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Sumaia Sabouni

BEng (Hons) Software Engineering - 4 year sandwich course Placement with IBM, Manchester (August 2015-August 2016)

Sumaia Sabouni

Why did you apply to the University of Bradford?  Please include the following – your impression of the university and the city and what did you enjoy most about your time in Bradford?

I applied to the University of Bradford due to the numerous facilities offered to students in the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics. Also, graduates from the University of Bradford hold a high reputation for employability amongst industry. Bradford is a lively city with great diversity. I really enjoy mixing with different people from different backgrounds!

Why did you choose that particular course?  What did you like and enjoy most about the course?

My interest in Programming is invested in the practical and logical thinking that forms a program, and how this way of problem solving can be applied to many of the issues we face in life. A group of factors influenced my decision to choose this field; mainly stemming from programming's ability to provide solutions that can improve other people's quality of life, and the ability to incorporate multiple disciplines into these solutions. I do truly believe Programming turns Computer Science into a technologically driven Art.

What tips would you give to prospective students (about the course at the University of Bradford and the university itself)?

Software Development is an extremely practical course. The more time you spend in labs, and at home practicing, the more experienced and skilful you will become. You can also accomplish this by joining the University’s Departmental Computer Science Society (The Pi Society). The society takes on many projects from within the university itself and from industry. Joining this society increased not only my technical skills, but also my ability to work within a team.

What support have you received from Career Development Services / Placement Staff?

The Career Development Services helped me improve my CV to reach industry standards and prepare extensively for assessment centres and interviews.  They also put me in touch with students who had interviews and assessment centres at the same companies that I had applied to, to share past experiences and useful tips.

What action are you taking to improve your employability whilst at University?

During the last year I participated in as many extracurricular activities as possible. I became a Student Representative and attended several workshops to increase effective communication. I also became a member of the Pi Society, and was able, through this society, to participate in projects that increased my technical and communication skills.

What advice would you give to your fellow students about finding placement and work experience opportunities?

Start early on in the year, seeing as lots of companies have a very high demand. Do not be afraid to apply to big, competitive companies.  During the year, try participating in activities and projects that will give you an edge over other students.  And finally, go to the Career Development Services, as good as you think your CV is, or as well prepared you think you are for an interview, they’ll think otherwise!

Tell us about your placement.

I will be working as a Software Developer with IBM, Manchester starting in August 2015. I will be part of a team that develop and test enterprise-level storage virtualisation products, spanning both hardware and software, namely the Storwize family.

How will the placement year benefit you when you return to study at the University of Bradford?

In addition to gaining practical experience, I hope to meet inspirational people and widen my horizons. I also plan to apply the experience gained from this year to my final year at university. I am positive it will also increase my chances of securing a graduate position.