Turn On Your Future @ UWTSD's School of Applied Computing

Posts tagged ‘Graduate’

Graduates deliver Inspirational Talks @ UWTSD SOAC Swansea

Many thanks to Business Technology Graduate Dan Hawkes (BT), Web Development Graduate Jordan Crocker (Senior Web Developer) and Computer Networks Graduate Simon Downes (PhD student) for visiting the University today to talk with our students about their University and Career journey to date, sharing valuable hints and tips for academic and career success. Inspirational invaluable and greatly appreciated. Thank you all.

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Graduate Profile: Thomas Matti @ ARCADIS

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Q. What is your Name? Thomas Matti

Q. What was your University course? Business & Information Technology.

Q. What is your job title and role? Risk Management Analyst.

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? I work for a company called Arcadis which is the Leading Global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets. Applying deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services. We have 28,000 people active in over 70 countries that generate more than €3 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world.

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? The first role at the company included working with database formulas which I learnt on the course. These skills helped me complete tasks with ease.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? My typical day would consist of coming into work at 7:30, look at my calendar to see what tasks I have for the day such as: Sitting with peers to discuss new potential risks, attending meetings and presenting findings to senior management.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? Results, it’s nice to actually see some improvement in your work and receive recognition from it.

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? I think personally having a degree is crucial for really kick-starting your career.

And as cheesy as it sounds the advice I would provide is never give up!

There were times on my course where I didn’t understand information, contemplated is this what I wanted to do? But as long as you have the mentality to never give up and be hopeful that something will come out of it then something will. Then you can apply that mentality not just to the course you’re doing but also to the career you’re seeking.

Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University? Highs and lows, but worth the Graft.

Graduate Profile: Jason Price (Systems Administrator)

What is your name? My name is Jason Price.

What was your University course?
I completed two University Degrees at Swansea’s School of Applied Computing. Both my Undergraduate degree and Postgraduate Masters were in the area of Computer Networks.

What is your job title and role?
My Current role is a Systems Administrator.

Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? 

I work for a company called Medical Connections Ltd; the company name may suggest a medical company however it is actually a software company. The company specialises in a software toolkit (API) which allow software developers with limited knowledge of DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) to cover the medical area of all types of scans ranging from ultrasound to MRI. DICOM is the standard way an image or video is created, transferred, shared, and even stored in a clinical environment. Because the standard is so vast, it makes sense for a ‘new’ DICOM developer to use a toolkit which would do all the standardisation for them, so they can concentrate on making a successful application.

Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job?

The University gave me the independence to break down tasks, and to troubleshoot in a manner which was thorough and precise. The University also gave me the knowledge to find and research in a critical way while also only looking for ‘relevant’ information and how to identify them quickly and efficiently so not to spend too much time on a ‘dead end’.

 Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?

I’ll usually start my day by looking through email filtering to ensure customer emails have not been falsely stopped. I will then look at the Virtual Hosts to ensure clean operation and if any errors have been found then to action them appropriately. After checking all internal systems, I will then inspect / improve / action external services such as the website, license services, and cloud services. I will then check my “to do” tasks and complete as necessary, which can range from improving developer’s machines (upgrading hardware) to changing infrastructure and servers.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

Troubleshooting: I like finding a difficult or unusual problem and trying to find a solution or even sometimes a workaround. Sometimes the problems can test your researching skills, intuitions and/or even your patience, but always satisfying to find a solution that just works.

Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career?

Make sure that you enjoy your chosen field of study, that’s it’s not something that you only excel at, but you actually enjoy doing. For me technology has always excited and inspired me, and I’ve always loved troubleshooting and tinkering. Using things in a manner where they were not originally designed.

I would also recommend that whatever your chosen field is don’t stop at its completion, if you can  complete your professional qualifications even at the lowest level as soon as possible this will give you an edge in the job market, but also give you a boost in confidence.

Graduate Profile: Adam Davies

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Q. What is your Name? Adam Davies
 
Q. What was your University course? BSc Computer Networks
 
Q. What is your job title and role? Infrastructure Engineer. This involves managing a virtual infrastructure built on VMWare vSphere along with managing the SAN, backups, operating systems and servers
  
Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? CGI, a Canadian company which operates out of 40 countries with 68,000 employees.
   
Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? The most useful skills I learnt at University were from the module based on network design. It got me to think of the bigger picture and how each component affects the other. This has been useful when implementing new services into the existing virtual infrastructure that I manage.
  
Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? The best thing about my job is that there isn’t a typical day; I could be swapping out a failed hard drive or troubleshooting a virtual machine one day or adding new components to the infrastructure the next day.
  
Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? The thing I enjoy most about my job is when something goes wrong. This is where your skills are really put to the test and you always end up learning something new.
  
Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? The best advice I could give current students is to stay up to date with the IT industry. It’s ever evolving so in order to make an impact you really need to know what’s going on in the industry. Get in to the habit of reading articles as this will help you identify what’s up and coming and what your employer can use to improve its offerings to its customers.

