BSc (Hons) Computer Science - 4 year sandwich course Placement with CDS - Rolls Royce, Birmingham (Sept 2014 - Sept 2015)
Why did you apply to the University of Bradford and why did you choose your course?
My keen interest in computers led me to choose computing although to begin with, I was undecided between Software Engineering and Computer Science. By attending an Open Day at the University of Bradford, I gained a lot of information about the opportunities from the talks with tutors. I was told that the first year is common year for most Computing/IT related degrees which then gave me an option to choose either computer Science or Software Engineering as the focus of my studies.
I chose the University of Bradford at that time because everyone within the Computing Department were very friendly and left a good impression and this has been supported by my experiences as a student here.
What was your first impression of the University and the city?
My first impressions of the university were that it is a university with a lot of opportunities as it provides a range of facilities for students to expand their knowledge and encourages work alongside studying to help students develop their CVs for their future careers.
Also it seemed a really friendly and helpful environment which would allow me to adjust quickly and in particular I was welcomed warmly by the staff.
What do you enjoy the most about your time in Bradford?
I enjoy the flexible and multi-cultural environment the most, as it has allowed me to explore working with different kinds of people. In addition, the opportunities provided by the university have been excellent for example Career Development Services, as they gave me fantastic support.
In terms of socialisation, there are a lot of societies and sports teams to join which are accessible to every student at the university: great fun! Personally I loved being part of the Student Union as it has given me a lot of opportunities to develop my interpersonal skills.
What tips would you give to prospective students?
Make use of the opportunities provided by the University/your Department. Try to get involved in as many activities as you can within your department, as extra work alongside studies make you stand out in the crowd.
Please consider doing a placement as this can be a life-changing experience for you and helps you get closer to your goal. Your struggle and hard work will be paid off when you start your placement, Good Luck!
What support have you received from Career Development Services / Placement Staff?
I have received a lot of help from Career Development Services. I did my CVs and cover letters with the help of Career Development Advisers. I think without their help I wouldn’t have been where I am today. Their guidance, help and motivation kept me going and not to give up (especially when I had few rejections from companies).
What actions are you taking to improve your employability whilst at University?
I volunteered to be a Student Representative and School Representative for my department. I attended a lot of meetings with the Staff and Dean of the Department to discuss various issues students are facing and what can be done to improve student experience. Alongside this, I also have been working as a Student Ambassador.
What advice would you give to your fellow students about finding placement and work experience opportunities?
Grab this opportunity and make the most of it as it can play a significant role in your future career. Before you apply, seek help from Career Development Services, as this can have a big impact! It requires a lot of effort but it always paid off.
The placement year will give you an opportunity to get out of university and implement the knowledge you have learnt in your course. In addition, working along qualified engineers will give you the opportunity to learn something new in practice.
Tell us about your current placement.
I am working as a Software Engineer with Controls Data & Services-Rolls Royce in Birmingham. My role includes working on software design which I was allocated to by the Company when I started, but since then I had the opportunity to switch around to HSI testing or LLT testing to get a taste of everything that a Software Engineer does. I always undertake a mixture of work given by my supervisor so my placement covers all aspects of the work which is done within the Software Department.
On my placement, I have learnt a lot of new skills, including new software and a variety of techniques to tackle a range of technical problems. It has also improved my inter-personal skills, as you are always learning something new – the learning phase never stops. Now that I am a placement student, I have an opportunity to show my potential and get the best out of this placement, and I am hopeful that if I do my best then I may be able to secure a Graduate opportunity with the same company in future!