Alex Vaughan

MSc Human-Centred Interactive Technologies

Graduate Technology Consultant, Capgemini UK

I had a year out before starting my MSc to help fund my study, but from my Bachelors degree I knew I wanted to explore Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and user experience further.

From visiting my partner, who studied at York, hearing about life there and exploring the grounds of the University itself, I decided to research an MSc at York, as it seemed like a very good place to live and study. Finding the Human-Centred Interactive Technologies programme fitted perfectly with the avenue of Computer Science I wanted to explore further, and it was simply a perfect match for continuing my academic career.

Did you enjoy your time at York?

I very much enjoyed my time at York, but it is difficult to pinpoint a specific highlight! The University grounds, particularly the new Heslington East campus, were very pleasant. The relaxed nature of the staff, the well structured and planned teaching and the friends I made all contributed to a greatly positive experience at York.

What did you think of the Department of Computer Science?

I arrived at York just as the new Department building in Heslington East opened its doors, and feel very lucky to have spent my year on the new campus. Computer labs were plentiful, staff were pleasant and helpful, and the building and grounds were a great place to work and spend your day.

The academic staff especially were very good, providing good lessons, materials, structure and support for their modules. Exams were tough but fair, and everyone was treated with the respect of a Masters student.

How has the programme helped with your career?

The University advertised a competition, The Graduate, run by the BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT). This involved students competing in an assessment centre style arena, taking part in group exercises, interviews and presentations. I won the title of The Graduate 2011, and I am now on the board for The Graduate 2012, helping to take it forward.

This led me to Capgemini, a sponsor of The Graduate, who approached me upon winning the competition. For my interview, discussing my time at York and my Masters degree was a definite advantage, as it put me a step above the rest without a postgraduate qualification.

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of postgraduate study at York?

If you are willing to work hard and get involved, nothing will stop you being successful at York. The effort you put in is exactly what you will get back out.

Alex Vaughan MSc HCIT

Find out more about HCI at York