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Svetoslav Tsenov

BSc (Hons) Computer Science

Software Engineering Intern, Sophos, Abingdon

A profile picture of Svetoslav Tsenov, University of Bradford placement student

Why did you apply to the University and why did you choose that course?

I have always been passionate about technology, and ever since I started high school, I knew that a career in programming is the way for me. I have always liked learning as much as possible about topics that I am interested in, which allowed me to quickly dive deeper and start asking more complex questions. Naturally, I thought that Computer Science is the best fit for me because it allowed me to do more research and solve complex computer-related problems.

Choosing a university in the UK was a big step for me, so I made sure to fully explore my options, which, after a lot of consideration, lead me to choose the University of Bradford.

Right from the start, I loved the curriculum and the facilities, but I also did enough research on my lecturers to feel confident that I would be learning from people who have had years of experience in the field and who are doing world-renown research. That ensured me that I would be in an academically engaging area, where I would have plenty of opportunities to grow.

The campus gave me the sense that I would fit right in and feel comfortable, and the staff was always incredibly supportive and friendly.

What action did you take to improve your employability whilst at University?

Coming from a small country, I felt that I needed to do everything that I can to stay on top of my studies and get the most out of what the university had to offer. I devoted a lot of my time to learning the fundamentals of my course, which allowed me to dive into more complex topics. Thanks to my hard work, I had the opportunity to join an industry project which not only helped me gain real-world experience but also better solidified my skills and made me more adaptive to the changing environment. The project focused on helping migrant students in different universities across various countries. My colleagues and I had to create a website where universities would be able to upload helpful resources and information in a language of their choosing.

Extracurricular activities also played a role in improving my employability. Being the Treasurer of the Computer Science society (PiSoc) meant that I would be responsible for the whole budget of the society and how that is managed. Being an Executive also allowed me to engage with students and help them academically.

I am also a Volunteer in the Buddy Scheme Programme, helping new students with any queries that they might have. Overall, being part of extra-curricular activities showed employers that I take responsibility for my actions and am willing to learn new things.

Don’t give up! Although getting a rejection email can be crushing, I believe that it is also an opportunity to improve yourself. A lot of students give up after a couple of failed applications, however, I think that being persistent is the key to finding a placement.

How did Career and Employability Services and placement staff support you during your time at university?

Securing a placement, although incredibly exciting, can also be nerve-wracking, but thankfully the Placement staff was always there when I was facing difficulties. I had the pleasure of working with multiple people on different occasions who made sure that I am aware of all the helpful resources that the Career and Employability Services had already provided. The main person who I worked with was the Faculty Link Career Consultant, who was very supportive and quick with her responses, providing clear and exhaustive answers.  She provided me with all the necessary information that I needed to prepare for my interview and played a huge role in supporting me throughout the whole application process.

We also have a weekly pre-placement careers and employer sessions (timetabled) to help with our placement applications.  Resources and recordings are uploaded on to the FEI-Pre Placements Canvas.

Tell us about your placement.

As a Software Engineering Intern (commencing June 2021), I will be responsible for writing quality production code along with test automation to deliver against project timescales and requirements. I will be involved in developing features for anti-virus software on different operating systems for both mobile phones and laptops/personal computers. I will also be actively contributing to release planning and software solutions within the agile team environment. 

What advice would you give to current students about finding placement (and work experience) opportunities?

Don’t give up! Although getting a rejection email can be crushing, I believe that it is also an opportunity to improve yourself. A lot of students give up after a couple of failed applications, however, I think that being persistent is the key to finding a placement!

I would also recommend that students attend the timetabled weekly pre-placement and the drop-in sessions.  The drop-in sessions are an opportunity for you to have one-to-one discussions with the FEI Careers Team on any placement-related queries. The FEI Careers Team also invite specific companies who are targeting UoB students for placement opportunities – you can’t afford to miss these sessions!!