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Congrats to Nitin Singhal, QUT MBA student...

Where are they now? Nitin Singhal


Starting out as an international student in Brisbane, Nitin says that participating in a CEED project gave his resume an extra boost, which was attractive to future employers.

Nitin Singhal now enjoys a [recently commenced] position as a Cost Analyst at QGC (Queensland Gas Company) working towards developing the Curtis LNG (liquefied natural gas) project in Central Queensland.  Prior to this, Nitin served as a Technology Advisory Consultant at Deloitte [Australia], one of the world’s largest consulting firms. 

Past CEED student, Nitin Singhal 
 Nitin Singhal, past CEED student and QUT MBA

Back in 2010, Nitin undertook an Information Technology project at Cedar Creek Company via CEED, focusing on software development. The project was part of his MBA, (he majored in IT), at Queensland University of Technology. Cedar Creek Company is a supplier of technology to the meat processing industry, mainly in Australasia. The project’s goal was to create a livestock data analysis and web feedback delivery system – that is, to design software which creates a bridge between farmers and abattoirs.

Nitin says the project achieved its objectives and was very innovative, benefiting both the farmers and abattoirs. Farmers gained access to information regarding optimal care for animals, whilst abattoirs received the best stock; a win-win scenario.

Attaining industry exposure whilst a student was especially valuable. Nitin says the Cedar Creek team was aware that he was still in training, thus allowing some leeway. This room to move provided Nitin with the opportunity to learn meaningful lessons and to excel ‘on the job’.

Having grown up and worked in India, Nitin was realistic about needing to learn the business customs and cultural norms of Australian life. This is an added barrier for international students to overcome. A CEED project provided Nitin with an ideal opportunity to gain industry experience and cultural awareness, with the added plus of shaving time off his university degree. 

It was worth it. When he applied as an international student to firms such as Deloitte and the likes, Nitin says he needed to have “something in hand already”, something to show his initiative – his CEED project demonstrated this.

Nitin explains that when employing international graduates, “companies are looking for Australian exposure – even working at McDonald’s – so that you understand the people and culture here. Having worked with CEED, it was much more than just the Australian culture because they had knowledge of the industry as well, which was looked upon very favourably when I applied to Deloitte.”

Nitin was also a Brisbane International Student Ambassador during his studies. This is an initiative by Brisbane City Council and Brisbane Marketing, to promote Brisbane and the outstanding opportunities available to international students while living and studying here.

Brisbane, Australia does not typically occupy the number one spot in the list of ‘dream’ study destinations for many international students. However, even as a high-achiever with a world of opportunity before him elsewhere, Brisbane appealed to Nitin. University rankings, job opportunities, cost of living and safety are at the forefront of an international student’s mind, Nitin says, when choosing a location to study. Add to that Brisbane’s excellent weather, relaxed manner and minimal competition (compared to other global cities), and Brisbane fitted the bill. As a Brisbane International Student Ambassador (and graduate of QUT), Nitin has a genuine passion for Brisbane as a great place to study.

As with many university students, being buried in books at university wasn’t overly appealing. According to Nitin, a lot of the content covered was case-based and book-based and rarely applied to practical scenarios. Working on his CEED project provided him with a realistic work perspective.

Though Nitin’s current role at QGC and previous role at Deloitte are rather different from meat processing, he feels the experience gave him a one-up over other applicants when he sought employment. His work background is in Information Technology (IT), his MBA is in IT, within Deloitte he did technology-related consulting, and now at QGC he takes it to the next level by using technology to manage the big budget numbers of the QCLNG project. Therefore, the specific content of his project notwithstanding it was firstly in IT, and secondly, immersed in the Australian culture. Nitin describes these two factors as being critical reasons in making his experience “highly valuable” and a “big advantage” over other applicants.

Before commencing employment with QGC and Deloitte, Nitin worked with others whom he met through his CEED project. For Nitin, one semester-long project turned into a year’s worth of employment. He feels that through these little steps and connections, it has helped him to get where he is today. Nitin believes that, as a graduate candidate, you need to have a competitive edge over other applicants. He says, “the small steps taken to build connections and gain experience accumulate over time to become a big advantage for you.”

In his present position at QGC as a Cost Analyst, Nitin works as part of the cost control and forecast team for the $25 billion Queensland Curtis LNG project.

With Deloitte, Nitin extensively helped clients solve their business problems utilising technology through consulting. He says these roles are similar to his previous role in India, but this Australian experience has taken it to the next level.

Nitin very much enjoys his job. He describes with a beaming smile that it is “good fun and good learning”. It would be hard for him to become bored, because of the sheer nature of big numbers and ever-changing technology, and his role is a combination of the two. He especially loves receiving exposure to so many different aspects of project budgets, and with so much up for grabs, “it helps to build on your knowledge so quickly.”

What can we expect from Nitin in the future? Obviously he is entirely unbiased, but he does concede, “QGC are the first company to roll out the LNG plant in Queensland and Deloitte is the best at what they do, so it leaves me with little room and motivation to move.”

Nitin has studied and worked overseas, participated in a rewarding CEED project, been an international student ambassador to many, completed under-graduate and post-graduate studies, and now works with enthusiasm for an international firm. For students considering undertaking a CEED project, Nitin has some advice. “When I did my CEED project, little did I realise it’s value, because when I stepped into it my main intention was ‘yes, let’s get some industry experience’, but when I stepped out into the market looking for graduate jobs, that’s when I really realised how valuable it turned out to be.” 

Finally, he implores those already in a CEED project to make the most of it. For those not already in a CEED project, Nitin questions, “What are you waiting for? It is time!”

Written by Katherine McElrea (CEED Marketing Assistant, summer 2012/13)


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