I was a Trade Support Analyst at Citigroup Global Markets, working with the equities trading desk in Canary Wharf

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Adam Matthews is a graduate of Computer Science with a Year in Industry. He works as a Systems Engineer, End User Computing at VMware.

Why did you choose to study your programme?

The programme covered a wide range of topics. I thought that having a solid foundation of key concepts across disciplines would allow me to be flexible later on, especially as technology changes so quickly. The campus was also a massive draw, there were plenty of things to do and it was quick to get into town.

What did you particularly enjoy about your programme?

The range of people I met, some of whom remain good friends. I worked with people who were much smarter than me, which helped me learn and grow personally.

Where did you spend your year in industry? What did you do?

I was a Trade Support Analyst at Citigroup Global Markets, working with the equities trading desk in Canary Wharf.

What were the highlights of your placement?

I was part of the Citi Graduate programme even though I was only a placement student. I was given key risk reporting projects within weeks of joining, allowing me to work with many different teams and get exposure across the bank. I was quickly recognised as someone who was able to adapt and adjust to challenging situations, and very quickly allowed to work independently.

What skills and knowledge did you gain during the year?

The most important skill I learned was how to be an employee. Kent gave me the ability to be a great technologist, so I had that covered. The placement helped me grow my interpersonal skills, engage with people and communicate successfully – the bedrock of a successful career.

How did doing a placement help you in your final year?

Having started work at 7:30am and often worked through to the early evening, coming back to University was a breeze! My teamwork skills improved and it boosted my confidence. I knew that I had the tools to approach any new role and demonstrate that I would be a valuable asset to any organisation.

Would you recommend doing a placement?

I believe a year in industry is essential to any degree. It will demonstrate you have the necessary academic qualities, as well as a proven track record in the workplace. It will also give you the skills and confidence to venture into the world of work knowing you can tackle anything.

What does your job involve?

I work with VMware’s top Global Accounts (mostly Fortune 500 organisations), helping them deliver the workplace tools that enable you to work from anywhere, easily but also securely. I spend a lot of time travelling to customers in Northern Europe, meeting with executives and running technical pre-sales projects.

How did your time at Kent help your career progression?

Only a few months after graduating, I had a conversation with a very experienced networking professional, and I was able to understand the concepts and provide an opinion. I have also been able to progress into a role where most of my colleagues are 10-20 years or more into their careers and perform to the same levels. Kent helped me jumpstart my career and got me to where I am today.

What are your career plans?

I’ve held roles at three organisations since graduating, including an IT management position. I’ve now been at VMware for three-and-a-half years. In that time I’ve held three different roles, each giving me an increased exposure to bigger and bigger customers. I plan on remaining at VMware for the next few years, with plans to get promoted and build my personal brand as an End User Computing industry expert.