Mario-Ciprian Birlea

BSc (Hons) Business Computing

Placement with Microsoft Ltd, Reading (July 2018 – June 2019)

A profile picture of Mario-Ciprian Birlea, placement student
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?

I wanted to get out of my comfort zone so decided to move to a different city/country but was uncertain which one, so I did some research. UK was ranked in top 10 educational systems around the globe and I was already comfortable with the language.

I was impressed by the multi-cultural background of the city and the University of Bradford was one of the few that has the degree that I wanted to study. I was looking for a balance between both computer science and business management which this university offered.

Why did you choose that particular course?  What did you like and enjoy most about the course?

Choosing the right course was the hardest decision in the application process. I knew that currently technology is an extremely important industry and coming from a business owner’s family, a business and computing degree offered the best of both worlds. The most difficult part was to find universities that were highly rated in both subjects, fortunately the University of Bradford was!

What tips would you give to prospective students about the course at the University of Bradford and the university itself?

Don’t be afraid to get in touch with other current students or university lecturers to learn more about current courses, modules and future career perspectives. Use LinkedIn, Facebook groups and take advantage of the Open Days and prepare some questions in advance.

What support have you received from Career and Employability Services / Placement Staff?

Career and Employability Services has special-trained professionals ready to offer their best help and support to students. They offer amazing insight to students as they come from industry experience so can provide useful tips and tricks in securing a job, internship or placement. They do a great job in encouraging students to attend careers fairs and one-to-one appointments and to create/update their CVs and Cover Letters.  

I do my best to attend career fairs, create a network and use LinkedIn to maintain connections. When I look for a job, I make sure I get my CV checked by Careers and have a second opinion. I make sure that my CV and CL are tailored to the specific company and role. To make sure I secure a good position in the desired company, I check all relevant online job platforms and careers websites.
What action are you taking to improve your employability whilst at University?

I do my best to attend career fairs, create a network and use LinkedIn to maintain connections. When I look for a job, I make sure I get my CV checked by Careers and have a second opinion. I make sure that my CV and CL are tailored to the specific company and role. To make sure I secure a good position in the desired company, I check all relevant online job platforms and careers websites.  

What advice would you give to your fellow students about finding placement and work experience opportunities?

Firstly, I would advise students to get their CV/CL checked and ask for advice from Career and Employability Services. Secondly, to prepare some questions before attending the appointments so they can use their time efficiently. And thirdly, to constantly check the university website and other job platforms when looking for jobs/placements.

Tell us about your current placement; include brief responsibilities.

I am currently a placement student at Microsoft Ltd. UK in Thames Valley Park (TVP), Reading. My role is a Technical Account Manager (TAM) and I work within Microsoft Enterprise Services. TAM is a trusted Advisor who is looking for ways to improve and support customers’ IT infrastructure and engage Microsoft Services to provide relevant technical solutions. Services is made of 5 sectors: Finance (Barclays), Public sector (Councils), Commercial (Rolls Royce), Unified Support (Dominos) and TAMs are assigned to each sector.

My role is to oversee all sectors, and this will provide me with a broader knowledge of the area as well as the ability to be a part of complex projects. One of my goals is to find a career path and explore the offerings of Microsoft. I currently have three mentors and willing to align to 1-2 customers/clients for the rest of the year in different industries (aerospace, automotive, pharmaceuticals and banking). I learned how to deal with big amount of money (£M), prioritise workload and action depending on business demands to help senior leadership.

How will the placement year benefit you when you return to study at the University of Bradford?

Securing a place at a prestigious company has helped me get industry exposure, gain work experience, apply university knowledge and improve my soft skills.  I have the chance to see customers from different industries and bring value to shadowing by delivering presentations and bringing new ideas with a fresh pair of eyes.