Daniel Constantin Costache
BSc (Hons) Computer Science (2015) Transactional Operations Systems Developer, Bottomline Technologies, Reading
Why did you apply to the University of Bradford? What was your first impression of the university and the city? What did you enjoy most about your time in Bradford?
The choice to apply to the University of Bradford came as a decision after several days of researching other universities. Applying from a different country was a bit stressful at first, as I did not know what to expect. Everything made sense when I arrived here. I decided to go on a “university + city” tour the first day I arrived here. I remember booking local trips for the next day as I was really impressed by the city and wanted to see the surroundings. The University felt like “home” the first day I visited; I remember my first visit in Richmond Building where I had to enrol. “Home” might be a big word, but for me it surely felt like it, mostly because I was able to interact with people coming from various backgrounds with various cultural values which led to me being able to quickly create relationships with other people.
My time in Bradford is now coming to an end as I will have to move but I am able to say that the past 3 years have definitely changed my life. There is no particular ‘thing’ that I enjoyed the most during my stay here, as I think everything I experienced during the past 3 years have helped me in becoming the person I am now.
Why did you choose that particular course? What did you like and enjoy most about your course?
At first I applied for a different course (law and forensic science related) as I had a bit of experience in the field being involved with law enforcement in the past. But after arriving in Bradford and after seeing how completely different it is from my background, I decided to try something completely different. So I went for Computer Science – best decision I ever took! I remember feeling a bit lost at first as it was kind of a big leap from me going from law enforcement to computer science but as time went by I started to get the grips of things.
After 3 years I can definitely conclude that this specific course offered me a well defined “bag of knowledge” when it comes to the world of machines and computers. There is no specific area or aspect that I enjoyed the most – the entire 3-year course was a lovely experience which I will definitely going to miss.
What tips would you give to prospective students (about the course at University of Bradford and the university itself)?
Probably the same advice I have received “if it seems hard and complicated, do not give up”. The university offers so much to students – I would encourage prospective students to take into account all the facilities and services that the university offers especially Career Development Services.
How did Career Development Services support you during your time at University?
I started to use the Career Development Services in my final year as the course was coming to an end and I felt stuck between job applications. Needless to say it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever took. I remember booking an appointment with one of the Career Development Advisers just before my first assessment centre and I have to admit It made me realise I was a bit unprepared for the interview – hence the result – I got rejected. But that did not stop me, I used the feedback and the information I got from the Career Development Adviser and I started to prepare intensively for interviews. A couple of months later, I was offered a graduate job as a result of me passing all of their recruitment stages – that is how the Career Development Services helped me.
Tell us about your current job.
I will start working for Bottomline Technologies on the 20th of July as a Graduate Transactional Operations Systems Developer. Bottomline provides collaborative payment, invoice and document automation solutions to corporations, financial institutions and banks around the world. I recently had an induction day and I was introduced to the team I will be working with.
I will be undergoing a well structured training programme that will offer me the chance to learn how their business works and for sure allow me to contribute to its goals.
What action did you take to improve your employability whilst at University?
Coming from a different country, having a somehow different set of cultural values and speaking a different language had quite the impact on my employability. Socialising and creating the right connections is a must when seeking employability. Whilst at University, I focused on my studies, tried to get good marks as I knew that would count at least a bit when looking for a job.
I also attended employment related workshops organised by the Career Development Services (various topics: interviews, Effective CVs, job applications, psychometric tests) as well as using the help Career Development Advisers were offering.
What advice would you give to current students wishing to enter this type of career?
People refer to Computer Science as “the IT field”. Looking for a job in “the IT field” (as far as my own experiences with interviews) it is not only about having the right technical skills. You also need to be able to clearly express your thoughts. At first I thought that having the technical knowledge is everything you need, I was wrong. I would advise students to prepare as much as possible before landing in any type of career (in regards to both the skills you are required to have to do the job properly as well as the interpersonal skills all employers are looking for).