I always had a passion to study and work in technologies. The MSc course at the University of Leicester and the opportunity to work for two years after graduation were key to my preference for the UK. I also wanted to work with British people as they are known for their kindness, and I knew I could develop in such a friendly environment. I felt international work experience could bring lots of prospects and training for the competitive world of work.
I am now a software developer at Vigence, a business and technology consultancy focusing on interactions between customers, partners and suppliers. I started as an intern through the HEFCE graduate placements, University of Leicester. Later, I was made a permanent employee as I excelled in the training and assessments. I work in the software development team creating plug-ins and custom CRM solutions for clients across the UK and Europe. I am also first-line technical support to existing CRM clients.
Being an international student, I was totally unaware of what was available when I joined university. I started developing my network of contacts, joining student communities in the Students’ Union. I approached the careers service for help finding the right career, building a professional CV and strengthening my employability. I drafted a plan to manage both academic and extracurricular activities and became an active volunteer, which helped me gain valuable work experience and develop myself.
I did an internship through the Shell Step programme (see Step ) as a web developer, receiving an extra-mile award, which added a lot of value to my CV. I attended careers service workshops, which gave insights into business and opportunities to interact with employers. I subsequently achieved the Leicester Award for Employability for community engagement. Through effective planning, my department awarded me the best technical project award for my Masters project and I graduated with distinction, thereby positioning myself in a commanding place to face the challenging and competitive job market.
I feel studying in the UK is one of my greatest achievements to date as it completely changed me and gave me a new perspective on life. It gave me opportunities to join hands with people from different cultures, get to know them and encounter thought-provoking ideas. Participating in community groups and the Students’ Union allowed me to work with different people, giving me confidence to build my career.
The priceless experience from internships shaped me into a professional and added value to my CV. Living abroad gave me independence and experience to take on new challenges, take critical decisions, live life the way I want to and learn from my mistakes. It also helped me to compete in a challenging environment for a professional career and certainly got me an internationally renowned Masters degree.
Studying abroad is a life-changing experience and I would definitely recommend it as a must to the students aspiring to achieve success in life. It is vital to do background research, shortlist universities, courses and location. My advice to international students is to be proactive and think ahead as you are being offered an opportunity to shape your career. Proper planning, discipline and prioritising are essential to succeed.
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