Graduate Profile: Luke Byers

During the Working Week

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At the Weekend 🙂

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Q. What is your Name? Luke Byers

Q. What was your University course? BSc (Hons) Business Information Technology

Q. What is your job title and role? Technology Risk Analyst

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ)

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job?

Business environments (internal and external), Business Continuity Management (BCM), Written and presenting skills.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?

Analysis and reporting of data, testing of controls in place to mitigate risks and providing assurance to risk managers. Providing advice to ensure people comply with policies.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

Operational risk is an interesting space with so many factors, In particular I enjoy working within the Technology department and understanding how a large financial organisation deals with the changing landscape of technology trends and cyber threats.

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career?

If you see an opportunity that interests you don’t be afraid to go for it. Prepare for interviews well, be confident in yourself and you will get a chance!

Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University?

I learned a lot while having fun and making friends along the way, what more could you ask for!

Graduate Industry Speakers

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Many Thanks to Applied Computing  Graduates Dafydd Moore (IT Manager @ Waitrose – John Lewis PLC), Lisa Fox (Business IT & Computing Teacher) and Edd Turtle (Leader Developer @ Hoowla) for coming back to speak with our students today, for sharing industry insights and hints & tips for Academic Career and Life Success. Congratulations on your achievements to date and we hope you visit us again soon.

Graduate Profile: David Jones

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What was your undergraduate degree and when did you graduate?

HND Web Management then BSc (Hons) Degree in Computer Networking (2004)

What is your job title and role?

Senior IT Operations Manager.  My role is to oversee the day to day operations of multiple technical teams to ensure service is maintained and tooling is exploited. I provide advice and guidance on infrastructure complexities and am an authority for the teams I manage.

Could you briefly describe the organization you work for?

Fujitsu provide information technology solutions for businesses including application services, IT consulting, infrastructure services and products. My career began in Fujitsu where I worked as a junior engineer and progressed through to my current role. In September 2015 I transferred to the DVLA in the first major IT in-sourcing project for the government and successfully landed the capability. Now stabilization has been established, I have decided to leave the DVLA and go back to the private sector with a security company; here I will be working internationally to assist them in accomplishing their worldwide objectives.

Did your degree modules inspire you or help you in choosing your job? How?

Yes, I had a keen interest in both Computer and Networking Security and based my dissertation on this subject. I would like to say this was my main drive for choosing my Job however; it came down to location and who the company was in the end. Considering their status globally in the IT market, I felt they were the best company to begin my IT career. I started as a junior engineer where my drive and passion for success assisted me greatly in moving through the ranks and in the eleven years I have been with them, progressed through multiple roles taking on more responsibility while adapting and embracing to the change.

What modules are most helpful to you in your job?

Computer Systems Analysis, Computer Networking, Wide Area Networks, Quality Management Principles, Human Computer Interface and most of all the main Project. I really felt these helped pull all the subjects together and aid in my development.

Where do you find yourself using the transferable skills that you developed in University?

In all aspects of my job I find myself using the skills learned in University. Primarily for me, understanding a projects lifecycle through a project plan and developing that project through requirements specification, system specification, testing and validation and a conclusion. This methodology is the foundation of ITIL best practice which is an industry standard today.

Computer Systems and Analysis is key in my opinion, it really does set you up for almost anything in the work place as they skills are transferable regardless of technology. This kind of learning and development is priceless as it can be used over and over and developed, improved and passed on.

The key aspect of University is conditioning you to working under pressure and accepting pressure as a driver rather than an something to avoid.

Where do you use your specialist skills and abilities (e.g. business, programming, web, databases, networks etc.)

My role has evolved considerably since working for Fujitsu; I used all of the technical skill I learned in University for my role. Skills learned change frequently and it is essential to keep up to date with technology trends. However, basic principles remain the same and so, providing an understanding of how a given technology works is firmly understood, changes within that are easier to adapt to. One basic example of this and one almost everyone would be familiar with is Microsoft Operating Systems. If they are examined over the last ten years the functionality is the same, it has just been improved upon and the interface is different. From NT4 through to Windows Server 2012 R2 or even Windows 98 to Windows 10, Microsoft have added in new functionality and improved them but picking up each new Operating System with a baseline is easier than learning it for the first time.

Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?

My role today is much different from when I began, as a Senior IT Operations manager I have accountability for multiple teams of IT professionals. I rely on them for the in depth details of the technology and I work as a Manager, ensuring process is followed to strict change controls. I took on additional responsibility for a new account with Fujitsu and travelled there once a week or worked remotely depending on the demands placed upon me. While at Fujitsu I reported to Account Executives and regularly attended board level meetings to discuss the capability, or deal with corporate level escalations as and when required.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

Watching people develop and gain confidence, being a mentor or coach as and when required.

Any tips for someone wanting to develop a career in your sector?

