I’ve now completed my dissertation and handed it in. I completed the presentation this morning. So now that it’s over, I can get on with some real work and hopefully earn some money.
This morning I sat my last exam for my Computer Science course at Heriot-Watt University. I now have just over 5 weeks of hard work on my dissertation.
Yesterday I was away through in Glasgow for the Scottish Graduate Fair at the SECC. The event is aimed at final year student at university who are looking at what to be doing next. This generally come in anything from postgraduate education to graduate training, or volunteering to a plain ordinary job that utilises their skills. There were a variety of universities, companies and other training organisation there.
It was a case of finding the right booths with the people who are looking for what your current discipline is. The typical initial response was either, “sorry we don’t have any jobs in our business that you would be looking for”, or “great, your just the kind of person that we are looking for, here’s some more information”. You just have to keep hunting and you should find 4-12 different organisations with graduate schemes, or job opportunities that are suitable to you.
I’ll give a few examples of things that I found out:
- According to recruiters, the careers service up here in Scotland is excellent, and you should make use of it!
- Bloomberg take on Computer Science graduates who are strong in Java and (C or C++), for their programming departments. You need to have the C background so that you know about pointers and the way that memory works. Only 5-10% of their network is based on Java, the rest is some variation of C for speed.
- You should tailor your CV for every company, just only give each company one CV. This is advice from several recruiters, and the careers service. You should target the CV/application for the specific skill set that the employer will be wanting.
- If you want to go into an IT related business, participating voluntarily in an Open Source project such as OpenOffice.org can give you a large number of transferable skills and knowledge of project structures. Some organisations are already working to spread the word of Open Source software, and thus if you already know about that sort of stuff, will mean that you will be more likely to get a job through having greater experience.
- Applying early could mean that you are more likely to get through.
- It is better to do a good application for a few opportunities than a very poor job at hundreds of vacancies.
- Be positive confident and give as much relevant information as possible.
Overall, I enjoyed the event, and would recommend any final year student to go along in the future.
Hopefully I will be able to remember to follow all the advice and get a job or graduate placement.