The Computer Science programme at Kent comes with the option to take a year in industry. Having spoken with the staff and after seeing the stats, it became apparent that it was a huge opportunity to gain real-life experience in the field, travel abroad and most likely secure a job offer at the end of the degree. The Year in Industry programme is put together extremely well and meticulously executed by the dedicated team in the School of Computing. A year after graduating, I am absolutely convinced that no other university in the country can offer an opportunity to match.
After seeing the structure of the programme, which consisted of a balance of theoretical as well as practical modules, it became obvious that a lot of thought had gone into putting it together. There was a clear line of progression from the first to the final year. The coursework for most of the modules looked like a lot of fun and the idea of doing a group final-year project was very appealing.
The lecturers are enthusiastic about what they teach and are very open to engaging in a discussion about the content. This two-way dialogue made the lectures and seminars fun and memorable. It was easy to solicit additional feedback about my work. Some seminars were taught by senior students, which provided a relaxed and laid back atmosphere which I particularly looked forward to.
There was good proportion of group work throughout the programme. A lot of the coursework was completed as a group and even for the individual pieces, I found myself collaborating with others. We often discussed the problems and analysed them, which resulted in a better understanding. All of the group work done throughout the course led to the group final-year project. This project has become a prompt and model for how I carry out projects every day in my professional life.
During my final year, and for a short period after graduation, I was working part-time for Cisco Systems, Inc. It was a continuation of the work I had done with them during my year in industry at their headquarters in San Jose, California. At the end of that summer, I was accepted on to the Silicon Valley Internship Programme which brought me out to San Francisco in pursuit of my entrepreneurial aspirations. A year later, I am still at LoopUp, my host company for the year-long internship, working closely with a great team of product-focused individuals.
I intend on staying at LoopUp for the immediate future. I am also looking forward to pursuing a postgraduate degree, most likely here in California, hopefully at Stanford University. Looking further ahead, I plan on fulfilling my dream of starting my own company.
I would say ‘Go for it!’ Once you get here, look around for opportunities and take advantage of them. You will have a great time, learn a myriad of skills and put yourself in a favourable position for the future.