Milan chose to study for the conversion Master’s programme which provided a springboard to his career in tech
Why did you choose Kent?
I am originally from Kent, but I attended a London university for my BSc to live away from home and expand my horizons. Having decided on pursuing a Master’s, four years after my undergraduate degree, I wanted to avoid the fees and living costs of London without compromising on the quality of education. Given Kent’s brilliant reputation as an academic institution, its excellent links with local businesses and the inclusive student community, it was an easy decision for me to make the application.
How did you find the programme?
I found that the curriculum was extremely well-rounded with the option to focus on specific areas of interest through elective modules. It is definitely a course which requires dedication, determination and discipline. However, it is also just as rewarding and so long as you keep on top of your work, you will be fine.
Did the programme live up to your expectations?
The programme certainly lived up to my expectations as it provided me with valuable skills and knowledge about the diverse field of Computer Science. With a BSc in Psychology, I was not entirely sure that I would be a good fit. Surprisingly this became an advantage when I conducted my research project on ‘Human Centred Design for Refugee Loneliness’. I would encourage students to keep an open mind and not let the lack of prior knowledge obstruct their desire to pursue this degree.
Which part of the course most interested you?
Object Oriented Programming was one of my favourite modules as it not only taught us how to code but also provided a superb understanding of the principles behind coding and how computer programmes are structured. Software Engineering, while dense, was very informative and I find myself using a lot of the knowledge I acquired from this module in my current role. It was also extremely gratifying to be able to work with the Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN), a local charity, for my thesis.
What about your lecturers?
The lecturers were very knowledgeable and more than willing to provide extra help outside of classes. I always found the teaching material to be well-planned and structured. While email correspondence is convenient, the lecturers are also happy to set up in-person meetings for queries which require more attention.
What was the level of support like in your studies?
Each student gets assigned an Academic Advisor, who acts as the main point of contact for any issues you may be facing in the course. The support structure however expands beyond this as you find yourself amongst a supportive cohort of students and staff members who are all ready to provide help. Having a dedicated MSc common room definitely aids in group study or to simply just relax. I was also made aware of the Wellbeing Services to reach out to for support with personal issues, so I always felt like I had a security blanket.
How did Kent help with your career plans?
Right at the beginning of the academic year, I attended a careers fair where I was able to speak to companies from a wide range of industries. I was provided with excellent guidance material listing out prospective employers and application procedures. The staff in the School’s Industrial Placements office were fantastic advisors and helped me realise my interest in Tech Consulting. Over summer, I applied for the role of Student Research Assistant with the School of Computing and worked as a Software Developer while waiting for the degree results. In addition, I found the Careers Service extremely helpful in looking over my CV, reviewing my cover letters and preparing for interviews.
How do you see your career progressing?
I am currently working in Business Intelligence and focus on front end tools for building reports. I am also learning the basics of financial accounting to better understand the data model we have built for the client and the reports that we deliver. In the coming years, I want to develop my skills as a Technology Consultant and possibly transition to big data. I would also love to broaden my knowledge and skills by working in roles such as Product Manager. The world of Tech is vast and with an increase in demand for digital transformation across industries, I see endless possibilities for growth.
What would you say to someone thinking of studying at Kent?
In the one year that I studied at Kent, I connected with the student community, helped organise events with the TEDx society and built a strong sense of belonging. I also took part in a hackathon challenge, attended salsa classes and met some amazing people from all across the world. Kent is a fantastic place to study and nurture your growth, but what you make of the experience also depends on your willingness to get involved with the University. My advice to you is, don’t be afraid to explore and immerse yourself in the University’s culture. Keep on top of your academic workload but don’t miss out on the wholesome package you have on offer as a Kent student.