15 October 2020

My Life Now - meet Raj

It’s been 17 years since the Trust first set sail – what are the young people who have been on trips up to now? Our 'My Life Now' series shows a positive future after cancer is a reality. Having the Trust as a space to get away from the noise of recovery equipped Rajpal with the communication skills he says he couldn't do without.

Name: Rajpal Jabbal

Age: 26

Diagnosis/year: Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma in 2008

When first sailed with the Trust: 2009

What you do now: Applications Engineer.

Explain what that means?

The company I work for provides electrical/software testing solutions for big manufacturing companies, for example car manufacturers. As an applications engineer, I write software to communicate between equipment to automate testing of parts that the big manufacturing companies make. As well as creating testing solutions for companies that require specific tests such as electrical tests. The testing solutions that I have to create can range anywhere from using vision systems to work out the exact distance of an object, to programming a process for things such as autonomous vehicles to follow around warehouses.

Why did you do want to do this?

Honestly I never thought something like this is what I wanted to do. After treatment I mainly focused on stuff that interested me, that led to Electronic Engineering at university which somehow led to this. Funnily the software coding on my course at university was probably about a quarter of the whole course. And now its about three-quarters of what I do on a day to day basis. So it all kind of fell in place from what I enjoyed at school and university.

What's the coolest thing you've done lately?

During lockdown I decided to build my first computer as I had some spare time on my hands and it's something I’ve always fancied doing but never had the time.

Why did you need the Trust's support in recovery?

The Trust acted as a sort of a getaway from all the constant noise that came with the recovery. Ironically, the best place to escape the constant reminder of everything I had been through / was going through was when I went on trips and everyone was in the same boat (pun intended). Everyone knew exactly what I’d gone through and I got to be with people my own age who knew what it was like. By being with so many other young people, I wasn’t the sole focus of everything, people wouldn’t come and ask me questions, we just got on well and had fun.

What part has the Trust played in you doing what you are now?

I think the biggest thing the Trust helped with is the communication. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, talk/present in meetings and talk to customers with the confidence that I built by going on Trust trips.

What's your top tip for a young person interested in working in your industry?

Top tip is to work out what field you would like to end up doing. If you like building things and drawings, then perhaps look at mechanical engineering. If you like problem solving and making things work, then software engineering. If you like to dabble in both, then look for something like applications engineering. There’s tonnes of engineering roles out there, research and find the best role that suits you!