Spending my summer break at university taught me more about Computer Science than I could have ever expected.

When I was speaking to second year students on my course, a lot of the time they were talking about placements. Some students were struggling to find a placement, whether it was due to location or job role, they were not hearing any offers…

Waiting for job offers…

It isn’t like I can just skip my placement year… “Getting experience before your graduate will give you a better chance of getting a job”. We are always told how important placement year is, however you can’t just simply apply and get a placement automatically. There are other universities other than Aston, they will be applying across the globe for jobs which means you have competition. Knowing how hard it is just to get just a normal job, I knew I’d have to do something to make sure I don’t end up without a placement. That is why I decided to do an internship for Beautiful Canoe…

Beautiful Who?

Beautiful Canoe is a student-ran software development at Aston. Since 2010 they have ran an internship program where you work with students, across Computer Science courses, on projects which are used by real clients. Clients such as departments inside Aston and outside the uni such as the NHS.

There were students who could find a job a lot easier than others, these were the ones who had gained experience working during the summer doing the Beautiful Canoe internship.

But was it beneficial?

Originally, I applied to strengthen my CV, but I have come out with far more than being more employable. I became friends with people I wouldn’t usually get to interact with. Second year, placement and final year students have passed down advice and guidance onto me for the upcoming year. I feel so much more prepare for the rest of my degree, this is something I couldn’t have said before.

“Bring on the second year of my course!”

Working with clients was also a big one. The company put a lot of trust into their employees. You and your team are guided but ultimately you oversee the meetings, programming and anything else you’d have to do for a software company.  This hands-on experience this something I wouldn’t usually get to experience on my course, now I have the knowledge of a software developer before I’ve even started my placement year.

“…of knowledge!”

Most importantly, it has given me my first taster of working in a software environment. I have always been unsure if Computer Science was the right career path for me. I told myself that looking at a screen and programming all day would be lifeless, but I can honestly say this has been my best summer of my life. I have realised that if every company has the same values, employees and setting as Beautiful Canoe, I definitely want to go down the path of being a Software Developer.