Luke Lamplough graduated from the University of Plymouth with a first class honours computing degree. Luke now works for the University of Plymouth as a Senior Operations Analyst. Here he shares his experiences and explains why the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics is a great place to study and kick start your career.
Weighing up more than what the prospectus states
When looking at Universities, you have to feel safe, welcomed and valued into the community. Having moved hundreds of miles away from family to live, study, and now work, I had to feel that I would not only survive, but thrive and the University of Plymouth has certainly provided that supportive environment.
It’s not only the academic environment, but also the city.
Plymouth is well situated and has a plethora of travel links meaning you can get to pretty much anywhere. A walk along the Hoe, exploring new places like Penzance or shopping in Exeter, are all close by. I found having the freedom to explore new places and switch off was important for me. I never wanted to be in a ‘big city’ and Plymouth didn’t feel like that, it felt like home.
The University of Plymouth has the resources to let you succeed
Be it the academics who are at the forefront of their field, the facilities available to you including high specification PCs and dedicated labs, through to the enterprise software and tool sets. This combination means there is no limit to your learning and when you enter the workplace you will often be following the same principals and tools used in your modules. Not only does this help with the transition from education to enterprise, it also gives you the time to make mistakes and learn.
My ultimate career goals never changed, what studying at Plymouth did was focus me
It proved my passion for technology and showed me I prefer architecting and deploying solutions; getting really into the backend of how things work and why, rather than the frontend systems that run on top. Prior to studying at the University, I had limited exposure to some of the latest technologies that services run on such as containerisation and cloud services but the course addressed this and sparked my enthusiasm. I started to get involved at the University during my spare time helping out in first-line support roles and supporting the technical teams.
If I could do one thing differently, I wouldn’t be so afraid of failure. In Computing, your code is bound to have a bug in it, you’ll get results you didn’t expect, or you’ll be doing something completely new. I put pressure on myself to get it right the first time, however I soon realised I learnt more when things didn’t go to plan. I would test new solutions to those problems and in the process learn immense amounts about the technology and also refine my problem-solving skills. That learning curve became an advantage.
You will never get everything right 100% of the time, what defines you is how you react to those failures.
You never felt like you were alone
My favourite memory is being in the labs after a lecture with my course mates, working together on projects, helping each other learn new things and having a laugh the whole time we did it. We’d test each other’s work and often break it, but from that we improved and made it to a higher standard. At the end of it all, you felt like you had achieved something together.
Don’t be afraid to dive in at the deep end and immerse yourself in a new world.
Be it a new technology to learn; a different place to live, study, or work; or even a new project. Have faith in yourself, and reach out for help when you need it. Throughout my time with the University of Plymouth I have gone from strength to strength; a little bit of faith in yourself goes a long way. I would always have a side project on the go, learning something new, taking what is learnt in the modules further. This will not only help you stand out in the jobs market, but I also found immense satisfaction in the end results of my projects.
Take every opportunity you are given and run with it, who knows where you’ll end up. My dissertation started off as a small side project. Through development and refinement, it became a system which is now used by hundreds of people weekly. It gave me the confidence in myself to apply for the job position I’m in now, and the projects I worked on were a focus of my interviews.
The successes I had resulted from taking opportunities and running with them to the best of my ability.
Inspired by this story?
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