Andrew Campbell

Why did you choose to study Computer Science at Leeds?

I did a BTEC in IT at college and really enjoyed the software development part so wanted learn more about it. When I visited the campus I was really impressed by what I saw, the research facilities in the department and the union sold the university to me.  

What has been the best part of the course?

I have really enjoyed the machine learning aspects, creating programs that could classify data sets and documents by learning from examples was really fun. But my favourite projects were probably in my year in industry, I got the opportunity to create hardware based games using arduino's. These games were used to teach children about computer science.

Did you undertake a placement?

I worked at IBM for a year in software development, my role was in service so I dealt with customer problems and found fixes. I was amazed how much responsibility I was given in my day job, but the best part of IBM was having one day a week to do volunteer projects, which could range from working in a school to development projects.

After my year in industry I did a summer internship, also at IBM. Myself and a team of three others built a product that could use technology to allow family members to give support to dementia patients. We used an android app that could be driven remotely to allow family members to share content with and contact a loved one suffering from dementia. I met some of my best friends doing this and we went to Sweden together in the winter.

I learnt so many things during my time on placement; how to develop software at a professional level, how large organisations operate, I even learnt what it was like to project manage. I am so much more confident in my ability since doing a placement, I would recommend it to anyone!

What are your plans for the future?

I want to work in a start up company, I really enjoyed my time at IBM but now I want to try something completely different where I have full control of what I do and can shape the company.

There is no doubt that if I had not come to Leeds I would not have been able to work at IBM and would not be able to apply for the companies that I am now. Not just because my skills as a computer scientist have improved but also because of how much my outlook has changed down to my experience's at Leeds.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?

I don't think anyone regrets coming to study at Leeds. Computer Science at Leeds gives you skills beyond programming to help you become a very accomplished computer scientist. But I think the most important thing is to experience as much of University life outside of your studies as you can, as when I look back these will be the things that I miss the most.