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Case Study: Sam McNeilly

Personal details
Degree:Internet Computer Science Profile picture
School(s): School of Computer Science
Year of Graduation:Jun-2013
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: BT
Job title: Senior Software Developer
Occupational Sector: IT/Computer Programming
What has been your route to getting your current position?
Applied to study Internet Computer Science at St Andrews, worked hard, became IT Rep for Sallies and Publicity Officer for RockSoc, developed and designed websites for Sallies, RockSoc and Russia Week, amongst others, designed posters for Students' Association events like The Bop, did an internship that resulted in a published paper, applied for BT's grad scheme.
What does your job involve ?
As of writing this, I'm writing iPhone apps for use by Openreach engineers. This involves not only coding the actual app itself, but also designing the user experience and using tools such as Photoshop and Balsamiq to create mockups for show and tell sessions.
What are the best bits of your job ?
I really love the sense of responsibility and the fact that I have a large degree of control over all aspects of my projects. For example, I'm heavily involved in user experience design as well as back-end coding, rather than just focusing on one piece of the picture. As well as that, I'm also a STEM Ambassador which is pretty cool, and is something we've all been encouraged to take part in, and indeed receive time off work to do.
Why were you successful?
Hard work and involvement in all aspects of university life. For example, I was IT Rep in Sallies for two years and also RockSoc's Publicity Officer for two years. Although highly enjoyable, these two committee positions gave me valuable team experience and being RockSoc's Publicity Officer gave me a large portfolio of posters and other print media that were points of interest during interviews. I also got involved with designing posters for the Students' Association, as well as developing websites for various societies.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
Pretty much everything to do with software engineering, database management and teamwork / public speaking skills.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
Know what you like / are interested in and do it well! Apart from that, just work hard and get involved at university. Good luck!