At LSBU, we pride ourselves on the employability of our graduates. Our courses are designed and delivered by academics with practical experience and understanding, and we use our excellent contacts in a variety of industries to make sure we are providing our students with the skills that their respective industries are crying out for.
Our BSc (Hons) Computing is no exception, as graduate Davit Gulakyan demonstrates. “After graduating, I secured a role as a graduate software delivery consultant, working on an IT transformational project at an investment bank,” he says. “I now work as a Java developer at the largest academic bookseller in the UK.”
E-commerce and new systems
Davit’s role involves developing new features for his employer’s e-commerce website, as well as improving the existing ones. “One of the new projects I’m working on is a financial reporting web application that reports daily business sales,” he says. “It involves using Enterprise Java and SQL, and when it is finished, it will be integrated with in-house financial systems.”
Davit enjoys developing new features and systems, and feels that his skillset has benefitted from being part of a small, close-knit team of developers. “There’s only ten of us on the development side,” he says, “so I’m given lots of responsibility and become actively involved in all stages of the software development lifecycle.”
As a result, Davit believes that he has developed a broad range of skills, as well as an understanding of how digital technology can be used in e-commerce. “I’ve also developed non-technical skills, working on projects that are managed in an agile manner, for example,” he explains. “That’s really developed my communication skills to make sure all parties know what is happening and are pushing the project forwards.”
If it sounds like a complex set of skills and responsibilities, that’s because it is – but Davit feels that his degree at LSBU was instrumental in preparing him for exactly the kind of challenges he has faced since starting his career.
“While I was studying at LSBU, I found the quality of teaching to be very good,” says Davit. “In addition, the culture between students and lecturers was open, collaborative and supportive.”
Davit was also successful in securing a one-year placement after his second year, and credits LSBU’s Employability Service with helping him to secure it – as well as supporting him in improving his CV and preparing for interviews.
The LSBU Job Shop was very useful - I applied for placement and internship posts, and volunteered part-time in IT during my second year, which was a useful addition to my CV.
Davit, like many successful students, also benefitted from extra-curricular activities he undertook under his own initiative. “I led the Entrepreneurial Society during my final year, leading a team to organise entrepreneurial events,” he says. “The Enterprise Centre was excellent in developing skills and initiatives through entrepreneurial events and competitions.”
Davit’s advice to any students looking to mirror his success is to make the most of the broad first year that many LSBU courses offer, before choosing how and where to specialise. “Identify those areas that you find most interesting in your first year, and really build on them through the rest of your studies,” he says. “In addition, I found it was really important to undertake a placement, internship or volunteering role – it will mean you are constantly improving your CV, attending interviews and developing your professional profile.”
Davit’s plans for the future are to continue to develop as a professional. “I want to further new technologies and skillsets, before moving into areas of greater responsibility,” he says. “I’d like to lead large software development projects and carry out transformational initiatives – and I feel that LSBU has given me the skills I need to go ahead and do exactly that.”