some more international experience.”
What would be your advice for current students?
“Make the most of extra-curricular activities and be open. This is what will differentiate you in the world of work more than the final grade you achieve.”
What’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
“Just before the 2008-9 global financial crisis, I had to make a decision between getting a full-time job or pursuing further studies – I’m glad I chose the latter…”
What are you most proud of in your life?
“Graduating from Imperial College London!”