Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?
I chose Birmingham because it felt like it could be my second home. The first year Vale accommodation is located in a beautiful green park-like area and you’re really close to your friends and coursemates. The University has its own campus which makes it feel very student-oriented and safe and it’s also less than a 10 minute train ride into the city centre for any fun days I want to venture out. I also liked seeing the fresh fruit market and wide variety of food shops on campus as well as being situated very close to shopping centres and big stores so I knew I could live independently with ease.
What stood out for you about the School of Computer Science?
The staff and students at the School of Computer Science were really welcoming and fun which made me certain I’d have no problem making friends once I started. The facilities in the School are open, bright and modern meaning the environment is perfect to focus on my work and succeed. I was also very excited by the modules offered throughout the degree course as I thought they were a perfect mix of studying my interests as well as learning other important areas of Computer Science.
Tell us how your experience has been so far at Birmingham…
I couldn’t have imagined a better university experience. The School is very responsive to feedback and ensuring every measure is in place for students to succeed. Societies are filled with passionate students who organise very fun and memorable events. Birmingham itself has a great city centre for shopping, food and activities. Modules always have interesting content and often a subject I imagined myself least enjoying has become a favourite. The staff are always friendly and will treat you as an equal and make time for you if there are any problems.
If you’ve done a year in industry, tell us where you went, how you found it and what you got out of it
For my Year in Industry I joined IBM in their Hursley labs for 12 months. The University has many resources which helped me secure this placement. For example, I applied to be set up with a graduate mentor and I was matched with a senior at IBM who has worked there for nearly 14 years. We met up for a ‘coffee chat’ in Birmingham and I was told all about the company, roles and great tips for an application. It was a brilliant experience to move to another new city, meet interns from different universities and network with staff who are experts in their field. I worked in back-end development as a C++ developer with a senior team who pushed and supported me to grow my skill-set and ability to become a successful developer. By the time I had completed my placement I had won several awards and was invited back for a graduate scheme. This gave me a renewed sense of confidence going into my final year where I could apply my new skills and feel better placed to succeed in my career.
Have you accessed student support/wellbeing? How have you found it?
I’ve accessed student wellbeing when I’ve been very ill and worried I couldn't meet deadlines for assignments. They were fast to respond and very helpful, after a few emails back and forth I was able to receive deadline extensions until I was well enough to submit my work.
Did you use careers network/support?
I’ve attended Computer Science and EPS career fairs as well as talks put on by employers in the Sloman lounge to network with companies and find out more about roles in industry and what skills they’re looking for. I’ve also used the University’s Careers Network to land two part-time jobs as a software developer throughout my second and final year. There are also regular posts and emails for CV advice and interview tips which have also been great.
What are you going to do when you graduate?
Once I graduate I’ll be joining Goldman Sachs in London as part of their engineering division. My Birmingham degree has helped me secure this as it is a well-known and respected Russell Group university which has helped my application to stand out. The course covers essential material in the first and second years which helped me to succeed in interviews and perform well in roles.
What will you miss the most when you leave?
Student life! Being so close to my friends in the same town, walking around campus and up to the Vale on a sunny day, joining fun society events with students and staff and the long summer holidays!
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to a new student?
Say yes to as many opportunities as you can - big or small. Your university years will fly by and you want to make many memories to look back on! I especially learnt this in my final year coming back to a university and country in lockdown. You never know what can happen.
Find out more about my programme - BSc Computer Science with a Year in Industry