Meet some of our undergraduate students and alumni
One of my greatest achievements has been landing my dream job at Spotify.
I work as a Developer Advocate at Spotify. My role involves helping developers all over the world build on top of Spotify, from beginners to large companies. This involves managing Spotify’s Developer website to going out to events where developers may be, such as hackathons and meet-ups, and working to help them successfully build interesting apps with Spotify.
The University did a great job in identifying extracurricular activities such as meet-ups and hackathons. Where activities did not exist, the University helped support me in running them on campus. All of this helped me develop a set of skills that I use even today in my day-to-day job. My course really helped prepare me for my current role as the fundamental knowledge of Computer Science and network I created from events promoted at the university really helped in my career.
After graduation, I worked as the only software engineer at a small company, which threw me in the deep end. However, it allowed me to develop a unique set of skills that were critical to helping me stand out when applying for a role at a top-tier company like Spotify.
My greatest achievements so far has been running my own hackathon with no experience, travelling to over 27 countries on my own and lastly, landing my dream job at Spotify.
My advice to students is to focus on standing out. The knowledge you learn provides an excellent foundation, but if you want to achieve your dream job, you should take every opportunity to help you develop as a professional and as an individual.
I created a Virtual Reality Experience which was showcased at the Museum of Science and Industry and played by hundreds of people.
I chose to study Computer Games Technology because I was really interested in learning how to design and develop video games. From the first week, I was already learning how to create games using engines and how to begin writing code.
Over the past three years, I have had the opportunity to take part in a number of other projects outside of my course. I’ve participated in a couple of local game jams, where my friends and I had 48 hours to create a game from scratch. I also created a Virtual Reality Experience which was showcased at the Museum of Science and Industry and played by hundreds of people. This was paid work through the University, working in a team with a client. It was a very rewarding experience that I wouldn't have had chance to be a part of without Manchester Met.
My favourite project so far would have to be my final year project. I chose to create an interactive solar system tour. That was pretty much what the brief was and I had to develop it myself from there. I enjoyed the freedom this allowed me when developing the product and I really enjoyed working with my supervisor to complete the project.
The tutors on my course are really helpful and friendly. I've enjoyed my time with them over the past 3 years and owe a lot of my success so far on the course to them.
Whilst working as a Student Ambassador at University, I discovered that I really enjoyed helping potential students with programming tasks on the Visit Days. This has helped me decide to pursue a career as a secondary school computing teacher after graduation.
Emma was looking for a broader course than most Universities were offering. She came to Manchester Met for her course but fell in love with Manchester soon after.
Emma had good IT experience but hadn’t done any computer programming, and wanted a degree that would give her a wide base of knowledge: "I didn’t want to do Computer Science and that’s all that most universities offered. I was looking for a broader course and this BSc Computing degree gave me more options."
As Emma had hoped, the first year of the course was a broad base of learning to bring everyone up to speed: "In the second and third years I got to choose my modules, but I didn’t know anything about them when I first came to university so Computing was the ideal course. I chose object-orientated programming in the second year which was what I was looking for when I arrived – but didn’t know how to get there then!"
Emma’s biggest challenge came in her third year project: "I worked on it every day throughout the year. It was a tool for data analysis queries. I created a software tool that took in normal user language and converted it for the query in the background; and then put the answer back to the user in natural language. There was a lot of written work which I hadn’t fully anticipated, but I was delighted at the end."
"The support I got from the Faculty was really good. I just emailed my tutors if I needed help and they always had the time to see me. The support at exam time was helpful too, with tutors offering extra help for anyone who wanted more guidance on any subject as the exams approached. In fact, throughout my degree I never felt like I was on my own."
Software developer Sarah now specialises in using Microsoft technologies working for a .NET consultancy in Altrincham.
The consultancy firm supports retail clients including Hotel Chocolat and Jack Wills clothing. Sarah interacts with other developers, business analysts and project managers on a daily basis and she credits her Manchester Met degree course with building a strong foundation for her future career.
"The course put emphasis not only on learning fundamental computer science and programming but also upon lots of team work. Software development teaches other skills such as project management and modelling techniques and I knew these skills would help me get a job. Throughout my course I gained confidence as a developer and also in project management techniques. And at the end the careers service at Manchester Met was there to help for up to three years after graduating. They have lots of resources and information to help you find a job and can organise practice interviews."
Sarah was able to find work as a software developer quickly after graduating and has never looked back. "Now I have three years industry experience. I am still learning new technologies all the time, and I do feel I chose the right course for the job I do.
"I enjoyed my time at Manchester Met and value the opportunities it gave to study particular areas of interest. I was able to try out and learn about lots of different technologies which was fun. We were taught up-to-date programming languages which really helps to prepare you for work. Friends elsewhere who studied computing told me how they were taught out-dated languages.
"And I also really enjoyed being part of the many clubs and social societies at Uni. They added to the friendly, community atmosphere during my studies."
For Maths graduate Catherine Povah, life as a student in Manchester was the ideal environment for academic pursuit.
For Maths graduate Catherine Povah, life as a student in Manchester was the ideal environment for academic pursuit. So much so that after leaving the big city on graduation, Catherine returned within two years to progress her career – this time with an accountancy training contract with Price Waterhouse Coopers.
When Catherine left school at 18 she worked in a bank but over time felt that the prospects of advancement were limited. So she broadened her options by starting a maths degree at Manchester Metropolitan:
“If I’d carried on in the bank I’d have got stuck. And it was natural for me to study maths because it was my strongest subject. I enjoyed my degree: the programme was always being improved and the academic staff were helpful and receptive.”
Catherine chose to do a module in mathematics and computer graphics in virtual environments: “There’s a diverse choice, not just pure maths. There were other modules like finance and operations which were great if your focus was more on applied, vocational learning. I wanted to try different things and since graduating I’ve benefited from the wide variety of topics I studied.”
After graduation, Catherine started work at Baker Tilly accountants in Chester but she missed Manchester: “I love it here. I love the city life – the shopping and night life. Also, I was attracted to the city again because I was sure that I would have better career prospects and support. I joined Price Waterhouse Coopers in Manchester and they liked the fact I had experience.”
Catherine is currently working for Price Waterhouse Coopers’ tax department doing international structuring for overseas tax and HMRC queries. She continues to draw on her University experience: “I’m sitting exams now and my practice of exam preparation at University has taught me effective time management and how to organise myself under pressure.”
"What you put into university life is what you get out of it. There is no shortage of opportunities available in Manchester if you look for them, and it’s the same with the University."
The lecturers are really approachable and friendly; over the course of your studies, you really get to know them and it is clear they care about each student.
As a student rep, I have seen first-hand that the staff are committed to helping the students do well. For example, the All Saints library is open 24 hours and they have made sure that the mathematical software is available on all of their PCs, which has been highly advantageous to me in my studies.
In my third year, I took part in the Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today 2017 conference, hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University and the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications. I was awarded the Best Paper Prize for a paper based on my project on Computational Techniques for Sparse Matrices. The best thing about this is that I humbly did not expect to win, but applying myself and taking the opportunity really paid off.
I am about to go into my fourth year of the integrated Masters course. After graduation, I want to go straight into work but the option of doing a PhD is not entirely out of the question! Whatever I decide I feel confident that due to my time studying here, I will make the right choices.