Current employer: BAE systems
Current job title: Software Engineer
Current location: Rochester
“Plymouth is a great city and everything is really close: the city centre, Drake Circus, the Hoe and Barbican, nightclubs, and amenities, so there were never any issues getting into university or going shopping. I never felt like I was trapped in a concrete jungle but, equally, there were all the benefits of living in a city.”Did you decide to change your career path during your studies, and if so, why?
I initially wanted to become a hardware engineer and completed a year-long placement at a company called Ultra Electronics. During my placement I worked with the hardware components of the company; however, on my final year project which involved a lot of software, I realised that I enjoyed working on software just as much as I enjoyed working with hardware. I therefore decided to look for jobs as both a software and a hardware engineer and came across the one I’m doing now.
What was the most difficult thing you faced finding a job?
I was looking for jobs in Kent, but there wasn’t much available in that area. Finding a job, therefore, which was right for me, was much harder than expected. Also, finding the time to fill out lots of job applications whilst completing your degree work can be hard – some applications took over an hour to complete.
What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career (or that you’re most looking forward to)?
All of the new graduates entering the company took part in a training day called colour works. This involved filling out a questionnaire with 25 questions, from which a profile was created of your personality and working style: almost everyone’s was scarily accurate! With this information we then worked on how each person could improve their work habits. Everyone found this day really enjoyable and informative. In the future I am most looking forward to working on a project from the start so that I can be part of the complete design cycle and put my mark on that product.
How did studying at Plymouth help you?
Plymouth is a great city and everything is really close: the city centre, Drake Circus, the Hoe and Barbican, nightclubs, and amenities, so there were never any issues getting into university or going shopping. I never felt like I was trapped in a concrete jungle but, equally, there were all the benefits of living in a city.
Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?
I would definitely recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University because it’s a nice city with plenty to do and there are lots of societies and sports clubs (I was second team captain of the Squash Club). While studying, I felt like I was getting a high standard of education that would prepare me for the workplace. My course was also accredited by the IEEE which most employers will look for.
Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?
Start looking for jobs way before graduation as a lot of employers will stop taking applications in January. Also, remember that employers are looking for people who have interests beyond work; they don’t just want the cleverest people. In your CV and in interviews it’s important to make yourself come across as a well-rounded and interesting person who will be able to work well with others.
Inspired by this story?
For more information about studying electrical and electronic engineering, please visit our BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering course page. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics, please visit the school page.
Want to find similar alumni?
If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni from the Faculty of Science and Engineering are currently doing, please visit the engineering and robotics interest area.