Selina Tindall

BSc Computer Science, 2009
Senior Solutions Consultant, Smarsh

As a Solutions Consultant/Engineer, I am the technical expert for the sales team. My company provides AI software to banks to find suspicious behaviour in their communications.

The sales reps focus on navigating the prospect's organisation, engaging with stakeholders, working out commercials and legals, and ultimately are responsible for getting them to buy our software. My role is to provide all the technical support required - providing demos, talking about the solution's architecture, knowing the ins and outs of all the functionality, running workshops, ensuring Proofs of Concepts are successful, etc. while also building relationships with the prospects and showing them how our software will benefit their business.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?

I get to provide thought leadership to prospects who don't know exactly what to do with their business. I learn about very cool artificial intelligence techniques such as Deep Learning, NLP, Machine Learning, etc. and am able to translate them into presentations that make sense for both an audience of data scientists or risk managers. While I don't do any coding anymore, I need to understand how the technology works and what can be possible, in order to help my customers and provide feedback to the Product and Engineering teams.

Selina Tindall headshot

What made you interested in your current role?

I soon realised after university that I wasn't a very good programmer! I much preferred building relationships and understanding why we were implementing projects, and what could be improved. I quickly became a technical lead so I could work with Project Managers, Business Analysts, Sales, etc. I tried a year of being a Sales Exec but did not like being so far from the technical aspects, so found Pre-sales as a middle ground.

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

I started on the IT graduate scheme at RBS, where I did two rotations; technical support and java software development. I moved into a technical lead role where I ran a project that did what-if pricing simulations of trades. At the time, I was also volunteering as a police officer in my spare time. I was made redundant when the bank had to make cuts and my project was completed. I then paired my passion for anti-crime with my knowledge of finance to work in anti-financial crime, as a technical lead on unauthorised trading software at BAE Systems. I later moved into presales and joined Digital Reasoning (now Smarsh) where I have been since 2018, and moved to Singapore in 2020 with the company.

Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?

I applied to Birmingham as it had a great Computer Science department, and is a campus university while still being by a major city. My brother was also an alumnus and spoke very highly of his time there.

We Are (Third Width)

What are your fondest memories of the University?

Some of my closest friends today were made at the University - from halls of residence then living in Selly Oak in second and third years. I met other interesting and intelligent students on my course, and am fascinated when reading about their careers progress on social media. It's great to keep in contact as you never know when you want to change companies or roles, and can glean insights from others. I loved learning from and spending time with lecturers and staff, and enjoyed working as a student ambassador for the Computer Science department to inspire others to join the University.

What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?

Enjoy yourself! While it's important to study and pass your exams, the friends you make at university are some of the best you will ever make. Explore topics and cutting-edge technologies with your peers and lecturers - the business world isn't as fast paced, so your fresh ideas can help guide them toward better practices or techniques. Your future is not yet defined; your degree may be directly or indirectly related to what you end up doing in your career. If you enjoy and love what you do, the right path will find you.

Advice from Selina

“Your future is not yet defined; your degree may be directly or indirectly related to what you end up doing in your career. If you enjoy and love what you do, the right path will find you.”