Year in Industry stories: final year Computing student, Marvan Tennekoon

If you’re interested in doing an industrial placement year, Marvan can give you some information. Have a read below.

Why did you choose Kent?

I was drawn to the welcoming atmosphere at Kent and the higher employability rates. In the opening days, everyone took their time and answered the questions I had, which left me with a positive impression towards Kent.


Where did you go for your Year in Industry and why?

I worked as a trainee software developer at Fivium. They are an Small-to-Medium Enterprise (SME) that works with the central government and other public bodies to improve their workflows. Following my second year at Kent, I wanted to see how the things I learned could be applied in the real world. Fivium provided me with that and more, as I got to learn and work with a team of experienced and supportive developers who mentored me throughout my placement. I also had the opportunity to learn and work with a variety of technologies and tools that are used in the software industry.


What have you gained through your Year in Industry, and how has it benefitted your degree and future ambitions?

I learned a lot across various aspects of software development by working on some interesting projects and problems. As a result of my placement, I improved my problem-solving skills and technical skills, along with my soft skills. The experience better equipped me for my final year project and modules, while also helping me to discover my passion for software engineering. 


What support did you receive in finding a placement, and also throughout the year?

I had amazing support from the Employability and Placements team both before and during the placement. Prior to starting my placement, I learned about how to write a good CV and how I should approach interviews. Along with these I had the opportunity to get my CV reviewed and practice with mock interviews to build my confidence. During the placement, I had two visits from the team to discuss my progress over the year.


What did you work on during your Year in Industry? Any favourite projects?

I worked as a trainee software developer. Most of my time during the placement was spent working on a SAAS product called eCase. As part of my role, I got to work on some interesting projects, some of which were internal tools. One project I found particularly exciting was the work I did on the development of a feature-rich FOI reporting tool for the central government and other public entities. Throughout the year, I had the opportunity to learn and work with interesting technologies and people, some of whom were Kent alumni.


Which project group did you take part in and what did this involve?

For the final year project, we chose to build a web application for book lovers to discover books. We had interesting features planned for the project. Some of the notable features we worked on included providing weekly best sellers from the New York Times, search, recommendations, and collections features, among many other interesting aspects. We also deployed our application through a continuous deployment pipeline.

What are your favourite parts of Canterbury?

There is so much to love about Canterbury. After living in London for a long time, being in Canterbury gives you the pleasure of being surrounded by nature. One of my favourite shops is Pork and Co. Their burgers are amazing and some of the best I’ve had.