Melissa White, Graduate Engineer, Asidua
Degree Subject BSc Computing Science, University of Ulster (2011)
Job title Graduate Engineer
Employer Asidua, Belfast
A work placement year was a compulsory part of my degree, and it led to my first graduate job. My placement was with Asidua. During this time I was introduced to new programming languages and I experienced project work; in fact I enjoyed it so much that I applied for a graduate position with them. I had an hour and a half interview and was offered the job around two weeks later – all before my final year of university!
At Asidua I'm part of a team which develops software for customers. Each day I write code, correspond with managers and clients and carry out unit tests to ensure software works. Each client has specific requirements, so I regularly have to do a lot of problem-solving to tailor the product for their needs. We are placed on a project based on our individual skills and knowledge of relevant languages and programs. Right now I'm 'pair programming' with a colleague on a web-based project, integrating software using Microsoft's Biztalk server. I'm also allocated individual tasks to complete and there are opportunities to work on different projects too. It's nice to have a mixture in my working pattern.
Advice for graduates
Take every opportunity to do a placement year – it's the perfect chance to try out a company and find out what suits you.
Mellissa White was interviewed for gradireland IT & Telecoms 2012.