Not many students get the opportunity to go and work in another country straight out of university but, thanks to the opportunities at Edge Hill, I’m ready for it.

Information Technology was always the area I wanted to go into. I originally wanted to teach IT, but my teacher mentioned that I have so many other areas to explore in the world of technology. With more research I discovered cyber security and digital forensics and I thought rather than teaching the future, I could protect the future through cyber security.

I started looking for universities that offered this pathway and Edge Hill was one that did. Studying this degree has really opened my mind to different areas of cyber security. Even within my subject specialism there are so many career pathways leading from it.

As part of the course I did a sandwich year placement in industry which has really changed everything for me. I discovered so much about myself and about working in industry. I worked for a global virtualisation software and cloud computing company called VMware in Staines, so I needed to leave my friends and family and move down south. On a professional level, as well as gaining the technical and soft skills you need on the job, the placement also enhanced my presentation and communication skills. It gave me an insight into working life and I got some great careers advice from my colleagues.

On a personal level, I’ve also made lifelong friends and experienced a different lifestyle. At home, I’m surrounded by farms so I enjoyed the hustle and bustle of city life. I felt in my element. I think I’m really a city boy at heart!

I felt I needed something to make me stand out and gaining that extra experience, even though I had to be away from my family and friends, was worth it. I’ve now got a place on VMware’s graduate scheme in Barcelona starting next year. Not many students get the opportunity to go and work in another country straight out of university but, thanks to the opportunities at Edge Hill, I’m ready for it.

Being here has really built up my self-confidence. When I was 18 and first came to university I thought I was an adult, but you soon realise there’s so much more to learn. That’s been a big discovery for me. I’ve also realised that you’ll never discover anything until you take a risk. You need to look for those things that excite and challenge you and be open to everything.