one to watch – Pranav Mahesh

A Degree of Satisfaction – Pranav Mahesh Thrives at Carallon

While Pranav Mahesh was working on one of his school’s music productions, something clicked. He was so inspired by the way different teams worked creatively together to deliver the best possible experience for the audience, that by the end of the show’s run he was hooked and couldn’t wait to do it all again. That production of West Side Story at High Wycombe’s Royal Grammar School was the launchpad for Pranav’s journey into the technical side of the entertainment industry, one that has seen him, in a very short space of time, travel as far afield as Barcelona, Las Vegas and LA.

It wasn’t plain sailing at the outset for Pranav, though. Like so many of his student cohort, the ravages of COVID impacted his early opportunities. Having secured a summer internship with cutting-edge entertainment technology specialists, Carallon, his plans were thwarted by the pandemic, and the engagement was cancelled. Not to be deterred, Pranav finished his A-Levels and secured another internship, this time with Brompton Technology, a market leader in LED video processing. Pranav takes up the story:

“I was going to go to university to study electronic electrical engineering, but the internship with Brompton was extended to a year and I felt that the chance to work with a leading company was too good to miss. That’s definitely proven to be the case. I spent the internship rotating between all the departments in the company, from building products in the manufacturing area to the front end customer-facing sales and support side. I’ve been to some awesome sites, events and trade shows, learning how the industry works on that front, as well as being able to improve my fine motor skills – soldering to manufacturer’s compliance standard is now part of my CV!”

Armed with an array of developing skills and valuable experience, the latest part of Pranav’s journey has been to embark on a degree apprenticeship with Carallon, the company with whom his original internship had been cancelled, which is the sister company to Brompton. A-Levels in Maths, Further Maths and Physics will provide a sound footing for an Electromechanical Engineering degree accredited by the University of Warwick, but the experience – gained during his internship and the work he did in school and local theatre productions – is also key according to Pranav:

“After that production of West Side Story, I went out looking for experience in local theatres and jumped on any opportunity that presented itself. Looking back, the practical foundations of everything I’ve done since were laid during those school and local theatre productions. I was lucky to work with some fantastic teachers – Mr Balaam, who enlisted me to the school’s stage sound and light team and first suggested this as a serious career; Becky Harrison an experienced director who instilled in me the importance of professionalism from the outset, and then at Brompton Technology, my boss Chris Grandin, whose patience and encouragement cultivated a real sense of confidence in my abilities.”

Reflecting on the potential pitfalls of pursuing his chosen path, Pranav presents a positive view:

“I was lucky that my parents trusted and were supportive of my choice as regards higher education, even if at first they might have found it difficult to understand. I suppose the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with in the industry has been my age! Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve felt really young which maybe made it hard to convey my thoughts and ideas with authority. I felt that my credibility might be questioned because I was sometimes speaking in situations where there were people who’d been in the industry for longer than I’d been alive! I soon realised, though, that the industry is full of interesting people who are more than happy to listen and share their knowledge and experience. I just had to ask and then absorb all this great insight and information.”

Now in the final six weeks of his degree-apprenticeship’s first-year, Pranav has completed his initial ‘build, test and integrating’ in Carallon’s manufacturing team and is taking his next step into physical PCB investigations, before moving to the hardware development team. With his tender years proving no obstacle to being taken seriously, Pranav offers this advice to young people who are thinking about taking up one of the many opportunities in the production industries:

“Get involved as soon as you can and be eager to learn. Don’t worry about what you don’t know, just be a sponge and absorb everything that’s offered!”

When he embarked on his degree apprenticeship, Pranav admits to have been nervous and excited in equal measure:

“It’s been a lot of hard work to get to this position but I’m enjoying every minute. It’s challenging doing my degree work and working on the R&D hardware team, but every day I’m learning so much. Being a 19-year old intern and getting the opportunity to travel to some amazing places around the world has fuelled my ambition and passion for this industry and paved the way to where I am now. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

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