What originally motivated you to study in the field of computer science?
It was always something I was good at and passionate about in school. I always liked helping relatives and friends if they had a tech issue. I think one of the main things that motivated me though was the lack of women in IT. Both in my secondary school and college I was the only girl in the class and I wanted to change that.
Tell us about your career path since graduation
Since graduating, I have only had one job, which is a Junior Developer at Software Solved. I’ve since gained customer experience, including being involved in client support meetings.
What is the best moment and/or most rewarding achievement you have experienced throughout your career, to date?
My greatest achievement to date has to be achieving a 1st in my degree, it really made the 4 years of studying worth doing.
What is the most difficult experience you have faced in your career and how did your time at Plymouth help you overcome these?
The most difficult experience I’ve had during my career is being a woman. However, the University’s Women in STEM society really helped me overcome the fear of being a minority and also helped me make friends for life. Women in STEM regularly held events, such as bowling, to gather all of the women going through the same things I was. It was super helpful as without this I’d have very little communication with other women, which is sometimes what you need.
How did studying at the University of Plymouth influenced your career aspirations and plans, and/or help you reach where you are in your career now?
Without coming to university and doing a placement, I wouldn’t have my current job. I would of not even heard of Software Solved without the careers fairs the university hold. I also wouldn’t have the skills I need to do my job.
Would you recommend undertaking a course with the University of Plymouth, and why?
Yes, Plymouth feels like a safe environment, just like home for me. Everything is super close to campus.
What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying, and thus developing their career, in the same field as you?
I would definitely recommend getting some work experience, whether this be a placement or a summer internship so you can see exactly what part of the field you want to go into.
How can studying a degree within the area of computer science enable one to make a positive impact towards resolving global challenges?
There are lots of tech companies that focus on improving climate change, whether this be research into how to improve climate change or making processes more environmentally friendly. This is definitely something I would like to look into during my career.
If you did a placement year as part of your degree, please tell us about it.
For me, my placement confirmed that I really wanted to go into software development. It made me a lot more confident than I was leaving 2nd year. I also enhanced a lot of my technical skills, including learning how to mobile develop, which became extremely helpful during my final year project. I also learnt how to do releases to the Google App Store, which really felt amazing as it finally felt like my work meant something. I also managed to get a job at the end of my placement secured for when I graduated. As well as getting a job I made some amazing contacts and friends, who I am still in contact with despite them no longer working at the company.
How did you find the support services that were available to you during your studies?
I unfortunately didn’t make as much use of the support services available as I could have. However, I have second hand seen how amazing PALS can be. PALS are sessions supported by students who can help with areas you are struggling in with your course.
Understand how a computer really works
With a strong emphasis on being workplace-ready, gain technical skills in computational theory, software development on a variety of devices and platforms, database development, computer hardware and networking. Plus, gain an awareness of social, legal and ethical aspects of the IT industry.
With the chance to take part in a placement year – recent providers include the BBC, the Met Office, Microsoft, the National Physical Laboratory and Nestlé – it is a real-world opportunity to accelerate your career.