Student Profile

Photograph of Mehrdad Mirazee

Mehrdad Mirazee

Graduated: MSc Postharvest Technology
Nationality: Iranian
Occupation: Technical manager and research officer (Horticulture and postharvest), Landseer Ltd

My Writtle University College
I chose Writtle College because of its excellent reputation in horticulture and related courses (e.g. postharvest), and because of the highly qualified and experienced lecturers. The course also included a number of practical projects, which can support a student in finding a job related to their course post graduation.

Writtle College has a very close relationship with industry and I found my current job through one of the KTP (Knowledge Transfer Projects) contracts of college.

I have very good memories from my time as a student, and I liked the fact that the College draws in students from around the world. On my course we had students from 20 different nations around the world! I found very good friends and became familiar with a variety of cultures.

I found the sport facilities at the College quite useful. I regularly used the gym and played tennis with my friends, especially during the summer when we were working on our dissertations.

My Career Path
I had been working in different fields related to horticulture for more than 10 years before I decided to come to Writtle College. It was this experience that helped me to find a job before my graduation and while I was working on my dissertation. In fact it was my dissertation supervisor and another member of staff at the College who supported me, helping me to find this job.

My degree from Writtle College plays a key role in my career in the UK. I am a non-European and therefore need a visa for living and working in the UK. Without my degree it would have been impossible for me to work in a job related to my field of study (even though I had a degree from my country and many years of work experience). My degree helped me to get the post study visa for UK graduates, which allows me work for two years in the UK, this visa has been the best opportunity for me to increase my experience in related fields.

My Current Job
I am very happy in my job it is such a varied post and things change day-to-day. Everyday I face a new challenge which constantly increases my knowledge. I was so fortunate to find this job, especially because it specifically relates to my field of study and it also meant that I could stay in Chelmsford. I really like Chelmsford as it is close to London, but without the disadvantages of a huge city. The company I work for, Landseer Ltd, run several projects in cooperation with Writtle College, which has helped me to keep contact with lecturers and friends.

In my current job my main responsibilities include: Research on the effects of internal and external environmental factors on fresh produce (especially apples) during the storage and improvement of postharvest life of fresh produce by investigating and applying new techniques and testing new chemical and organic products so as to maintain and develop company sales.

One of the main challenges in this part of the industry is limitation of chemical application because of very hard regulations about chemicals used on fresh produce which restricts the chemicals available in the market. Many currently used are likely to be banned in the near future and it is important that companies find substitutes for these products otherwise they may lose their market share.

Future Plans
I am very interested in continuing my studies to a PhD in Postharvest at Writtle College. Since my graduation I have been busy with work, but I am still in touch with my lecturers and hope this work experience will support me in gaining this goal.

Hints and tips for Writtle students
The only thing that I want to say is: Try to use this wonderful time in the best way. This can be the best time of your life - Enjoy it with your College friends and make the most of your future.