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Case Study: Fahad Usman

Personal details
Degree:MSc Advanced Computer Science Profile picture
School(s): School of Computer Science
Year of Graduation:Nov-2013
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: BT Openreach
Job title: Network Insight and Engagement Manager
Occupational Sector: IT/Computer Programming
What has been your route to getting your current position?
I have two undergraduate degrees: BSc (HONS) Computer Science, BEng (HONS) Computers, Networking & Communications Technology. I am graduating with a Masters degree in Advanced Computer Science from St Andrews University with a Distinction in the Dissertation. I have worked in the industry for various Communication companies like Optilan UK Ltd. Synectics Industrial Systems and Linxcom UK Ltd. I applied for this role during my time at St Andrews University.
What does your job involve ?
The key purpose of the role is to support the Insight & Engagement Manager in establishing and operating methods of engagement designed to increase understanding and support the correct application of network & environmental policy across Openreach.
What are the best bits of your job ?
The best bits of my job are to build relationships with other Openreach teams, particularly Operations, in order to understand and feedback practicality and feasibility issues with application of network & environmental policy. Just two months on the job and I’m working on cutting edge technology called Hadoop which is an open source software framework for processing and storing large amount of data on commodity hardware. The easiest way to explain Hadoop is to consider it to the ‘opposite’ of virtualisation technology. Therefore, I am working on an exciting project called ‘The Big Data’.
Why were you successful?
Getting any job requires 'Focus'. Take it very seriously and research, research and research.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
Working under pressure and against tight project deadlines made me a better manager. Modules such as Advanced Networks was particularly useful for my current job.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
My advice to new graduates applying for jobs would be, don’t get put off by the lengthy selection process. When you are completing the application form, take your time to research the company. For example, what the company are working on, who their competitors are, etc. You need to show how passionate you are about the organisation and the important work they do. The second piece of advice I’d give for the later stages of the application is to try and be yourself. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you’ve prepared well and done your research you’ll already feel a bit more confident when going through the interview or assessment centre.