Inspired by her experience as a postgraduate student at Edinburgh, Daisy Narayanan has decided to help guide current students in their career choices by participating in Alumni Insights events.
Daisy graduated in Sound Design in 2005, and is currently the Deputy Director, Built Environment, at Sustrans Scotland, leading a team that designs and delivers cycling and walking infrastructure projects in partnership with statutory agencies in Scotland. We asked her why she has decided to advise current students and what memories she has from her time at Edinburgh.
What inspired you to become involved with Alumni Insights?
I attended a few alumni events as a postgraduate student and they were all, without exception, so inspiring. I heard personal stories, personal journeys – I learned so much from the speakers and how they headed towards success.
So when I was recently invited to speak at one of these events, I was delighted to accept. I want to provide students with ideas for their own future careers, just like those speakers had done for me. I found myself inspired again by meeting and speaking to students who are passionate about the environment and the world we live in.
Indeed, I think it is important for students to understand that the world is so changeable and there isn’t just one path to success in their chosen careers. There are so many options and opportunities to explore within any given sector. So I wanted to use my personal story to illustrate that point. Students don’t always have the chance to meet experienced professionals in their field and to make some good contacts – I was delighted to be able to help some of them do that.
How do you think your Edinburgh education shaped your subsequent career choices?
I believe that my postgraduate year at Edinburgh helped to shape the person I am today. Edinburgh is a wonderful city, with its exquisite architecture, history and culture – I felt welcome from my first day here. My postgraduate degree allowed me to explore my creative side, not just as an architect, but through design in a multi-media environment. I think international students gain so much from being here and of course, contribute a huge amount too.
I enjoyed the breadth of opportunities that I had access to as a student – the facilities, the amazing libraries, the wealth of knowledge and experience available through my professors, as well as peers. Friends I have made here are friends for life and a former classmate is now my husband and dad to my two children!
But if I were to choose one experience that has affected me most, it would be being able to explore this unique city on foot and by bicycle. Sustainability is ingrained in the very DNA of this city and my work within the environmental sector definitely has its roots here.
What do you wish you’d known as a student?
I wish I hadn’t worried so much about the future. I tell students today to use this opportunity to look at what they really want from their careers and explore all avenues available. Take the chance to meet and speak to interesting people, professors, alumni, classmates and peers – attend careers events like Alumni Insights. And, most importantly, enjoy your time in this unique city!
The Alumni Insights events are only possible thanks to the generous support of our alumni who take part. If you are interested in participating in one of our events, please contact CJ Cochran, Alumni Manager: