Software Engineering for Business (SEfB) student work shadows BT
Nineteen talented undergraduates earned the opportunity to work shadow a digital business leader at a recent event for students, universities, and employers organised by Tech Partnership Degrees.
As one of the unique benefits for students of industry-accredited Tech Industry Gold degrees, each of these students spent a day with a CEO from the IT industry or the head of technology (CIO or CTO) from leading companies across the economy.
The shadowing opportunities were awarded as spot prizes to individuals who particularly stood out for their talent and motivation at the Tech Partnership Degrees’ event held in Reading in March 2018.
Thanks to the support of DWP, Fujitsu, Jaguar Land Rover, Telefonica, Capgemini, OpenReach, Network Rail, Digital Catapult, Accenture, DXC Technology, National Grid, Quicksilva, NHS, IBM, Met Police, Mullen Lowe Group, BT, and TATA Consultancy Services for making these opportunities possible.
Christopher Galeno Goldsbrough, is studying for a degree in Software Engineering for Business (SEfB) at Queen Mary University of London, reflects on his day at BT.
“BT’s unprecedented reputation and track record as the UK’s leading telecommunications company was made evident by spending the day in the environment of their head office. Upon arrival I was given a very warm welcome by Tara Cullen and Howard Watson, who made no hesitation addressing the growing demand for software engineers/developers across several industries as well as the lack of women in IT – I had been previously aware of these issues but hearing from their perspective made the legitimacy of these concerns much more profound.
The day involved exploring BT’s technology department. To start, I was given a comprehensive lecture into the technology, protocols and frameworks that are fundamental to the company’s telephone systems (both customer and business oriented platforms), followed by an introduction to BT’s Da Vinci programme, a highly invested strategy which focuses on the agile development of the business’ software products. Throughout the day I spoke with other staff members about my previous experience working at an e-commerce company and being familiar with popular IT trends including IoT, blockchain and AI. I also explained how my first year at university helped me move from virtually no knowledge of programming to be able to develop small programmes in a matter of minutes. To wrap up the day, I was taken to the innovation laboratories, where another presentation was given showing BT’s collaboration with start-up companies for the purpose of developing new products, ideas, and solutions.
The conclusion I have drawn from my day at BT is that the people I met hold a fantastic ability to apply a strong skill set to a challenging set of roles that contribute greatly to the company’s technical development, without compromise. One thing I noticed throughout the day was that I was constantly being informed of the importance of being in a job that you enjoy – one employee gave the analogy that he “comes in every day to build Lego”, suggesting the roles boast creativity and excitement. He also extended this analogy by adding that “some things will knock your Lego down, so it’s your job to build it back up again”, indicating that being able to handle and remedy the unexpected is another desired skill.
I am extremely grateful that Howard, Tara, and their team gave me their time and a realistic view of a day in the life of BT and I will almost certainly consider the company for a placement as part of my course.”