Matthew Plumber - software engineer associate and cloud software engineer with Accenture

Matthew Plumber, BSc (Hons) Computing & Games Development, at Accenture

"I have gained a wealth of knowledge during my placement year in many areas of computer science, from theory to programming to infrastructure system."

Who was your placement with and what was your job title?

My placement was with Accenture PLC located in central London. My job title was software engineer associate / cloud software engineer.

What attracted you to this placement opportunity?

Accenture offers a wide variety of companies that you could possibly work for; examples of some public facing companies are Google, IBM, HP, Dell, RBS and Oracle to name but a few. This allows a wide variety of options during employment to work for a number of big companies allowing you to build connections, experience and to gain valuable knowledge in this field of work. Accenture also provides a very competitive salary as well as a starting bonus upon starting your employment. All training is also provided and you can undertake any other training in different knowledge areas.

How did you go about securing your placement and what was the process for this?

Accenture advertises placements every year on their website, careers fairs and also television advertising. The process for me to obtain the placement included the completion of an application form with an attached C.V, a video/ phone interview, a programming test (for software engineering placements) and an interview in person.

Can you describe the various roles and responsibilities of your placement?

My roles and responsibilities included, but were not limited to:

  • programming software, applications and cloud services (Java, Python and SQL)
  • managing the software release process for my team in an agile workflow
  • bug fixing and improving existing software with regards to efficiency and keeping up to date with new cloud technologies
  • data analytics on big data sets of usage data to drive critical business decisions using various data analytics tools such as Looker and Talend
  • cloud infrastructure management and improvement on AWS (Amazon Web Services)
  • carrying out consultations to the client’s management team(s)
  • providing training to other team members and third party companies.

How did Plymouth University and your lecturers support you both before and during your placement?

Lecturers and tutors were always available for any questions, issues or concerns I had throughout the year. Responses to these queries were also quick and sufficient. Support was provided throughout my placement year and my placement tutor visited me on my work site on more than one occasion.

How did your previous studies enable you to be successful during your placement?

My previous studies provided me with the core fundamental knowledge that I used to develop core skills in technology areas that are currently in use in the industry. This provided me with the confidence to undertake more responsibilities throughout my placement and to perform to the best of my ability.

How will your placement help you with the final year of your degree?

I have gained a wealth of knowledge during my placement year in many areas of computer science, from theory to programming to infrastructure system. This will allow me to perform to the best of my ability during my final year by applying what I learned over the course of my time working in London.

In terms of your career development so far, what have been the benefits of undertaking this placement?

Placement has greatly increased my career prospects and development. It has allowed me to gain a valuable insight into the industry and how globally successful businesses work and what they expect from their employees. Having worked in the City of London this provided a valuable insight into the workings of all these major companies and instilled a great work ethic which I will never forget. Through working with Accenture during my placement they have offered me a graduate full-time job within the company.  

What would you say to a prospective student thinking about undertaking a placement year?

Undertaking a placement year was the best decision I made with regards to my education. The benefits of doing so are so profound and valuable to your future career, some examples being technical skills, industrial skills and team skills as well as much more. The benefits of taking a placement are endless as is the enjoyment.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about student placements, please visit the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics' student placements page.

Want to find similar student placement students?

If you would like to find out what other Computing students are currently doing, please visit the computing placements page.