Hannah Kaye, BSc (Hons) Computer Science

"I wasn't sure what exactly I wanted to do as a career before starting my degree. I enjoyed my artificial intelligence modules, so decided to specialise in this area."

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your studies.
I am currently studying for a master's degree in Artificial Intelligence (AI) at Southampton University - due to finish in September of this year. After which, I wish to get a job in the AI field hopefully related to biometrics or natural language processing.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?
Given that I only graduated last year, then it would have to be master's course (which is really interesting, if hard work). I would definitely encourage others that also wish to specialise further to do so, even if it means looking further afield if your desired postgraduate course isn't currently offered at Plymouth. It has been interesting to meet a whole new group of people and I will benefit from the alumni services of not one, but two great universities! It is also a fantastic way to differentiate yourself from other candidates and I have received lots of employer interest through LinkedIn over the last few months.

What was your main reason for choosing to study your course at Plymouth? 
My main reasons for choosing Plymouth were the location, the enthusiasm of lecturers, the course's accreditation and placement opportunities. I loved my time living and studying in Plymouth, it's a good place to be a student, and met lots of friendly people throughout the city, some of whom I have kept in touch with (particularly within Guiding). 

I was also able to undertake a paid placement year at the National Physical Laboratory as part of my studies. This gave me the opportunity to talk to others who had established careers in the industry and to find out what they thought had been good or bad decisions in their own careers. Many of them had also worked for other companies or in other fields, so I was able to get a overview of the working world coupled with office experience and transferable skills. This has helped to give me insight into the industry as a whole. My placement year also afforded me the luxury of an extra year to decide what I wanted to do after graduation and that was when I first started looking into potential postgraduate courses and discussing options with colleagues.

How did we support you in your studies?
I used PALS in first year, which was helpful as I had never really programmed before starting my degree. I also used the careers service in my final year to help guide me on what sort of jobs were comparatively available if I undertook further study. They also gave me guidance about how to job search, which will be useful throughout my career and I know that I can still get in contact with them for the next couple of years should I need it.

How did studying at Plymouth change your career aspirations and plans?
It was actually my undergraduate artificial intelligence modules at Plymouth; coupled with talking to colleagues on placement; that convinced me to apply for my current course.

How well did Plymouth prepare you for the challenges that you have faced, or will face, in your career?
I think that we had a broad range of modules covering a wide range of topics and programming languages that allowed us to explore the different areas of computer science. The only thing I think that was missing from the course was a web development module; we did small amounts of web development as part of group projects, but this had to be self taught.

Why would you recommend undertaking a course with the University of Plymouth?
It's a friendly city and the university is perfectly placed within it. Furthermore, the lecturers are always willing to help and the courses are continually improving with direct input and feedback from students. We actually saw changes in following years during our time at Plymouth that were as a direct result of suggestions that we had made.

What is your favourite memory of studying for your degree at Plymouth?
The feeling when I graduated and realised that I'd actually done it.