We’ve had another guest in the office! Pauline Narvas, a biomedical science student in her final year who recently finished her placement year at Sheffield University as their Communications and External Engagement Assistant. Pauline has been looking for experience in the Tech Industry; but we’ll let Pauline tell you about it in her own words.
Over to you, Pauline!
Over the past week, I spent some time working at Techdept.
I managed to secure this placement thanks to AJ, Studio Manager at Techdept, who I had previously worked with as a result of an anatomy project during the second year of my Biomedical Sciences degree.
Bugs + Code
I worked closely with the team of developers where I had the chance to get involved in some exciting projects. To illustrate what sort of projects TechDept get involved in, do you remember Monty’s Magical Toy Machine as part of John Lewis’s Christmas campaign? Yeah, they were the brains behind that.
I had the opportunity to work on a long-term project (plus one of their biggest projects!) on the creation of a huge CRM system, which I took the pleasure in testing and doing some quality assurance (QA).
I enjoyed playing around with the system (and trying to break it) whilst finding bugs and logging it for developers to work on and try to fix. 👾 Working with the developers and project manager (from shadowing and joining in client meetings), gave me a grasp of the development process and strengthened my understanding of communicating effectively with clients to build positive relationships and manage their expectations.
Another project I got involved in was a client’s WordPress website. I got to do some hands-on coding here!
It’s crazy how much you learn whilst actually doing it and failing a few times! This is something I always tell the students who take part in the Code First: Girls course I organise at The University of Sheffield – learn by doing, learn by failing!
I also learnt a lot just from reading other people’s code line-by-line and playing around with it. Sort of like how I started learning HTML/CSS the first time years ago! Just speaking to and working with TechDept’s incredibly talented developers too was a learning experience, I took away some things I’d like to learn and have a look at for future experiments like, I’d like to play around with React after seeing what it can do!
Now, I not only had the opportunity to gain a rich amount of experience in a techy environment, but I also left quite inspired by Techdept’s CEO, Dan Kirby who recommended some really motivating books by Robert Cialdini, Tim Ferriss, and Dan Sullivan.
I had a flick through and was motivated to apply some of the wisdom, such as the 4 C’s formula, to aspects both of my professional and personal development. Thanks for the insights, Dan! ✨
Working in quite a fast-paced, results-focused environment was a great experience; I learnt a lot in my short time from the more technical side i.e. coding to a general insight on a “typical” developers job and in a fun, growing tech company.
Those know me know that I say this a lot but although I still get confused looks from people who question my placement and experience choices in roles that differ from my degree, I’m enjoying the different exposure to different industries. This exploration has allowed me to get an idea on what sort of role I want to pursue in the future.
Fellow students – whether you’re a fresher, in your second-year or final year, I strongly recommend that you make sure that you get as much work experience as you can get!
As Dan, CEO of Techdept said, providing some sort of value and usefulness to someone will immensely help you progress in your career because you have had a great opportunity to build on what you’ve learnt from the experience as well as who you’ve helped along the way.
In my case, I helped out with projects using knowledge and skills I taught myself when I was younger. 8 year old me wouldn’t have thought would’ve been useful to anyone but now it has helped me expand my network!
Never restrict yourself to your degree title – always keep exploring! 🚀
Thanks team awesome! I had a blast!
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