ALumnUS OF THE MONTH -  OCTOBER 2021

ANIL SINGH RANA, BSC (HONS) BUILDING SURVEYING, 2008

LSBU alumnus, Anil Singh Rana

 

“LSBU has been in my heart from the day I applied to study there. I have so many good and vivid memories at LSBU and if I could do it all over again, I would choose LSBU unconditionally.

When my interest in construction began, it seemed like everyone went to LSBU, the Wandsworth campus. It was marketed as a technical university so I was inspired to attend the best educational institution in construction in London. LSBU was accessible, in the heart of the city, everyone went there because it was so convenient, diverse, multifaceted and had nothing but good reviews and was renowned in the industry. I met people from all over the world while I studied at LSBU from China, India, South Africa, Brazil to Australia, it was an amazing campus, the staff, the vibe, the atmosphere, the energy were infectious, the same goes for the unforgettable graduation ceremony with my late mother, it was truly amazing.

I fell in love with the construction industry after meeting my friend, Raymond Hylton who introduced me to the industry and advised me to go to LSBU as he studied at LSBU too and the rest is history. I am still very much in touch with him and cannot thank him enough to this day for supporting me right from day one personally and professionally.

I remember most of my lecturers as they all inspired and supported me in fuelling my passion for the construction industry; Dr Mahtab Akhavan Farshchi - Economics in the Construction Industry, Chris Powell - Building Surveying lecturer, Graham Burgess - Project Management lecturer, Ian Bourne - Construction Technology lecturer, Gheorghe Multescu - Dissertation lecturer, Dr Nick Parine - Construction and the Environment and last but not least Barry Symonds, Leader, Head of Department and technically, the university Mentor providing invaluable support and advice to students. The lecturers’ experience, teaching styles and wisdoms were so inspiring and they were always there to help, always there to support you.

Life for me was pretty busy, I was a part-time student and attended campus for one full day and at the same time, I was working as an Assistant Building Surveyor/Project Manager to pay the bills and a mortgage, but when you’re studying and working towards a goal, you forget about everything else in life. I looked forward to going to the campus and loved my degree, that’s why I believe I got a 1st, I was passionate, I loved what I was doing and wanted to do well and kept asking the ‘why’, looking for the details, spending endless hours in the library. I just wanted to do more and more. I enjoyed every minute of it. I even received two awards; the best dissertation and best student all around and being ranked 1st in my cohort. I will never forget the day I was awarded and I still have the letters of acknowledgement which I have cherished so far.   

I graduated in 2008 when the world financially collapsed but the degree from LSBU put me in good stead, I had no problem getting a job during the global recession, I thrived because of my course and the skills I acquired. I found a job that resonated with my passion and subsequently, embarked on the next stage of my career to become a chartered surveyor.

15 years on from starting LSBU, I consider myself lucky to still have the passion of my industry. When I graduated, I was focused on learning more, listening more and working more, but gradually I felt like it’s time to give back to my industry and started mentoring people. To date, I have mentored 108 chartered surveyors around the world out of which 77 are in Mauritius. Using digital platforms, I mentored voluntarily my 100th RICS APC Candidate and the 1st in Rwanda. And recently, I mentored the 1st Female Chartered Project Management Surveyor in Mauritius which is truly groundbreaking for an island such as Mauritius. 

LSBU instilled in me a culture of “Giving Back” and frankly, I don’t want to be on my death bed thinking I wish I could have done more to improve my community and my industry.

Overall, I have delivered 13️6 CPD Talks delivered and attended by 15,059 participants and 312 hours of CPD delivered so far, out of which 70 free Webinars as part of “Giving Back” attended by 9,705 participants with a total webinar registration of 1️8,450 participants and 1️40 hours of CPD delivered since the start of Covid-19. In addition, I am privileged and humbled to have the No.1 free YouTube educational channel for the construction industry in Mauritius. I have been providing free webinars since the outbreak of Covid-19 started in Mauritius, March 2020. I have invested my personal savings in the Zoom webinar platform to provide free knowledge with local and international speakers in extremely difficult and unprecedented times globally. The webinars were on soft and hard skills for professionals in the industry. I did in-person events pre-Covid-19 but didn’t let lockdown stop me in my quest for “Giving Back”. If I had Wi-Fi on Mars, I would still give back and mentor colleagues and young people in the industry. I am still amazed at how easily we can all connect and engage across continents and learn for a common purpose to better the world.

I firmly believe that it is only through the combination of human ingenuity, a culture of engineering excellence, and digitalization that we can help professionals emerge from this global pandemic and embrace new ways of learning to solve some of the most complex challenges.

I have delivered more than 5500 hours of free mentoring for my institution which is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and provided advice to more than 2000 built environment students. What I do now makes me proud to be an LSBU alumnus and I want to inspire others.

My mother inspired me, she passed away 11 years ago, my father left me when I was 2 years old, but my mother was always there for me. I was raised in Mauritius, so she did all she could to make ends meet, having lots of different jobs. My mother put me to work early at the young age of 8 years old, mainly because I was a trouble maker as I could not sit still at home, when she went to work, the only way she knew I was safe was to put me at work, that way she wouldn’t have to worry because I would roam the street in my village all day long otherwise. During school holidays, I worked for couple of major companies in the textile industry, I was in the army, I worked everywhere and anywhere, it helped build my confidence growing up. I didn’t get much help educationally when I needed it growing up, so I don’t want anyone to be left behind. Simply, I don’t want anyone else to go through what I went through. 

Nothing can beat helping and transforming people’s lives because when you get a thank you call, it is the best feeling in the world and truly rewarding.

My advice to anyone is to find their passion and follow it through consistently. If they are passionate about what they do, everything will come easy. I teach my mentees three key things that I call the PLC, which is an acronym for; Passion, Listen and Communicate - these three elements are vital for growth in my experience alongside ensuring to keep in check their mental health which is close to my heart and I have been championing and raising awareness on mental health for the past decade. I am governed by my fear of not wanting to go back to where I started. The reason I work so hard is that the fear keeps me in check and allows me not to take anything for granted but equally ensuring, I give back at any given opportunity.

I truly want be a global alumni representative for LSBU in Africa connecting other built environment alumni. I have so much to share in terms of experiences and lessons learned. LSBU gave me the opportunity and I want to do the same for the future generation of young professionals and inspire them to give back too.

My advice to the any young professionals out there is that we need to think on our feet, adapt and deviate from traditional thinking where necessary and champion professional artistry to allow scope for digitalisation, innovation and working together for a truly creative and collaborative future to advance our profession globally."

 - Anil Singh Rana


LSBU is committed to the future of the construction and property industries. This year we launched the brand-new Chancerygate Foundation bursary, thanks to generous donations from Chancerygate Foundation. This opportunity will encourage and enable black and minority ethnic students to build long-term careers within the property industry. Find out more here.

We feature alumni each month who have had an interesting journey. To nominate someone email alumni@lsbu.ac.uk.

Visit the LSBU website to read more profiles of LSBU alumni.

 

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