Tech Industry Gold degree leads to work placement in Australia
Alex Holmes achieved a first-class Tech Industry Gold accredited degree from the University of Hertfordshire. He also secured a sandwich year in Australia. He explains how making the most of all the opportunities offered were key to achieving great results.
What made you decide to study for a Tech Industry Gold accredited degree?
When I did work experience at school it gave me an insight into how businesses work. I then knew the importance that products and services have in our economy and how innovative technology can have an impact in the future. The combination of business and technology led me to pursue the degree as it encompasses both subjects.
What were the highlights?
The highlight of my time on the Tech Industry Gold accredited degree was having access to businesses and the opportunity to network with other students, particularly at the Student/Employer events organised by Tech Partnership Degrees. These bi-annual events comprise networking between employers and students and a series of competitions judged by employers.
What were the challenges?
One of the biggest challenges was time management. Enjoying your time at university is vital but the balance between study and social life is important too.
What led you to a study abroad in Australia?
I wanted to make use of the sandwich year option that the degree offered. During my time in Australia, I developed an interest in entrepreneurship and became very involved with a start-up business. I decided to extend my stay for a year, with the agreement of the University of Hertfordshire. The experience allowed me to develop my skill set and it also had a positive impact on my approach to my final year of studies.
What did you do as a student representative?
As I had extended my stay in Australia when I returned to the UK, I didn’t know any of my classmates. I was extremely surprised and excited to be nominated as the student representative, alongside another second-year student. We attended several committee meetings and helped to organise the first Tech Industry Gold University of Hertfordshire networking event. All year groups had a chance to meet and socialise with food and entertainment. With the support of Hajrë Hyseni, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, we hope to start a legacy for all Tech Industry Gold students to continue to attend these events.
What did you need to do in order to achieve a first-class honours degree?
My general advice would be to make use of the library, your peers, and the lecturers. Firstly, the library offers you a space to work in a group or independently, at any time, in silence or in a collaborative. Secondly, your peers are in the same situation as you, so if you’re struggling to understand a topic then there is a high chance they are too. Two heads are better than one in learning something new, and in addition, you can learn more efficiently when you teach someone else what you know. Finally, the lecturers want you to obtain the highest marks possible, so you need to tell them if you’re uncertain about a subject or a piece of work.
How has your degree helped you to secure a graduate role?
Graduates of the ITMB degree have the unique opportunity to pursue a career within a specialisation, or in a broad range of areas. This is due to the variety of subjects covered within the Tech Industry Gold accredited degree. The range of subjects allows you to refine what you enjoy so further study is recommended for a student who wishes to pursue further modules, such as Project Management or Database Management. Continuing my passion for both business and computer science I found a role as a business analyst.
We understand you have already secured a graduate role? Could you tell us a little more about this?
My current role as a business analyst is not too prescriptive and the day-to-day requirements change and vary. This is something that I value as it accelerates my development. A business analyst elicits the needs of a business, defines the acceptance criteria for a piece of work to be developed and assists in all areas of developing these requirements. This will, of course, vary from project to project and between companies, however, it is a role I would recommend if you’re driven to manage a complex workload.