Jade Donaldson is in the final year of Computing with a Year in Industry.
Why did you decide to study Computing?
I had a female computer teacher who had a passion for computing, which really inspired me. Then I discovered that I was good at it and really enjoyed it. It seemed like a good career path to choose and a good degree to do, one that would be useful in the future.
What was it about the programme at Kent that particularly appealed to you?
The range of modules available and the fact that the course teaches upcoming topics and trends in the industry. The Medway campus is quite small, and so are the class sizes. It’s a small community, so you get to know the tutors and other students well.
What have been the highlights?
Learning new programming languages and working with different people. My final-year modules have been my favourite, particularly the health-based modules, and computational intelligence in business, economics and finance. My year in industry was also a highlight of my university experience.
Describe a piece of work that you’ve particularly enjoyed?
I’m currently working on my final-year group project which involves developing an app to detect sleep cycles. It’s an interesting and challenging project to work on and I’ve been able to use industry standard tools and frameworks, which has prepared me for my career after university.
What are the other students on your programme like?
It’s a very diverse group with loads of people from across the world. As it’s quite a small course, you get to know everyone so much better than you would on a course with hundreds of people.
What help did you get with finding a placement for your year in industry?
There are dedicated placement officers who help you when you apply for your year in industry.
The University has great contacts with different companies so they can provide support when you are applying and, if you are invited to interview.
Where did you do your placement?
I worked at GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company, and I was a trainee programmer/analyst in the clinical programming department. My role involved various tasks, including working with clinical trial data.
What were the highlights of the year?
Working with such a diverse group of people, so not just programmers, but also statisticians and physicians. The role had a feel-good factor as the people surrounding me were helping to make a difference to people’s lives.
I also really enjoyed being a STEM ambassador while at my placement. I got the opportunity to go into the local communities or schools and make sure that young people think of STEM as a future career option.
During my year in industry, my manager nominated me for a recognition of excellence award, which I won and I am very proud of it.
How did you change during your year in industry?
I became a lot more confident, in both my work and my interpersonal skills and I also developed key time management skills which have helped me massively in my final year at university.
What are your plans for when you graduate?
I will be joining the technology graduate scheme at Deutsche Bank. I am very excited to start my career and apply what I have learnt at Kent.
How have you changed since you first started at Kent?
I’ve become more knowledgeable and have acquired many technical skills since the start of university. I’ve learned about myself, the world of computing, I’ve become more confident and made loads of new friends.