Describe your experience of studying at Ulster in 3 words
Challenging, intense, rewarding
Why did you choose your postgraduate course?
I graduated in 2013 with a degree in Psychology and found it difficult to find a career within the psychology field. I worked for two years in New York as a behavioural specialist with children for Autism, and it was here I began to find an interest in Technology and the power of technology.
Ulster University offer a Masters Conversion course in Professional Software Development which allows for graduates from previous disciplines to embark on an IT based course. IT in Northern Ireland, and globally is progressing rapidly and the demand for professionals in this field is vast.
I began the Masters in September, 2016. Myself and many others on the course had no background in IT and were unfamiliar with developing software or coding. The course offered an intense insight into software development from the beginning, taught by experienced lecturers who understood that this field was completely new and unfamiliar.
Ulster University invited all students to attend the graduate fairs held in each campus and it was here, I was introduced to Citi Bank.
Within the first nine weeks of the course, I secured a graduate place on the Graduate Technology Academy with Citi Bank, starting July 2017.
Without the guidance and interview help from lecturers at the time of interviews for Citi, I would have been unlikely to proceed through each step of recruitment due to only entering the technology field nine weeks previous.
Having secured my graduate job so early into the masters, it gave me a great sense of determination and fulfilment for each piece of work I submitted or each exam completed.
I am very excited to see what the future holds for my career with Citi and I am grateful for the knowledge, guidance and support offered throughout my time on the master’s program at Ulster University.
What advice would you give someone considering postgraduate study?
The advice I would give to future students is to believe in yourself that if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything, and anything is possible.
Graduate fairs are a fantastic opportunity to sell yourself to employers and are a first point of contact, so making an impression here is important. Graduate fairs open up lots of opportunities to attend events with companies and it is important for networking that you attend. Keeping regular contact with company recruiters is important, to build a communication point for when opportunities arise.
Being a great team member and team player is also important throughout your time on the course. Helping each other out is essential to be able to proceed, as the course is so intense, it prevents yourself and others from falling behind.
Being honest in interview situations is so important. With the interviews at Citi, I was asked many technical questions that I was not familiar with as I was only nine weeks into the course and I explained that I had not come to these areas yet but by the time I worked through each module, I would be familiar with the answer. Honesty is key and does not affect your performance in interview sessions, it is better to admit that you do not know the answer than try to waffle an answer.
Has this inspired you to take on further study?
Find out more about this course by visiting the Professional Software Development course page