|MSc Information Processing and the Man-Machine Interface|
|Digital and IT services|
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A day in the life of a Software Consultant in the United Kingdom
People tend to assume that working in IT is all about knowing the latest and greatest technologies, but this isn't necessarily the case. It is more important to get a good understanding of things like logic and a systematic approach to problem solving.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I am a freelance consultant and I have worked for a large number of organisations across a number of sectors, such as retail, energy, finance as well as the public sector.
What do you do?
I help clients design and implement systems for sharing information between their applications and with their customers and suppliers.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
At school I was only really any good at maths and I got interested in computing in my teens, however I soon realized working in IT was much more about communicating with people and problem solving in general.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Describe your most memorable day at work
Working for a healthcare trust one evening when a number of their systems went down due to an electrical fault. I ended up running around in a server room trying to get machines to boot up.
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
Every day and that is what I enjoy. They are not always technical, in fact, often they involve trying to agree with others an approach to a problem.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
Because I am freelance it varies from client to client, which I also enjoy. Most places are friendly enough, but I have worked in a few places where you do not feel too welcome as a consultant.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I learned some Russian because I have always had an interest in foreign languages as well as computer languages.
What would you like to do next with your career?
Looking forward to semi-retirement or taking a slightly easier role.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
People tend to assume that working in IT is all about knowing the latest and greatest technologies, but this isn't necessarily the case. It is more important to get a good understanding of things like logic and a systematic approach to problem solving. Not all roles in IT involve writing code: I have seen graduates from the Arts who have been excellent Business Analysts or Product Owners, who need to capture requirements from users. This typically involves face-to-face conversations and structured writing.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
Anything to do with IT or consultancy work in general.
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