James Dunderdale, BSc Computer Animation and Special Effects 2012
IT Project Programmer
"Attending and studying at the University of Bradford set me up with the practical and life skills required to get to where I am today. When you complete your course, you might still not know exactly what it is you want to do with your life, but that’s okay! Opportunities come at every turn and you just have to be willing to grab them and hold on. My degree gave me everything I needed to secure a job and I just had to apply it. I took my qualifications and ran with them, which is why I’ve been able to secure jobs since."
Where are you now?
"I now work as a programmer for Bradbury Group Ltd, one of the largest security engineering companies in the UK. My duties range from creating Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros, to programming in Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC) for the manufacturing machines. I also created and maintain the current order-tracking software that monitors products from the point of sale, through production and to delivery. I enjoy the variety of projects that I get to work on and appreciate that I get to learn a lot from them.
I previously worked for the NHS as a second line support engineer, which gave me a lot of practical knowledge and fuelled my desire to progress within the field of IT."
How did your Bradford degree and experience help you to get to where you are now?
"Attending and studying at the University of Bradford set me up with the practical and life skills required to get to where I am today. When you complete your course, you might still not know exactly what it is you want to do with your life, but that’s okay! Opportunities come at every turn and you just have to be willing to grab them and hold on. You can’t beat yourself up if you aren’t successful at finding a job straight away. My degree gave me everything I needed to secure a job and I just had to apply it. I took my qualifications and ran with them, which is why I’ve been able to secure jobs since. The only failure is not trying."
Why did you decide to come to study at Bradford?
"Bradford was my first choice with UCAS because it had the best-rated animation course. Once I got there I found that the tutors were incredibly knowledgeable and their open office hours could always be relied upon. Although there were many nights spent working long hours in the computer labs, the memories and atmosphere surrounding those nights will always be treasured.
The city is a multicultural hub and you definitely need to have lived there to truly appreciate it. From the National Media Museum to the incredible variety of restaurants and bars, there is always something to do and enjoy in Bradford. The surrounding countryside is perfect to cycle through, as well, with its beautiful views and rolling hills."
What advice would you give current or future students hoping to work in your profession?
"The old adage of “the more you put in, the more you get out,” truly applies to any course. It’s not just about turning up to lectures and taking exams — everything else you do is important to your development, too. Working on extra projects, joining societies and working alongside your studies will give you the skills and discipline to keep to deadlines when necessary, as well as grow as a person.
The career path I chose to go down isn’t directly related to the course I studied, but some of the modules and the extra-curricular activities I participated in led me down the road I’m on today."
Tell us a little more about your background.
"I’m originally from Scunthorpe, which is where I returned to after graduation and secured my first post-grad job with the NHS. My long-term goal was always to become a developer of sorts, but I hadn’t decided what field I wanted to go into. When the opportunity to work for Bradbury arose, I snapped it up. I have been here for over two years now and, along with helping the company to progress, I’ve also developed my own knowledge and skills.
Later this year I am going to be moving to the USA with my wife and child to start our new adventure over there. I am hoping to use the skills I have to move into the information security field."
Published: August 2015