What's your name and job title? What did you study?
My name is Nooshin Tafazzoli and my job title is graduate electrical engineer. I studied a Bachelor of Electrical (Electronic) Engineering and then continued my studies completing a Master of Innovation and Engineering Design, graduating in 2015.
Where did you grow up? What have been some important stages of your life in regards to your education, experience abroad, jobs and so forth?
I grew up in Iran. I spent my school years in Tehran, which is the capital of the country. After my bachelor’s degree I decided to continue my study and moved to Malaysia to get my master’s degree.
One of the important stages of my life was my internship program in Malaysia. I started working for a small company as an intern and then got a contract for a year. Working for this company helped me to find out the interesting parts of being an electrical engineer.
How did you get to your current job position? For how long have you had it?
I found the job advertisement for my current position on the Jora Seeker website and LinkedIn, so I applied through Jora. It has been about seven months that I have been working at Aristocrat Technologies.
What does your employer do?
Aristocrat mainly manufactures electronic gaming machines. All the electronics design work gets done in-house, which allows me to work on real products and as a result – with such hands-on experience – I learn something new every day.
What are your areas of responsibility?
Basically, what we do as an engineering team is design new products and test and troubleshoot these designs for new electronic gaming machines. In addition, we work on upgrading the existing product to make sure we have the best products in the industry. Currently, I am working on different hardware designs and testing some special boards to make sure all voltages and currents are distributed properly.
Suppose a student was considering your career. What would you advise them to study? Are there any soft skills it would be beneficial for them to develop?
I highly recommend learning a few circuit diagrams designing software like Altium at university, as it certainly helps undergraduates to hit the ground running.
There are also a few books that every electrical engineer should study before starting their career, such as The Art of Electronics by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill and High-speed Digital Design by Howard Johnson and Martin Graham.
Should students pursue any sort of work experience?
I think it would be great for an electrical engineer to have some experience as an intern in a small company, to find which areas they need to work on and improve their skills.
What sort of person succeeds in your career?
Firstly, to be a successful electrical engineer you should not be shy of getting your hands dirty in a dusty environment and working with electrical devices in the lab. Secondly, a successful engineer should always share their ideas without fearing other people’s opinion. They shouldn’t be scared of being creative.
Also, there are not so many women at this industry, so as a woman they should be confident and comfortable working with men.
What do you love the most about your job? Which kind of task do you enjoy the most?
I love the culture of our team. Here at Aristocrat, you will be surprised to find energetic and experienced people who let you approach them at anytime and are willing to help you to increase your confidence and knowledge base.
It is also a fantastic company to work for as a female engineer. It is a very encouraging environment where you can contribute in different workshops, like women in gaming, or women in technology. You can be inspired and energised by industry leaders.
The Aristocrat graduate program is a two-year program. The program is designed to develop our technical as well as tactical skills. It is very well structured and allows new graduates like me to learn the ropes of being a professional engineer and be challenged.
We have a very well-equipped lab here at the Sydney office. It has all the tools and equipment that anyone could dream of for testing and troubleshooting circuit designs. So I love working at the lab, especially testing the new boards. One of the projects that I worked on was a lightening system design. It was an amazing feeling when I saw my circuit design come to life and deployed in the field.
What’s the biggest limitation of your job?
There are not enough females in the engineering team which can be considered a limitation.
Do you bear a lot of responsibility? Do you have to work on weekends? Is your job physically demanding?
My tasks are normally done before their deadline but if I am running out of the time I could ask for help from others. I have not worked on weekends yet, however if it is needed I will be happy to do it.
Regarding the physical demands, it depends of the field of your job. The electrical development and design (D&D) department mainly focuses on the board’s designing, so it is rarely physically demanding.
What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
If I wasn’t an electrical engineer I would still be an engineer but a different type, like an aerospace engineer, as I was always passionate about space and its growing technologies.
What advice would you give to a current university student?