Nicolae Caprarescu

Spending a year in industry is a great thing to do, not only because you have the chance to secure a graduate position, but also because you have the opportunity to apply the concepts you have studied to the real world. By the time you graduate, you will already have some experience in industry, a network of contacts and more confidence in your abilities.

Nowadays, Computer Science moves businesses forward. I wanted a degree which would equip me with globally-usable skills, allowing me to pursue a career in any part of the world or business area. I was interested in Computer Science before coming to Manchester, and I believe that it is the diverse and, at the same time, evolving nature of this discipline that also made me determined to study it in more detail at university. I think that it is a relatively young field of activity and therefore it provides you, as an individual, with enough challenges to keep you interested, and, as well, with the chance to be creative.

I have enjoyed the broad range of modules offered by the School of Computer Science, a few of them being Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering and Distributed Computing. I believe that the course provides me with a very good overview of Computer Science as a discipline, but also goes into the appropriate level of detail within the individual modules. The modules combine both theoretical and practical sessions, making sure that you develop an excellent understanding of the topic. As well, there is always support available, either via contacting the appropriate members of staff, or by attending helper sessions organised by students within the school. I believe that the course is very well linked with the industry trends, and this will make the transition from student life to graduate life easier.

Besides my technical abilities, one of the key things which I have developed is teamwork. My first year team project involved working within a small team with some of my course mates in order to build a web based application. The project encourages creativity, as we had the freedom of choosing the idea for the project. The second year team project follows practices of Software Engineering which are actually used in industry, and it is more focused on actually meeting business requirements. This year, we have developed a bus management system, following an agile software development methodology. During my second year, I was also a member of the Staff-Student Consultative Committee, facilitating communication between my colleagues and members of staff.

I have currently just started my industrial placement in London, working for one of the leading investment banks in their Technology division. Spending a year in industry is a great thing to do, not only because you have the chance to secure a graduate position, but also because you have the opportunity to apply the concepts you have studied to the real world. By the time you graduate, you will already have some experience in industry, a network of contacts and more confidence in your abilities. Applying for these positions is not that difficult, as they are directly advertised to us by the school, and, if needed, there is also help available from the University's Career Service during the application process itself.

Since I joined the School of Computer Science in September 2009, I have developed as an individual on a number of levels. There is always the technical side of things, which has developed greatly as I interacted with various technologies and parts of the discipline, but I have gained important soft skills as well: I am now better at managing my time and priorities, communicating, networking and working in teams. I have also managed to interact with some of the best companies worldwide via the numerous career fairs organised within the school, understanding what they do and making an informed decision about my future career.

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