Paul Wozniak

Computer Science with a Year in Industry

Year in Industry was a huge opportunity to gain real-life experience, travel abroad and most likely secure a job offer.

Why did you choose to study at Kent?

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.

 What was it that attracted you to the degree programme?

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.

 How would you describe the teaching at Kent?

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.

 How did the skills you gained at Kent help you in your present career?

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.

 How did your career progress after graduation?

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.

 What are your future plans?

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.

 What advice would you give to someone thinking of coming to Kent?

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.