Why did you choose Kent?
I chose Kent because of the Year in Industry scheme as I felt it was a great way to gain professional experience while also getting a break from my degree. Canterbury also seemed like a nice city when I first visited during an open-day.
Where did you go for your Year in Industry and why?
For my placement I worked for IBM at their Hursley campus. I chose IBM as they’ve been a staple name within the technology industry for so many years and they’ve had a lot of experience with placement students before, so I felt quite safe and in good hands going into my Year in Industry.
What have you gained through your Year in Industry, and how has it benefitted your degree and future ambitions?
I picked up a lot of new technologies that I had never used before, and got to work on developing my soft-skills in terms of working within a team among other things. As for how it has benefitted my degree, I feel that I am more capable at tackling assignments and I’ve got better at problem-solving – I also feel more confident in the work I produce! My placement helped me see what a positive and helpful team can look like within a professional setting and has made me want to strive even more to reach my goals within the technology industry.
What support did you receive in finding a placement, and also throughout the year?
During my search for placements I got a lot of help from the placement office in polishing up my CV and got to do a lot of interview prep which definitely helped in landing my placement at IBM. Throughout the year I was regularly checked-in on by the placement office and knew that if I had any problems they were a phone call or email away.
What did you work on during your Year in Industry? Any favourite projects?
I worked in an Infrastructure and Release Engineering team, where the team’s focus is automating build-, test- and maintenance-processes. Some of the projects I worked on was creating an automated patching system that would regularly check our infrastructure for required patches and apply these, I also helped write a system to automate the application of vulnerability fixes and I also got to replace an old virus scanning tool used by the team with a new tool which required me integrate the new tool into their existing legacy codebase.
What are your favourite parts of Canterbury?
If you want to get away from the city for a bit I recommend going for a walk down towards Chartham down through Westgate Gardens or exploring Blean Woods. If you want to do something more active, I highly recommend checking out Chimera Climbing in Wincheap, while you’re in the area check out Floc. Brewing. And lastly, for Canterbury’s best coffee head over to Fringe + Ginge Coffee – the staff are super friendly and best of all no laptops allowed, so you can really sit back and relax.