An aerospace engineer circles the globe
In her quest for new horizons, Shagun Sachdeva (BMechEng(Hons) 2008, MAeroEng 2010, MBA 2017) has worked in many countries. She now finds herself at Northern Sky Research (NSR), a satellite and space market research and consulting firm, in Toulouse, France. As a Senior Consultant and Analyst there, she keeps across the latest industry trends, services and products to interpret them against market needs and risk tolerance.
“I consult with companies (from start-ups to established players) and investors – I help them make strategic decisions by analysing qualitative trends and quantitative market forecast,” explains Shagun. “As part of the consultation process, I also help validate the value proposition and business case for start-ups going through the various stages of their funding process.”
Previously, Shagun has held various positions at Ford Motor Company in Australia, Thailand and South Africa. She has also spent time as a community development volunteer in Cambodia, Vietnam and Namibia. And immediately before moving to NSR, she was a Business and Marketing Strategist at Satellite Squared in France. Call her a world citizen.
Shagun’s multitude of experiences have shaped the way she approaches her work. “I find that my engineering background helps me comprehend technical information more easily, whereas my MBA has opened my mind to the commercial side of the business,” she reports. “Through my different roles, I have also learnt to work well in diverse team environments. And growing globalisation makes this essential.”
Looking ahead, Shagun hopes to be part of, or possibly establish, a non-government organisation (NGO) that will utilise satellite applications to serve at the grassroots level. Her global perspective will stand her in good stead in pursuing this dream.
Shagun relays that she has been extremely lucky to have had great mentors throughout her career. “Whether by my dad or my direct supervisors or my colleagues, all my major professional decisions have been influenced by my mentors in some way,” she says.
What advice does Shagun pass on to others? “Be more self-confident,” she offers. “I used to be too timid to try new things or meet new people. I think I missed out on certain career opportunities due to my lack of confidence in job interviews and at work. And I was reluctant to network.”
While building her illustrious career, Shagun has faced some challenges. “I’ve struggled with clinical depression, which has impacted both my professional and personal life,” she shares. “A combination of denial and scepticism prolonged this issue for me, but I eventually sought medical advice and that has helped me in ways I did not expect.”
Looking at her CV, you might guess that Shagun loves to travel. “I believe that travelling can really help put things into perspective,” she maintains. “For me, it is the best way to rejuvenate.” Shagun also is working towards a private aircraft pilot license from the Royal Victorian Aero Club, and in recent years has been taking aerobatic lessons. Sometimes there’s a fine line between business and pleasure.