Anastasia Taylor (BSc Computing, 2020)
My choice in Computing stemmed from my passion for mathematics and programming. I have always liked the challenge of logical problem solving that programming provides and I appreciate that there is opportunity for creativity too. I was interested in working in a wide variety of industries, so the fact that every industry uses computers also gave me the freedom to pursue any area I wanted.
The University of Buckingham’s 2-year degree programme was something that stood out to me from the start, as I was keen to earn my degree and start working. The small class sizes and student-to-teacher ratio were also very attractive, as well as the fact that the lecturers and other staff were all very approachable and willing to help. I knew that Buckingham felt like the right environment for me because it had everything I was looking for in a university. I applied directly to The University of Buckingham whilst at Sixth Form, bypassing the need to apply through UCAS, as I knew I was not interested in applying to another university.
I started the BSc Computing course in September 2017. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity for group work and presentations in at least one module each term. Before I started the course, I struggled with public speaking and I was determined to work on this whilst at University. The small class sizes made public speaking much more comfortable, as I knew everyone on the course, which really helped my confidence to grow.
I was impressed by the abundance of opportunities made available to students by the Computing lecturers and other staff. Being able to write a software requirements specification for a real client, IRIS Group, was a highlight, as well as various events and competitions. For example, the School of Computing teamed up with the Engineers in Business Fellowship to organise a competition to encourage Computing students to come up with innovative business ideas. My team proposed ‘Turtle Protect’, an IoT system to monitor chemical levels in turtle tank water to ensure it is non-toxic and a safe environment for the animals. The competition was fun as it was exciting to hear what the other teams proposed, but it was challenging to come up with a feasible business idea that had not already been taken. I was also President of the Computing Society – the go-karting trip we organised was a big hit!
I was encouraged the enter the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium 2019 poster competition, where I entered my final year project poster. It was about using machine learning to identity the smartphone model that took a digital image, by looking at various ‘fingerprints’ that exist in digital images. There were hundreds of posters displayed on an assortment of topics – it was fascinating to see how technology can be used across so many applications. At the Colloquium, it was inspiring to hear the speakers’ stories about their paths into technology and the wide variety of job roles that a background in Computing can offer.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at The University of Buckingham. I am grateful to the lecturers at The University of Buckingham for providing me with such an enriching experience. Overall, I found the course to be engaging and worthwhile. My hard work was rewarded by receiving the Ede and Ravenscroft Prize for Academic Excellence over two different exam diets and I graduated in December 2019 with a First-Class honours degree and won the University’s G-Volution Prize for Academic Distinction.
I started my position as a Data Warehouse Engineer at Sabrefish in February 2020. My role focuses on storing insurance policy and claims data in a data warehouse, where it is easily accessible for efficient reporting and analytics. I have already been involved in development of both the ETL and reports (standard and ad-hoc), bug fixes and support. I really appreciate the fact that I am involved in all stages of the software development lifecycle as it creates a lot of variety and allows me to gain a broader experience.
I feel that the BSc Computing course really helped to prepare me with the knowledge and skills needed to work in the technology industry.