4th August 2020
What course did you study and why did you choose it?
I chose to do an HND in Computing and Systems Development. The course seemed to cover lots of various aspects of the IT industry, and I wanted to get exposure to as much as possible.
What made you choose The City of Liverpool College?
Being in Halewood at the time there were a few different choices, but The City of Liverpool College had great facilities and a really striking study area. Also, with the location of the college being so close to Bold Street the morning coffee was essential! 🙂
What was your general experience of the college like?
Being a mature student, I was apprehensive at first, but everyone from the tutors to the ladies in the canteen were friendly and genuinely interested in how your day was… that made a difference!
Did you enjoy the course?
I did an entry level course first (BTEC in IT LVL3) before my HND and all the courses I did were really engaging. Having an interest in IT and having done various IT related tasks prior to the course, I felt the course was informative and very well laid out.
What skills did you learn, what was covered on the course?
What were the tutors and facilities like?
The tutors were great! Friendly and open to larger conversations. I was given the space and time to digest what was being taught and it wasn’t like a conveyor belt where information was just thrown at you. I had time to digest what was being taught.
Again, the facilities were great! I really liked the open study area and being able to continue to learn in the classroom after the lecture was always helpful!
What are you doing now as a career?
I am currently the Environments Manager for William Hill. My roles and responsibilities are to manage the test environments and ensure stability and availability of the environments. William Hill are an excellent employer and the opportunities for me to further my career have always been on the table.
As part of my role I get to travel between the UK and Poland. We currently have a lot of our development teams working out of Krakow, Poland and part of my role requires me to ensure that those teams are fully supported when working in our non-production environments. I usually go to Poland four times a year (pre-COVID-19) and I can honestly say the William Hill culture spreads from the UK to Poland.
How do you feel the college prepared you for work?
During my time at college we did courses in time management and working in teams. While these don’t seem related to IT studies, they were definitely relevant, and the skills learned helped me with my expectations of what a company would need from me.
Do you have any career highlights you’d like to share?
My career highlights have been achieving what I have at William Hill. I have moved through three roles since I started at William Hill (starting as an IT analyst) and they are very keen to see you develop and empower you to fulfil your potential.
Do you have any advice for people who may be considering a similar career path?
My advice would be to continue to learn, don’t stop and keep your eye on emerging technologies. Any opportunities for industry learning such as cloud services (AWS, Azure, GCP) is not only interesting but cheap to play around with and you can do some pretty amazing projects with little start-up costs (and I’m talking a few dollars!).
Also, I would say don’t be scared to approach companies that you have heard about and would like to work for! Being a self-starter and being keen to learn will always show the employer that you’re not only ready to start ‘a job’ but you’re focused on a career.
Do you have any advice for people who may be unsure about applying due to COVID-19?
While COVID-19 wasn’t around when I was at college, what I would say is The City of Liverpool was always a safe and clean place to study. The canteen was always spotless and the rooms never dirty. I am sure the college has put extra precautions in place to keep students safe. Lastly, adopt as much learning at home as you can! With the use of technologies for remote learning, as an IT student it’s your gift to embrace technologies such as Teams or Zoom… or build your own!
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Paul for sharing his story and wish him all the best with his future career.
If you’re interested in a career in ICT, Computing or Systems Development, and would like to find out more about our courses, click here.