Focus on University, your strengths and weaknesses come out through the subjects you study and your career path will develop naturally. Find your strengths and exploit them, understand your weaknesses and accept them.

Graduate Profile: Dafydd Moore @ John Lewis PLC

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What was your undergraduate degree?

BSc (Hons) Web Management

What is your job title and role?
IT Communications and Engagement Manager for John Lewis PLC.  This role involves bringing together key stakeholders from around the business to understand the capabilities of technology and how we can turn it into a strategic advantage for our business.

Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for?
John Lewis Partnership is a multi-site retailer consisting of John Lewis Department stores and Waitrose Supermarkets. It is the UKs largest employee owned business.

Did you complete a foundation degree or HND/C before studying for your degree?
Yes, I completed a HND first then converted this into a BSc.

Where do you find yourself using the skills that you developed in University?
At my time in University I started my development journey in some key skills that I use daily at work.  Critical reasoning, researching and going beyond the obvious to get to the heart of a matter,  meeting deadlines and working in teams were some of the key ones.  If you want to be more of a technical expert you need to work hard to keep these skills current and marketable, view the skills you have been taught as the start of a learning journey that carries on once you complete your formal education.

Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?
Every day is very different. I have a team of Engagement Managers and Communication Officers.  The Engagement team look after the strategic requirements of the end users ensuring our IT function understands their needs and they are informing our architecture, delivery and service operations teams making sure they are aware what is going on in the business.  I meet with these most mornings and review our service delivery performance.  I will then have various meetings and discussions or site visits to understand where we can make the most difference to our business and how we can manage the value perception of IT.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?
I am very fortunate I get to work at the cutting edge of IT and am tasked with understanding new technologies, the impact they may have on our business and how we can use this to be the disruptor in our sector rather than the disrupted.  This can involve supplier visits to companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple or technology shows such as NRF in New York.

Any tips for someone wanting to develop a career in your sector?
The longer I have worked in IT the more certain I am that people skills will play a more and more important role for those that want to pursue a career in IT.  All the work I do now is very collaborative and stakeholder management is critical.  As you progress through your studies take time to support those around you and understand how the work you are doing might help them…..and have fun it is a great industry to work in!

Graduate Profile: Thomas Coleman

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  1. What was your HE course? BSc (Hons) Web Development
  2. What is your job title and role? PHP Web Developer, the role involves working on the weekly development sprints in conjunction with my colleagues and the other departments.
  3. Could you briefly describe the organization you work for? “Cobalt Telephone Technologies (http://www.ctt.co.uk/) is part of the Parkmobile worldwide group. We specialise in developing and delivering self-service payment and transactional environments, which simplify the lives of individuals and the organisations they interact with. Our solutions, which typically operate via mobile phone, fixed phone or web, are innovative and secure.” Basically a player in the global parking industry. Very cool 😉
  4. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? The ability to problem solve and be able to work with others. The ability to read code and try to understand how it pieces together. If you view University as training you for the working world, when you work hard and push yourself to deliver assignments, it helps translate over into “The real world”.
  5. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? Typically I get in at 8:00am, look to see what active Jira tickets I have to finish, if none I pick another ticket up from the sprint. I will then start working on the ticket and often with my colleagues. Once I finish the development work (if any was needed), I will test it locally, then push the code to the staging environment and test it there. Once that is done I will ask for it to be code reviewed by peers, who would then pass it on to the QA team who will either verify it and close the ticket (pending being put live once a week), or will come back with feedback, and put it back into development. Typically my working hours are 8:00am-4:30pm with a lunch break of an hour.
  6. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? I enjoy having enough work to do, that I don’t get bored, but not too much that there is too much pressure which would create a bad working environment. I also enjoy that there is quite a relaxed working environment with friendly and social colleagues.

Virgin Graduate scheme : Lewis Meehan

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UWTSD Computing Graduate Lewis Meehan tells us about his exciting new future at Virgin Media:

Q. What was your HE course?

A: BSc Computer Networks

Q. What is your job title and role?

A: Systems Integration Graduate

Q. Could you briefly describe the organization you work for?

A: Virgin Media – Data Services, owned by Liberty Global – the largest telecommunications company in the world.

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job?

A: Independent working/research and also the broad range of industry specific knowledge.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?

A: Every day is different. Some days I’ll be in my local office working furthering my HE studies towards certification [Cisco certifications: CCNA+CCNP+CCNA Specialisation+CCNP Specialisation], alongside providing standardised connection packages to small-medium businesses and assisting on larger  project based work for bespoke networking solutions. Other days I’ll be at a clients site and some might even be spent in hotels going segwaying, raft building or even just days out with the other Virgin Media graduates.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

A: Working with some awesome and expensive technology, which changes from day to day. Also the responsibility I’ve been giving from the start, Virgin Media put a lot of trust in their employees which creates a really nice environment to work in.

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career?

A: Make University a friendly competition; it’ll help both you and other people on your course at the end of it.

> For more information about Graduate positions at Virgin please click-here.

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