Feature

Raj

Last Updated: 22 Nov 2016
A 60-second interview.

Raj is Hindu and from Indian heritage. After studying software engineering at uni and doing a series of entry level IT support jobs in the private and public sector, he joined GCHQ to pursue his passion for tech. He's now in his third job ensuring we have the latest kit in our mission to keep Britain safe.

 

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Why the move from the private sector to GCHQ? 

I was looking for a new challenge to be honest. I studied software engineering at uni but absolutely hated programming. I just loved messing around with kit and tech more generally. I'm now in a job that gives me the chance to do this all day, every day. I'm in my element! I also get the chance to travel abroad and attend conferences to speak with others, learning and sharing ideas.  

Were your family supportive? 

Absolutely. Yeah. But it was a big move and pretty tough for me and my family at first. I wasn't long back from uni and it's unusual in Indian culture to move away from the family home so soon. It didn't take long for me to meet people who joined the same time as me and make friends.  

What was the biggest surprise when you started? 

How easy it was to get lost! The building's a big circle and everywhere looks the same at first. 

Have you seen a change in culture since you joined? 

Yeah. I've seen a big culture shift in GCHQ and in the UK more generally. Diversity is on the tip of everyone's tongue. I could not imagine GCHQ taking part in a documentary like this a few years ago. We now have an active Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Group that's influencing diversity policy at senior levels in GCHQ. I chaired the group for a while, which was a fantastic experience for me personally. I have now passed the baton to the next chair.

Would you consider going back to the private sector? 

I can't see it happening anytime soon. I can build the rest of my career here. There are so my opportunities.