Sam Gunaratne - graduate profile, Software Engineer, IBM

"Plymouth's emphasis on group work really helps develop must-have communication skills. In the workplace you must be able to concisely articulate yourself about complex technical issues, often for the purpose of influencing people who are senior to you. At Plymouth you get plenty of chances to work collaboratively which allows you to enhance these skills. 

The course also offers the opportunity to do a year’s paid work placement. I have been working as a Software Engineer at IBM's largest software development site in Europe - Hursley. I am experiencing every aspect of software development in an environment that breeds excellence. While working on a product sold globally, I get to converse day in day out with some of the brightest minds in the country. 

Working on projects at university and in industry are two very different experiences. There is a gap of knowledge that needs to be bridged in order to make the transition successfully; a placement year is the perfect way to accomplish this. A placement year is also a fantastic way to figure out where you sit in the IT sector. IBM has allowed me enormous freedom in exploring other opportunities outside my day job."

Sam Gunaratne won the Education & Training: Best example of innovation in a final year STEM-related degree project - at the Innovisions Award ceremony on 5th December 2012.