Q. What interests you about Computer Science, and why did you decide to study it?
A. I've always been interested in computers, since I was a small child, and I often helped my father build and play around with them. I never really thought about studying it, and instead concentrated my energies on Maths and Physics. However, when it came to start to look at degree choices, I thought Computer Science was something that I could really enjoy. Coupled with my grounding in Maths, it seemed only logical to do a joint course, knowing I could enjoy and challenge myself with both parts of the course. I haven't looked back since!
The experience gained in my placement not only will improve the later chances of a job, but it will also enable me to practice what I've learnt.
Q. Why did you choose to study Computer Science at York?
A. The course at York is structured in such a way that you can essentially personalise your degree. This is perfect if you want to specialise later on, but it also allows some flexibility to keep a broad range of modules. York itself was a deciding factor. I really like that it is a campus university, especially in the first year. Being so close to the city, and especially such a beautiful city, was perfect: it's easy to go out to town and have a break every so often. The travel links are also great, again especially in the first year, knowing I can easily get home over a weekend is brilliant. Academically and location wise, I simply felt that York was perfect for me.
Q. Which part of your course do you most enjoy?
A. I really enjoy the programming aspects of the course. They present a real challenge and allow me to really bring all aspects of the course together in solving whatever problem I've been given.
Q. What do you think of the facilities in the Department?
A. The department is open 24/7 for students, which is ideal. There is also remote access to the workstations, so you can even work from the comfort of your room. This flexibility is perfect for me, as I know I can work both at home and in a studious environment, with full access to the programs and files I need.
Q. What are your experiences with the staff in the Department?
A. The departmental staff are quite frankly lovely, from the office and reception staff to the lecturers and supervisors. Everyone wants to help you do your best, are always friendly and, in the case of your supervisor and lecturers, always on hand should you need them, either by email or in person.
Q. How do you think the year in industry will help you in your career?
A. If nothing else, the industrial placement is a must in this economic climate. The experience gained not only will improve the later chances of a job, but it will also enable me to practice what I've learnt, in my degree and in my spare time, in the real world. For me, it will be a great confidence booster, knowing that I've done a job for a year, been paid for it, and succeeded. I hope that it will help me to become a better student and computer scientist.
Q. Do you think those studying Computer Science need certain qualities?
A. Good logical and analytical skills. You need to be able to sit down at a problem and think of a solution, and sometimes it might not be at all obvious at first. Being determined is a great help too. Especially say 2.00am near to the end of an assessment and the code won't work! Having that drive to succeed, and making sure it all works properly is a great quality to have.
Q. What is your experience of student life at York?
A. I'm not the party goer type. However, there's still plenty for me to enjoy without having to go out clubbing every night! (That option is available, but not really recommended when doing a degree like this.) If you can name a society, we probably have it, and if you can't, you can easily find other people who'd want one and will help you start it. Getting involved in societies is a great thing, as you can become as involved as you want, from being a causal member to running them. It's the best way to make new friends, and often friends you'll have long past the end of your degree.
Q. What do you think of the City of York as a place to live and study?
A. Being so close to the city, you can easily walk in on a day off. The shopping naturally is brilliant, with most of the major chains and some amazing and unique small shops. It's worth getting lost in the Shambles at least once to see what you can find! In terms of a night scene, there are many bars and clubs. Bands also come and play at some of York's music venues; these are usually smaller or less mainstream bands, but always worth a night out.
Personally I loved York for its beauty and history. Although the campus itself is modern architecture, I find that combined with the city, there's a truly picturesque quality that rivals even Oxbridge.
Q. Do you have any plans for after you graduate?
A. I'd like to possibly do a PhD, or other postgraduate study. Afterwards, I'd like to eventually end up in the games industry or similar.
Q. Do you have any advice or tips for people thinking about studying Computer Science?
A. Enjoy it!
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