Deloitte’s Anshul Goyal discusses the value of taking risks as an engineer and how an early career experience acts as his ‘North Star’.

Anshul Goyal says that as a child he was always inclined towards pursuing a career in medicine. That was until he saw an x-ray machine in action, piquing his curiosity and inspiring him to wonder about how this machine managed to capture a digital image of a bone.

“That was a ‘wow’ moment for me,” he says. “I got very interested to find out the how and what of the machine and associated software, basically the mechanics behind it.”

From here, Goyal began reading and exploring the subject of engineering, eventually choosing to pursue a career in the area. Over the course of his engineering career, he has led multiple digital transformation projects in areas such as manufacturing, retail, banking and healthcare.

Now, Goyal is a senior solutions manager and architect at Deloitte, a role which he says stays exciting and challenging due to the adrenaline rush, curiosity and “the ability to help customers irrespective of their domains”.

What were the biggest surprises or challenges you encountered on your career path in engineering and how did you deal with them?

In engineering, every day brings a new challenge, but there is one incident that has always acted as a North Star in my career. I started as a tech lead in the early days and had no prior training on handling a smart team of engineers. I messed up the delivery due to some unplanned activities which I thought would be accounted for in the estimates provided by the senior developers. Not going into the details, what I learned was to always discuss, agree and then deliver. Time spent in planning, design and discussions always help to deliver quality products on time and in budget.

Was there any one person who was particularly influential as your career developed?

My first team lead encouraged me to take risks, as mistakes will happen and in due course you will become independent to take decisions and learn the ability to own your work. The other aspect that I like is to always see the bigger picture – always think about the business problem you are working to solve and help your customers.

‘A big part of becoming an effective engineer is to be open to feedback and challenging communication’

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Working with different colleagues and embracing ideas of all those who are working with you. In my current organisation, due to the way current practice is set up, our partners are available to support and guide in all aspects which gives me the confidence to take risks, try new things and deliver better quality products.

What aspects of your personality do you feel make you suited to engineering?

Data-driven decision-making, problem-solving, straight-to-the-point attitude and helping my team to solve problems are the traits that make me feel that I am suited for engineering.

What can people expect from career progression in the engineering industry?

Career progression in my opinion depends on an individual’s choices – many engineers opt to work as individual contributors, whereas others choose to grow as engineering leaders. The leadership team in my organisation offers the flexibility and ability to choose different pathways to grow by enabling us to have open and honest conversations at different levels.

The best thing that I like here is the coach and coachee set-up which is very effective because you as an individual take ownership of your career, and with the guidance of your coach and support of leadership you can achieve what you need in your career.

What advice would you give to those considering a career in engineering, or just starting out in one?

As an engineer, my advice to anyone who is looking to consider a career in engineering is to keep an open mind to learn and explore new ways of solving problems, always broaden the spectrum to understand the bigger picture and never be afraid of taking risks. A big part of becoming an effective engineer is to be open to feedback and challenging communication.

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